Are you watching a DVD movie on your computer or a video that you downloaded from a camera and want you to be able to capture a specific frame as a still image? By default on Windows, the only options you may have is to use PrintScreen or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + I in Windows Media Player 9 and 10.
These methods are good, but they are actually not very accurate and starting with Windows Media Player 11 the CTRL + I method doesn’t even work! Don’t worry, there is another way to capture a video frame and convert it to a still image using third-party software.
VLC media player is probably the most popular Windows media player in terms of downloads. It is regularly updated with new features and codecs, and supports 64-bit Windows. One small function of the program is to take a snapshot of the video during playback or while paused. Besides taking a snapshot, there is nothing else in this function.
Just tap Video and then tap Take Photo. If all you need is a couple of frames from a video or DVD, VLC is perfect. If you need more features, I would suggest GOM player as an alternative.
One of my favorite media players is Classic Media Player Do you know the one that looks like from the days of Windows XP? However, don’t let the looks fool you, because this is a very versatile media player. It’s free, lightweight, and customizable if you have big needs. In any case, it also has the simple ability to save the current frame as a still image. Just click “File” and then “Save Image”.
GOM Player is a very useful audio and video player that has many of the most popular codecs built in. GOM Player includes many codecs (XviD, DivX, FLV1, AC3, OGG, MP4, H263 and more), so you can watch most videos without having to install separate codecs. GOM Player can also play corrupted AVI files or AVI files that haven’t been fully downloaded yet. So if you have an AVI file from which you can only download a part, the GOM player will let you preview the downloaded part.
Another cool feature of the GOM player is that it has a built-in screen capture utility that you can use to capture still images of the video you are currently playing. There are also a couple of other programs that let you do the same, but the GOM player is cooler because it includes Burst Capture, which lets you take continuous screenshots of up to 999 still images!
Once you have downloaded and installed the GOM media player, you can capture video frames by clicking the control panel icon in the lower right corner (the one with the slider).
You can either click in Screen Capture to start capturing with the default settings, or you can click Advanced Capture and customize them as you like.
You can customize the destination directory for still images, image format (JPEG or BMP), JPEG quality, burst images (number of images you want to capture) and burst interval in seconds. You can also quickly set the current frame as the Windows background.
If you find that the video is too dark or too light, you can adjust the brightness and contrast before taking pictures.
GOM Player and VLC Media Player are great media players with some really useful advanced features. It is definitely worth checking if you are tired of the default DVD playback software that you get on your computer after purchase.
Several other programs allow you to take screenshots of video, and I used Virtual Dub As it is more focused on editing and processing video files, I did not mention it at the top. If you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments. Enjoy!