Help my cap my vid!
October 16, 2006 1:40 AM   Subscribe

What is the easiest (cheapest) way to get a series of stills from a video file?

Ok, here's what I want to do: I have a bunch of video files (AVI, divx encoded mostly, but I'd appreciate a method that could do WMV or MOV too) that I'd like to get a series of jpeg still captures from. Preferably, something like capturing 1 frame every second for the length of the video. Are there any nice freeware tools out there that will do this? Preferably something that has a nice simple command-line (like app.exe sourcefile(s) destination -jpeg-quality) or an easy to use drag and drop windows interface. Oh, yes, and looking for windows apps only as well.

Freeware isn't an absolute requirement, I'm sure I could get my hands on something that's not freeware, but I'd like to do this on the cheap if I can, as it's really just for messing around.

I swear I saw a similar question to this somewhere on the net before, and I could've sworn it was AskMe, but my search-fu has yielded no results, so sorry if I'm duping someone else's question. :)
posted by antifuse to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: ffmpeg can do this from the command line, e.g. this command will create one jpeg file for every second of the input video:
ffmpeg -i video.wmv -r 1 -an -f image2 out%d.jpg
You can download a windows binary here. It can handle most of the common video formats. There's lots of options to control output size, quality etc.
posted by rpn at 3:10 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ffmpeg! That's exactly what I remember seeing previously... And yet even when I do a search for ffmpeg on AskMe, I can't find a similar thread to mine. Weird! Any way, thanks!
posted by antifuse at 3:29 AM on October 16, 2006

Quicktime will certainly do something like this with MOV files, though you may have to have the premium version. File-->Export and choose Image Sequence. Not sure if you can choose to put out just one frame per second of film, though.
posted by lhauser at 6:23 AM on October 16, 2006

You can also use VLC, which has a "snapshot" option.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 6:29 AM on October 16, 2006

Response by poster: I was under the impression that VLC's "snapshot" just took the currently playing frame and saved it to a file? That's not really what I wanted... although I'll look at Quicktime's image sequence as well.
posted by antifuse at 9:17 AM on October 16, 2006

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