Have you ever wanted to grab an image—a very specific moment—from a video? One second too soon, and you get a useless frame. One second later, and the moment’s gone.
To grab a good image from a video, you can either rely on your superb pausing skills or use software to do the hard work for you. Since the quality of simple video screenshots can be unreliable, especially on Windows XP or older versions, go for specialized tools and avoid the hassle.
Here are five tools worth your time and what they have to offer.
1. GOM Player
Aside from capturing images, GOM Player is a free, lightweight, and feature-rich media player that might join your go-to media players for Windows. GOM Player can play all common formats, including 360o videos, and perform handy feats like provide subtitles from classic and recent movies.
In terms of capturing images from any video it plays, the process is simple. Once you load the video of your choice and spot a still you want, click the Save the Current Frame button at the bottom right of the media player.
For the longer but more versatile route, right-click on the video to get a list of options. From there, navigate to Video > Advanced Screen Capture. The window that opens has lots to play with, from the image format and resolution to GIF and wallpaper settings.
If you want several stills, consider the Burst Capture option, which automatically grabs images at set intervals. For example, you can set the program to capture 10 images, one every 5 seconds. You can even set the interval to 0 to capture a continuous burst of frames, from which you can choose the perfect one.
Unlike GOM Player, ImageGrab isn’t a standalone media player. Instead, it’s a program dedicated entirely to grabbing images off video files, whether from a specific timestamp or the entire video at every set interval.
There are different ways to grab a single image. Press F5 on your keyboard, use Ctrl + C to copy it to your clipboard or click any of the relevant buttons on the interface. ImageGrab lets you control file names, image quality, and even inlay text into the video.
There’s no way to burst capture a certain moment to ensure you get the right frame, but you can follow the video closely and note the frame’s timestamp as it goes by. You can then enter it manually into the timestamp box and capture the frame.
As mentioned above, ImageGrab also lets you capture images from the entire video every set number of frames, seconds, or minutes. Once you activate the intervalometer, ImageGrab will start playback from the beginning and grab an image at every set interval. It’ll also tell you how many images the operation is going to produce.
Note that ImageGrab comes in a portable and installed version. The ZIP file may include both formats, so you can choose the best fit.
3. Free Video to JPG Converter
DVDVideoSoft’s Free Video to JPG Converter is an easy way to capture sets of images from entire videos. This tool has a straightforward interface and the option to load more than one video at a time.
Simply load your video files and choose your intervals. This can be every set number of frames, every set number of seconds, a total number of frames per video, or every single frame. Once you set this and hit Convert, you can leave the program to its own devices while it creates your requested images.
The program’s output is very convenient, especially if you choose to create subfolders to manage different projects on the same video. The converter automatically assigns names and timestamps to each folder. The frames themselves get unique names based on the video’s title and consecutive numbers.
Beyond these helpful functions, your options are a bit thin. For example, you can’t control image quality, format, or file name. However, it’s a great click-and-go solution if you don’t like messing about with configurations.
If you use Windows, it’s likely you already know about VLC by VideoLAN. It’s a popular media player that’s been around forever. The function that should interest you, in this case, is its ability to grab stills from videos.
While less impressive than the programs above, it can serve you well under the right circumstances. To be exact, if you just want to save one or two images while watching something, this is a free and easy way to do it.
You’ll need to manually settle on a frame, select the Video tab from the toolbar at the top, and then click Take Snapshot. Alternatively, right-click anywhere on the video to access the dropdown menu and follow the same steps.
Unfortunately, the software doesn’t offer anything else regarding snapping stills, so turn to other solutions for more complicated projects.
5. Online Converter
A final option to consider for turning videos into images is a browser-based tool like Online Converter. All you do is upload your MP4 file, for example, and let the software break it down into JPG stills, which you can then download.
You have a few settings at your disposal, too, like choosing the frame size, quality, and portion of the video you want converting. If you’d rather make a GIF out of the footage instead, that’s another tool on offer.
The downside is the maximum file size. Your upload can’t be more than 200 MB, so forget about using the site to convert movies. If your videos are already small, however, this is a good solution.
Which Video Still Grabber Should You Use?
GOM Player is definitely the top choice and comes in a nice media-player package to boot. It answers most of the usual image-grabbing needs and can help you capture that elusive frame easily for most purposes.
Nonetheless, each of these tools can be helpful for different tasks, whether simple or more demanding. Explore their strengths in terms of snapping a large number of images or sparing you the time-consuming work of setting up and configuring programs. Look at specific perks, too, from GIF to file size capabilities.
Image credit: Piero Fissore
Author: Electra Nanou
Source: Electra Nanou.” The 5 Best Free Tools to Capture Images From Video Files”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-free-tools-to-capture-stills-from-video-files/
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