Taking still images from videos can be useful for so many purposes: cover images, reaction memes, film analysis, snapshots for social media… But screenshots can reduce the original image quality, and it can be difficult to remove visual obstacles from a video screenshot. The best way to take a still image from a video is simply to save a frame from the video as a separate image file.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the steps you need to take in order to extract a frame from a video and save it as a JPEG image.
I’m going to be using a free online editing tool called Kapwing to capture my stills. Kapwing is compatible with mobile devices, tablets, and computers, and gives you the editing functionality of a high-powered software.
To capture a photo from a video, follow these four steps:
- Find Your Video
- Upload Your Video to Kapwing
- Choose the Frame You Want to Use
- Publish & Download
Step 1: Find Your Video
First, you’ll need to know where you can access your video. If it’s a video you recorded yourself, or one that you have downloaded onto your device, make sure you can find it in your file browser. It’s a good idea to rename your video file to something that you can search for and find easily. I'm going to be using one of our own videos as an example.
And if you want to take a snapshot from a video you found online, just copy its URL! You can use videos from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and pretty much any major video sharing platform on the internet. Either right click on the URL at the top of the page or right-click on the video while it’s playing and select “Copy Link.” Now you’re ready to upload your video.
Step 2: Upload Your Video to Kapwing
Once you’ve located your video or copied its URL, head over to Kapwing.com. From the homepage, choose “Products” from the top menu and scroll down to find “Convert Video.” The video converter tool allows you to create a GIF, MP4, MP3, or JPEG file from any video source, but today we’ll focus on creating a JPEG.
If you are using a video that you have on your device, click “Upload” and grab the video from your file browser. And if you copied the link to an online video, just right click on the URL field and select “Paste.” Kapwing will automatically upload your video to the video converter.
Step 3: Choose the Frame You Want to Use
Simply choose “JPEG” from the left-hand side of the window. Then, move the slider under your video until you’ve reached the frame that you want to capture. The preview will show the frame that you've selected.
*Note: If you’re using a longer video, you can trim your video with Kapwing (choose “Trim Video” from the Products page) and use your trimmed video to choose your snapshot more precisely.
Step 4: Publish & Download
Once you’ve chosen the perfect freeze-frame from your video, you’re ready to process your JPEG file. Click “Create” from the bottom left-hand corner of the window. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your snapshot will be ready to download after a few seconds.
Once Kapwing is done processing, simply click “Download Image” from the left side of the screen. Your still photo is now on your device and ready for you to share anywhere.
If you want to, you can click the "Open in Studio" button to make other edits to your image, like adding text or a watermark overlay. You can also "Edit" the screenshot if you want to capture a different photo from the video or share the captured image directly on social media.
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