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Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15

Lewis McGregor

Here are three techniques you can use for capturing a still or creating pauses in DaVinci Resolve.

Over the last three years, Resolve has gone from the being the acquaintance NLE I barely knew to my closest friend. While it’s brought a number of new features to the forefront, I do miss one highlight from my adventures with Premiere Pro: the export frame function. Creating stills or pauses in Resolve is slightly more involved.

As a creator of screencast tutorials, there are moments when I need to pause while I explain something — or perhaps I’ve skipped too far ahead in the video recording, but I’m still explaining something from the previous tip. I would need to pause the screencast to give my audio a moment to catch up. In Premiere Pro, it was a simple task: hit the camera icon, save the still, and if you checked Import into project, the still would even import into your project folder, allowing you to create an invisible pause in a matter of seconds. Premiere does also have a hold frame function, but in many situations, the export frame function was more beneficial.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Export Frame

This process in Resolve is more tedious. Here are three methods you can use to get a still of your video footage to create a pause.


1. Freeze Frame

First, head to where you want to begin the pause, and using the blade tool (B), create a splice. Then move one frame forward, and create another splice. This should leave you with a clip length of one frame. Right-click on the freeze frame and select change clip speed.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Freeze Frame

With the change clip speed dialog box open, select Freeze frame, and you will now have a still that you can extend to the length you need.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Extend Still


2. Retime Controls

We can also use the Retime controls. Right-click on your media clip, and select retime controls.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Retime Controls

A set of arrows will appear below the video clip with a new drop-down menu for the retime controls. They will open when you click the arrow next to the percentage marker.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Retime Controls

Position your playhead where you want the freeze frame to start, and open the drop-down menu. Select freeze frame, and from your playhead position, you will now have two speed points, along with a region set to 0%. The 0% area is your freeze frame. You can move the second speed point to extend the duration of the freeze frame, and in a ripple edit fashion, an increase in the paused region will increase the overall length of the clip.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Speed Points


3. Export Still

We can also use the color page’s gallery to export a still and then import it back into the project for a Premiere-like export frame function. The primary purpose of the gallery is to save, reference, and copy grades, but we can also use it to create a still for a pause.

Head to the color page, open the gallery, right-click on the viewer, and select grab still.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Export Still

The still will now appear in the gallery. Right-click on the still, and select export. You can now save the still under a variety of different formats. With the still saved, import it back into your media pool and place it onto the timeline.

Quick Tip: Creating Stills and Pauses In Resolve 15 — Place Still on Timeline

You now will have a pause that is a separate media clip from the video.


These methods may not be as fluid as one would want, but they get the job done. Maybe in the future, we’ll see a dedicated export frame function on the edit page.

Lewis McGregor is a certified DaVinci Resolve trainer.


Looking for more Resolve tips and tricks? Check these out.

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