Simplest/quickest path from DVD stillframe to resized image in blog post?
April 3, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I want to find the simplest/fastest possible route to get from a single frame of a film on a DVD to a small image displayed inline on a wordpress blog post.

I'm trying to simplify the workflow for an old blogging project that involved, among other things, including about a dozen screencaps in each entry. I'd like to make that bit take less time and effort than it used to.

For context, here's my existing workflow:

1. Manually navigate to a given frame on the DVD, in PowerDVD I think because that was what I had that worked.
2. Generate screencap with a hotkey.
3. Repeat 1&2 a dozen times or so to get all the shots I need.
4. Open all the screencaps in Photoshop Elements.
5. Give each one a little bit of levels adjustment to compensate for darkness of TV images.
6. Resize each one to ~350x260.
7. Save each one out to a custom sequential filename (e.g. "01_title_sequence.jpg", "02_villain_appears.jpg").
8. Batch upload edited images to entry-specific directory on website (e.g. /images/season1/ep06/01_title_sequence.jpg, and so on).
9. Paste path of each image into tags already in blog writeup.

Doing the image processing like that for each post is tedious and eats up at least an hour of my time.

I'm interested in potential shortcuts to getting the images from the DVD to the finished blog post. If it significantly reduces the tedium of the process, I don't mind considering cutting corners on the image quality (e.g. skipping the levels-tweaking step), since they're more for visual reference than anything.

I have even, for example, considered just taking the damn screencaps with my iphone, if I can find a way to make the distance from their to blog post.

I'd prefer to do this with free tools, though I'd be willing to drop two digits on a piece of software that absolutely made my day. I have both OSX and Win7 available as working platforms. I am committed to the Wordpress setup for the blog.
posted by cortex to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The command line program imagemagick can do resizing / level adjustment to a whole folder of images in one go.

The new workflow would be:
1-3: as before
4: rename images
5: drag and drop directory to imagemagick script, producing a new directory full of resized / brightened files
6,7: original steps 8 and 9 (though you can probably add the upload to the script invoking imagemagick via scp or ftp).

this script does the resize and level adjust (play with the 3.3 number, natch), convert is a command installed as part of imagemagick

mkdir -p $1-resized
for i in $1/*; do convert $i -resize 350x260 -gamma $N $1-resized/`basename $i`; done
posted by idiopath at 5:33 PM on April 3, 2010

That script is bare bones (but does work), and I am about to leave for the night.. I can post a version that is a bit better (ie. can handle file names with spaces in them and does not have to be invoked from the parent directory) and includes an scp upload sometime tomorrow if you are interested.
posted by idiopath at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2010

Response by poster: Absolutely, idiopath. This might be a great way to save a lot of tedium in exchange for a little bit of compromise, and I can look into imagemagick a bit myself after the fact to see about potentially tweaking the gamma stuff selectively. I poke perlmagick once upon a time but it's far from fresh in my mind at this point.
posted by cortex at 5:52 PM on April 3, 2010

VLC seems to scriptable using Lua. Maybe there's a way to bind a hotkey to create an image for you.

I think the ideal workflow would be:

1) User press hotkey
2) Tool creates and uploads image
3) Tool copies HTML to clipboard for easy inclusion in a blog.
4) User pastes HTML into blog entry.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on April 3, 2010

If you just want to resize and do (the exact same) levels adjust with existing tools:

1) VLC screenshot via shift-S (or whatever you want to set it to)
2) Rename, if you want. I'd skip this; the screenshots are already named sequentially.
3) Use a photoshop action to resize to 350, apply the levels, and save. Photoshop elements should be able to run (most) standard photoshop actions. In photoshop you can run an action on a batch of images; I don't know if this works in elements.
posted by beerbajay at 12:16 AM on April 4, 2010

You can save a lot of time right after the screenshot stage by using batch actions right in Photoshop Elements. Photoshop and Photoshop Elements will let you open multiple images at once and apply a series of commands to them all in one fell swoop.

Here's an example with screenshots that shows how to Resize + Quick Fix (i.e. adjust Levels, Contrast, Colors, Sharpen) + Rename in Elements. Then, you might want to try Windows Live Writer to upload.

1. VLC for screenshots.
2. Batch edit + resize + rename in Photoshop Elements.
3. Windows Live Writer to Wordpress.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:51 AM on April 4, 2010

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