Before we talk about how to freeze-frame in DaVinci Resolve, let’s talk a bit about what a freeze-frame is and what it does. A freeze-frame halts the action in your video, effectively converting it to a still frame, making it look like a photograph. The art of video editing strives to move the viewer’s attention away from the filmmaking process. On the other hand, freeze frames do the exact opposite, but they are invaluable in adding emphasis or covering up for lack of footage.
Back in the days when shooting on film was a thing, you could achieve a freeze-frame by optically reprinting the select shot. Today, with digital technologies, freezing a video has become as easy as pressing a small number of keys.
Freeze-Frame in DaVinci Resolve Using “Change Clip Speed”
To freeze-frame in DaVinci Resolve is very easy. Just go to the Edit tab and then to your timeline, cut the frame that you want to freeze, right-click on it and select “Change Clip Speed”. You have to check “Freeze frame” in the new popped-up window and finally press “Change”. All you have to do next is to extend that frame as long as you want and it is done.
1. Go to the “Edit” tab then to the timeline
2. Cut the frame you want to use
Use the Cut tool to cut the frame you want to use.
3. Right click and go to “Change Clip Speed”
Right click and go to “Change Clip Speed”, then choose “Freeze Frame”. Once selected, click on “Change” and you’re done!
You can do something similar to this in almost any other top editing software on the market. In this matter, they all are pretty much alike. What I find lacking with this method is the missing of any means of easing into freeze. The freeze will take place instantly! Of course, this is exactly what you might need now, but not all the time.
Freeze Frame in DaVinci Resolve With Retime Controls
This method is used for better time control over the footage. You can also include curves with Retime Curves to smooth things up. Together with the Optical Flow option, Retime Controls, and Retime Curves, you can create a slow-to-freeze effect that won’t stutter that much. Before we do that, let’s see how to freeze-frame in DaVinci Resolve with Retime Controls.
1. Right-click on the video and select “Retime Controls”
Notice the blue triangles at the top of the footage layer. These triangles show the direction of the play.
2. Add the freeze-frame
To add a freeze-frame, move the timeline cursor where you want the freeze to start, click on the black triangle at the bottom of the footage layer, and select “Freeze Frame”.
Now, you can adjust the length of the duration of the freeze. Simply slide the right bracket of the frozen area, to the left or the right.
3. Achieve the slow-to-freeze effect
If you need it, use Retime Curves to achieve a slow-to-freeze effect. To use it, right-click the video and select “Retime Curves”, it will add a graph underneath the footage layer. Please check the video below for the next steps.
There you have it! Now you know how to freeze-frame in DaVinci Resolve. Feel free to use either one of the two methods, depending on what fits your needs and get used to the Retime Curves. What I showed you in the video is just an example of what you can do with it.