Images From Videos

Those of us who like doing digital art, especially fannish digital art, need image resources from the videos we dote on; still images from the videos; also known as screencaps. Here are a few ways of getting them, on a Linux system.

Using mplayer

The mplayer video player has an option of converting every single frame into an image (mainly jpeg or png).

mplayer -vo png:z=5 -framedrop -speed 4 -nocache video.mpg

This can be overkill, of course, you get thousands of images, and you probably won't want to keep them all. On the other hand, it does give you every frame automatically, there's no hit and miss. You just have to go through zillions of images, deleting the ones you don't want.

Using Xine

The xine video player has a snapshot function built in; you just start playing the video, and click on the button that looks like a little camera.

xine video.mpg

Of course, you have to click the button at the right moment, or you might miss the image you want; on the other hand, you don't have thousands of images to wade through. Swings and roundabouts.