Export Stills from Adobe Premiere Pro using JavaScript

Most of the products in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications have a scripting API that allows you to write JavaScript to automate tasks like moving layers around, adding patterns, or exporting images (e.g., Background repeats with Illustrator).

However, while Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and other apps have a menu option to run a script, Adobe Premiere Pro doesn’t have this. Instead requires that you use their C++ SDK or package Javascript code into Panel and that must be signed before it can be distributed and used (Preimere DevNet, ProPanel example on Github). There are several marketplaces for these panels, but I just needed to do something quick – export still and timecodes from markers – and the panels available didn’t use the format we needed.

The good news is that you can use JavaScript in Adobe Premiere just by opening up the ExtendScript app and running it from there. It’s a little tricky to write these because the documentation is hard to find (the method activeSequence.exportFrameJPEG was not in the documentation and I had to guess it from the exportFrameJPEG used in the github example.

Here’s the current script: