Need to take a picture from a video? This free tool makes it easy. Here’s how to use it!
Have you ever wanted to take a picture, a very specific moment from a video? One second too soon, and you get a useless frame. One second later, and the moment is gone.
To take great pictures from videos, you can rely on excellent pausing skills or use software to do the hard work for you. Since the quality of simple video screenshots is unreliable, especially on older versions of Windows, use specialized tools and avoid the hassle.
Here are five tools that are worth your time and what they have to offer.
When it comes to taking pictures of any video that’s playing, the process is simple. Once you’ve loaded the video of your choice and found the still image you want, click the button Save the Current Frame at the bottom right of the media player.
For a longer but more flexible 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 a lot to play with, from image formats and resolutions to GIF and wallpaper settings.
If you want some still images, consider the options Burst Capture, which automatically takes pictures at specified intervals. For example, you can set the program to take 10 pictures, 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 is not a standalone media player. Instead, it is a program dedicated entirely to capturing images of video files, either from a specific timestamp or the entire video at any set interval.
There are various ways to take a single picture. Press F5 on your keyboard, use Ctrl + C to copy it to your clipboard or click one of the relevant buttons on the interface. ImageGrab lets you control the filename, image quality, and even text inlays into videos.
There’s no way to capture a specific moment in bursts to ensure you get the right frame, but you can follow the video closely and note the frame timestamp as it goes. You can then manually enter it into the timestamp box and retrieve the frame.
As mentioned above, ImageGrab also lets you capture images of the entire video at any set number of frames, seconds, or minutes. Once you activate the intervalometer, ImageGrab will start playback from the beginning and take pictures at each set interval. It will also tell you how many images the operation will produce.
Note that ImageGrab comes in a portable and preinstalled version. ZIP files can include both formats, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Free Video to JPG Converter from DVDVideoSoft is an easy way to capture batches of images from across videos. This tool has a straightforward interface and the option to load more than one video at a time.
Just load your video file and choose your interval. This can be any set number of frames, every set number of seconds, total number of frames per video, or every single frame. After you set this and press Convert, you can leave the program to its own devices when creating the image you request.
The output of this program is very convenient, especially if you choose to create subfolders to manage multiple projects on the same video. The converter automatically assigns a name and timestamp to each folder. The frame itself gets a unique name based on the video title and sequential number.
Outside of these useful functions, your options are rather slim. For example, you cannot control the image quality, format, or file name. However, it’s a great click-and-go solution if you don’t like messing with configurations.
If you are using Windows, chances are you already know about VLC by VideoLAN. This is a popular media player that has been around forever. The function that should interest you, in this case, is its ability to capture still images from videos.
While less impressive than the programs above, they can serve you well in the right situations. To be precise, if you just want to save an image or two while watching something, this is a free and easy way to do it.
You have to set the frame manually, select the tab Videos from the toolbar at the top, then click Take Snapshot. Alternatively, right-click anywhere on the video to access the drop-down menu and follow the same steps.
Unfortunately, this software doesn’t offer anything else when it comes to capturing still images, so move on to other solutions for more complex projects.
A final option to consider for converting videos to 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 a JPG still image, which you can then download.
You also have several settings, such as choosing the frame size, quality, and portion of the video you want to convert. If you prefer to make GIFs from recordings, that’s another tool on offer.
The downside is the maximum file size. Your upload can’t be more than 200 MB, so don’t use the site to convert movies. However, if your video is already small, this is a great solution.
Ease of Taking Pictures From Your Videos
GOM Player is definitely a top choice and comes in a great media player package. It answers most of the usual shooting needs and can help you capture those elusive frames easily for most purposes.
Nonetheless, each of these tools can help with different tasks, whether simple or more demanding. Explore their strengths when it comes to capturing large numbers of images or saving you time setting up and configuring programs. See also special features, from GIF to file size capabilities.