How to capture a still image from digital video?

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I’d like to get a still image from a digital video I’ve taken.

A quick search has revealed these two possibilities,

Any suggestions on which might be better or alternatives?

I’d be using Windows OS

In the end I used Windows Live Movie Maker


I like VLC and have it installed so for ease of use I would probably use that. If I didn’t find those results satisfactory I would probably attempt to use ffmpeg with one of the autobuilds from tripp.

Syntax as follows:

ffmpeg -i foo.avi -ss 00:01:43 -t 1 -s 1280×720 -f mjpeg bar.jpg

That should take one shot at 1 minute 43 seconds and output a jpg, at 1280×720

VLC has a snapshot item on the Tools menu, which will take a snapshot of the video and save it as a bmp file.

How can I take screenshots?

To take a snapshot of the video
displayed by VLC, you just need to
press the pre-defined snapshot hotkey:

* Windows / Linux / Unix: Ctrl+Alt+S
* Mac OS X: Command+Alt+s

To change it, go to Preferences ->
Interface -> Hotkeys settings, check
Advanced options, and set Take video

You can also take a snaphot via the
menu Video -> Snapshot.

To change the snapshot format or
directory, go to Preferences -> Video.

“Alt-Prt Scr” with the video player’s window active to copy the window to clipboard.

“Shift-Prt Scr” will capture the entire desktop.

Paste it into your favorite image editor (ie: MS Paint) for cropping, etc.

Hope that helps…

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