Freeze Frame in After Effects

This tutorial is on how to create a Freeze Frame in Adobe After Effects. It only takes seconds to make a Freeze Frame.

Recapping the Tutorial

What is a Freeze Frame?

A freeze frame in After Effects, or any video / graphics software, is basically holding the video on a single frame for an extended period of time.

How do you Create a Freeze Frame in After Effects?

To begin, make sure you have a composition open and your clip added to it. Find the point where you want the video to “pause” or freeze by moving the time position indicator. Next select the layer. Then right-click on the layer. Find Time in the menu that appears. Under Time find Freeze Frame and click it. Once you do this the entire layer will be stuck on that frame.

Freeze Frame Menu in After Effects

This is great and all but that’s not how I typically work. Let me show you a typical workflow for using a freeze frame in After Effects.

Additional Suggested Viewing: Show and Hide Properties Tutorial in After Effects

Freeze Frame Workflow Example

Start the same way as you did before by making sure a composition is open with the clip you want to freeze. Navigate the time position indicator to where you want the clip to freeze. Before applying the freeze frame you want to do something else first.

I like to split the layer at this point. That means After Effects will take the layer at the time position indicator and cut it into two layers. To do this use the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+D if you’re on a Mac or Control+Shift+D if you’re on a PC.

Next hit the plus (+) key a few times to zoom into the timeline. Move forward one frame. Select the new layer, the one on top, and split the layer again using the keyboard shortcut. You now have three layers.

Stack of three layers in After Effects for freeze frame workflow

Go to the middle layer, the one that’s one frame, select it and apply the freeze frame to it. Drag the layer out a bit to the right (see video tutorial above for a visual explanation). Then take the top layer and move it so it starts at the end of the freeze frame layer. I like to hold the Shift key and drag the top layer until it locks onto the end of the freeze frame layer.

Give it a RAM Preview and see the finished result.

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