Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PE11: Freeze Frames, Single or More Than One at a Time


Frame from video (Freeze Frame) is possible in Premiere Elements 4 through 11 at the Timeline level on a one at a time basis. For versions earlier than 11, the feature can be found clicking on the Freeze Frame (camera looking icon) located at the bottom right of the Edit Mode monitor. In Premiere Elements 11 there is no such Freeze Frame icon, and the feature at the Timeline level needs to be accessed via Tools Menu or Tools Tab Expert or Quick workspaces. The Freeze Frames grabbed in this route are all of the .bmp format.

With the advent of version 8.0/8.0.1, the sharing section of the program offers an Image export which can produce frames from video either one at a time or more than one at a time if the "Export As Sequence" option is selected in the export settings for the Image preset. The Image presets for version 8.0/8.0.1 includes Animated GIF, JPEG, Targa, and TIFF. However since version 9.0/9.0.1 and through to the current version 11, JPEG is the only format type offered for the Image export.



The presets offers under Image are
  • JPEG - HD 1440 x 1080
  • JPEG - HD 1920 x 1080
Each preset has an Advanced Button for access to customizing export settings which include frame sizes, aspect, and selecting "Export As Sequence". Each preset also includes the "Share WorkArea Bar Only" option in the Image setup before use of the Advanced Button. Refer to Figure 1.

Figure 1. Premiere Elements 11. Publish+Share/Computer/Image. Image Dialog And Advanced Button/ Export Setting Dialog. Shown For NTSC DV Standard Project With Image Dialog's Presets = JPEG - NTSC SD.
For export of one frame at a time, the Timeline Indicator needs to be positioned at the frame to be exported before going to the Publish+Share section where "Export As Sequence" in the Export Settings dialog is left unchecked. And, in this instance, it really does not matter if "Share WorkArea Bar Only" is left checked or unchecked in the Image dialog. For export of all the frames of a video at one time from the Timeline, it does not matter where the Timeline Indicator is left sitting. In Publish+Share/Computer/Image, the user places a check mark next to "Export As Sequence" in the Export Settings dialog and leaves "Share WorkArea Bar Only" unchecked in the Image dialog. For export of just a segment of a video from the Timeline as frames all at one time, the user sets the gray tabs of the WorkArea Bar** (in Edit Mode) to span the segment wanted and, under the Advanced Button of the Image preset, puts a check mark next to both "Export As Sequence" and "Share WorkArea Bar Only".

Tip: If "Export As Sequence" to generate Freeze Frames from all or most of a Timeline video, best to create a hard drive folder for the save rather than having all those jpg files scattered among other non Freeze Frame files.

  • If project preset (new project dialog) is set at (for example) NTSC DV Standard which has a frame size of 720 x 480 
  • the image exported (for example) uses the JPEG -HD 1440 x 1080 Image preset
  • the result will be a jpg file 1440 x 1080 pixels with black borders around the frame grab

Freeze Frame Dialog

It is possible to capture a frame (one at a time) without using the Publish+Share/Computer/Image. In Premiere Elements earlier than version 11, the user can place the Timeline Indicator at the Timeline location of the frame wanted and use the Freeze frame (camera looking) icon at the bottom right of the Edit Mode monitor to bring up the Freeze Frame dialog. The Premiere Elements 11 principles for this are the same, except that the Freeze Frame dialog is accessed via the Tools Menu or Tools Tab. There is no Freeze Frame (camera looking) icon. Refer to Figure 2.

Figure 2. Premiere Elements 11. Freeze Frame Grab Freeze Frame Dialog.. NTSC DV Standard Project

Using this dialog, a .bmp frame grab from the Timeline video can be obtain. The Freeze Frame dialog options are
  • Freeze Frame Duration (in seconds)
  • Edit in Photoshop Elements after inserting***
  • Export
  • Insert in Movie
Referring to Figure 2, in this particular instance, just the Freeze Frame's Export option was selected to save a .bmp Freeze Frame to the computer hard drive.

Tip: In the absence of a Freeze Frame (camera looking) icon in Premiere Elements 11 to bring up the Freeze Frame dialog, the user can create a shortcut to the Freeze Frame dialog via Edit Menu/Keyboard Customization/Application/Help/Freeze Frame. I borrowed the letter G from another unused feature for this purpose.

* Premiere Elements 11 on Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit was used for this work. Principles involved apply to versions of Premiere Elements earlier than 11 as well as version 11.
**Set gray tabs of WorkArea Bar to span the Timeline content wanted
a. Move the Timeline Indicator to the start of the segment wanted. Hold down the Alt key of the computer main keyboard, and hit the left bracket key [ of the computer main keyboard.
and then
b. Move the Timeline Indicator to the end of the segment wanted. Hold down the Alt key of the computer main keyboard and hit the right bracket key ] of the computer main keyboard.
***Deinterlacing Freeze Frames
Typically deinterlacing has been recommended for freeze frames generated by Premiere Elements' Freeze Frame feature. For those with an integrated version of Photoshop Elements, one way to do that was using the Photoshop Elements' Filter Menu/Video/Deinterlace for the deinterlacing.
  • from Freeze Frame dialog, include the option "Edit in Photoshop Elements after inserting"
  • if Freeze Frame already on Timeline, right click the Freeze Frame, and select "Edit in Adobe Photoshop Elements"
And, the user can find the same information in Adobe Tech document "Premiere Element/Sharing for PC Playback"
  • If Photoshop Elements is installed, you can instead deinterlace the exported image in that application. In the Editor, choose Filter > Video > Deinterlace. 
The only problem with that is that Photoshop Elements 11 no longer has an option for Video/Deinterlace via its Filter Menu/ or anywhere else.

However, that Adobe Tech document other suggestion for deinterlacing Freeze Frame is still a viable one for Premiere Elements 11 as well as earlier versions of the program.
Deinterlace the frame to greatly increase the quality of the exported image: In the Expert view timeline, select the containing clip. Then choose Clip > Video Options > Field Options. Select Deinterlace, and click OK.