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Exporting a Still Frame > Exporting a Still Frame - Pg. 259

The low resolution of the video frame is only half the reason your captured pictures look so bad. Most camcorders capture images the same way television displays images: as hundreds of fne horizontal stripes, or scan lines. You don't actually see all of the scan lines at any one instant; you see odd-numbered lines in one frame, even-num- bered lines in the next. Because the frames fash by your eyes so quickly, your brain smooths the lines together so that you perceive one continuous image. This system of interlacing may work OK for moving video images, but it presents an unpleasant problem when you capture just one frame. Capturing a still image from this footage gives you, in essence, only half of the scan lines that compose the image. iMovie does what it can to fll in the missing information. But as shown in Figure 9-7, there's still a jaggedness problem involving the horizontal scan lines. Exporting a frame Now that your expectations have been duly lowered, here's how you capture a frame in iMovie: Open the project from which you want to grab a still photo. Make sure that no in- dividual clips are selected, and then locate the frame you want to capture. Drag the Playhead along the Scrubber bar, for example. Remember that you can press the left and right arrow keys to step through the movie one frame at a time, or Shift-arrow keys to jump ten frames at a time, in your quest for the precise moment you want to preserve as a still image. When the image you want appears in the Monitor window, choose FileSave Frame (or press c-F). The Save As dialog box (sheet) slides down from the top of the iMovie window (Figure 9-8). Figure 9-8: The Save Frame sheet lets you choose a graphics-fle format: JPEG or PICT. When the process is over, the saved frame appears with its own icon on your desktop (or wherever you hap- pened to save it). Creating Still Images from Footage Use the Format pop-up menu to specify the fle format you want for your exported graphic: PICT or JPEG (the better choice if you intend to email it to someone or use it on a Web page). Navigate to the folder where you want this graphic saved (or press c-D to save it onto the desktop). Click Save. chapter9:stillpicturesandquicktimemovies 259