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Capture a still image from a camera video

     
6:32 pm on Jun 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've posted this in foo as it isn't really a webmaster issue.
i took a short film of a known pickpocket's accomplice where i work a couple of days ago, (unfortunately not in action!) and i would like to capture a couple of stills ... i've imported the movie onto my computer and it's in mp4 format.

i'm assuming i can just play the movie and pause at the appropriate moment, then 'print screen' and paste the screen image into photoshop, crop to size and save.

or is there a clever way of saving stills from an mp4 that is simpler than that?
6:52 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Printscreen is the easy way & I've done it a few times. The definition isn't usually too good with that method, but you can save it with a high resolution in Photoshop and clean it up using the tools

Other methods would employ software that would target the individual frame, producing a better looking image.
7:53 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Use QuickTime Player (free), when you pause, you can do a "Edit > Copy" (or CTRL+C (Windows))

Then in your graphic program, you can do a "Paste".

VLC also has a function to save a frame to the disk.
8:08 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just a heads-up...

@Peter_S - a good suggestion and fine if you are using an Apple product, but QuickTime is predatory software. If you're on a Windows machine, QT will set itself as default, overwriting all your media settings. A real PITA to recover. Been there.
8:28 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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QT will set itself as default, overwriting all your media settings.

I never had this problem. I use The QuickTime Player on Windows 10, and have VLC as my default media player without problem.
8:35 pm on June 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's entirely possible QT has changed or Win10 is smarter than previos versions and blocks the takeover.
2:34 am on June 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Handbrake or Avidemux will allow frame by frame examination (which leads to better captures that avoid any motion blurring).
8:56 am on June 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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many thanks for everyone's suggestions! i thought i'd follow up with what i did, in case anyone stumbles onto this thread in the future!

i'm on windows 10, 64 bit, Handbrake and Avidemux were new to me, VLC I had used previously but had not reinstalled onto the win 10 machine. I downloaded and tried all 3.

Handbrake: i'd not heard of this before and it is fantastic at converting video for loads of preset devices. You can view a video frame by frame but i couldn't work out a way to capture individual frames to jpg (except for using print screen) ... and what's not to love about software that has a pineapple cocktail as an icon!

Avidemux: easy to view frame by frame, built in save as jpg/bmp function. the image saved was very high quality.

VLC: after looking at some tutorials online i saw that if you enabled the advanced controls [view -> advanced controls], it was then easy to view the video frame by frame and there is a built in snapshot function, (it saves to a png and the saved image was good quality). additionally i found a tutorial that explained how you could actually set it up so it plays a video and converts every frame (or every 5th or whatever you want) to a png - i did find this clunky though and the results were not as good quality as the single frame snapshot.

QuickTime: like keyplyr, i've had previous bad experiences with QT, which may or may not have been resolved, so i didn't try it (partly as Avidemux and VLC both did exactly what i wanted already)
5:18 pm on June 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Always thrilled when there's a happy ending!