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FCPX Tutorial: How to add freeze frames to your projects

Got something to say but need more time to say it? Here's our simple, step-by-step guide to halting the action using Final Cut Pro X’s new Freeze Frame tool.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 7

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Featured

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Sidebar
Do you remember playing a game called ‘Freeze Frame’ at school? The idea was to get into groups, create a scene or a pose, and when the teacher shouted ‘freeze’, you would freeze on the spot. No? Just us then. Freeze frames are used in films and television to highlight a specific event, action or reaction. They can also be used to provide more information – news bulletins will freeze a frame of action and put text over the top of it, which will detail additional facts about the news item. Whatever your reason for freezing the action, the Freeze Frame tool is a new addition to Final Cut Pro X and enables you to create a freeze frame from any of your project clips in just a couple of clicks. All you need to do is file through this straightforward nine-step tutorial and annotation and you’ll be adding another professional finish to your Final Cut repertoire. So without further ado, fire up Final Cut Pro X and get ready to put a stop to the action.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step-by-Step


FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 1

Step 1: Get started

Navigate to the Project Library and open your project in the Timeline. Can’t see the Project Library? Click the Window menu and Show Project Library.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 2

Step 2: Find a frame

Click the Playhead and drag it along the Timeline to locate the frame that you’d like to freeze. Use the Viewer as a guide to finding the right clip.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 3

Step 3: Freeze the frame

Select the Edit menu and choose Add Freeze Frame from the drop-down. The freeze frame will be made and placed on the Timeline, next to the Playhead.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 4

Step 4: Choose the length

By default, the length of the freeze is four seconds. To change this, click Final Cut Pro X and choose Preferences. Click the Editing icon.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 5

Step 5: Change the time

Next to Still Images, click on the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the default length of time for your freeze frame. Close the Preferences window.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 6

Step 6: Freeze an event


You can create a freeze frame using a clip which isn’t in your project. To do this, navigate to the Event Browser and find the clip you’d like to use.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 7

Step 7: Find another frame

Move the Playhead to the part of the clip that you’d like to freeze frame. Use the Viewer to guide you. Once you’ve found it, single-click to mark the place.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 8

Step 8: Stop the action

Next, choose the Edit menu and select Connect Freeze Frame. This will create the freeze frame, but as a connected clip above the main storyline of clips.

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Step 9

Step 9: Add to Event Browser

To add the freeze frame to the Event Browser, add a Marker by selecting the frame and pressing the ‘M’ key. Double-click the Marker and add a label.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotation)

FCPX - Add freeze frames - Annotated