As you might have noticed, I like to image spam take many screenshots of my favorite anime and films. Shooting, processing, and posting more that 100 screenshots might seem like a daunting task, but can be easily accomplished with proper methods. In this brief guide, I’ll tell you how to make screencapping from videos a breeze πŸ™‚


Taking Screenshots

Problem: How to take images of a custom size with a single key and save them in a designated folder?

Solution: Screenshot Captor is a free program for taking screenshots with numerous options.


How to set up Screenshot Captor

We are going to create a folder for screenshots and assign a key for taking repeated shots.

1. Create a folder for the screenshots. I use a folder “Screenshots” under My Pictures. This folder will hold all your raw screenshots.

2. Designate a folder for your screenshots. Open Screenshot Captor and go to Edit > Preferences > Files+Folders tab . Enter the path to your folder for screenshots.

3. Designate a hot key for repeated shots. Go to Edit > Preferences > HotKeys tab . Under Repeat Region Capture enter your favorite key for taking screenshots. This is the main key you’ll use for taking screenshots. Once you press the key, the image will be saved in your designated folder.


How to Take Screenshots

Once you open a video, you have to set up the region you are going to capture.

1. Select the capturing region by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+PrintScreen keys to evoke red rectangle. This feature is neat because it can detect the object of the video and adjust the size of the capture region automatically. If you are satisfied with the default selection, press CTRL+LeftMouseKey, but if you don’t like the selection (sometimes you can see tine black bars at the edges), press SHIFT+LeftMouseKey to adjust the region manually (If the red box keeps disappearing during this operation, try clicking at the middle of the edge of the rectangle). Once you adjusted the region, click CTRL+LeftMouseKey.

2. Now you can pause the video and take as many screenshots as you want by hitting the key that you assigned earlier to Repeat Region Capture πŸ™‚


Processing Screenshots

Problem: How to resize hundreds of images in a batch mode?

Solution: Fast Stone Image Viewer is a free image processing program with many options including resizing.


How to resize and “clean” screenshots.

1. Open Fast Stone Image Viewer and go to Tools > Batch Convert / Rename

2. Select all the images you want to process and click Add

3. Select Output Format (I use JPEG). Click Settings button besides it and adjust the settings if needed. I usually uncheck Keep EXIF / IPTC Data to remove unnecessary descriptions from the images.

4. Select Output Folder. You have to create a folder for your processed images and select the path to it.

5. Check Use Advanced Options and click Advanced Options button. Under Resize tab, check Use Resize / Resample. The dimensions will depend on your preferences. Since my blog have relatively short width, I adjust my screenshots based on it: Resize based on one side, Predefined Side: Width, Exact pixels.. This way all the screenshots that you take will be resized to your preferred width, but with preserved aspect ratio.

6. Choose your favorite way to rename the images under the Rename field.

7. Click Start and wait a couple of seconds for the images to be processed. Everything that you set up during this session will be saved and the only thing you’ll have to do next time is to select and add images you want to process πŸ™‚

Further Reading: FastStone Image Viewer Tutorial, FastStone Image Viewer Guide (Video)


Publishing Screenshots

The easiest way to publish screenshots is with WordPress gallery feature. Just click Add an Image and upload your images.

Other alternatives are Flickr, ImageShack, and Photobucket to name a few.


P.S. I’ll give a cookie to those who can identify the character and the anime of the first image πŸ˜›

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “How to Capture Screenshots from Videos Quickly and Efficiently

  1. Glad you liked the guide πŸ™‚ Yes, the image is from Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei *gives a cookie to Lelangir* πŸ™‚ Hopefully, someone will figure out eventually who that character is πŸ˜›

  2. This is quite helpful indeed, for those who are lazy and just use the snapshot function of media players, the quality of the screenshot is always sub-par, but if you actually do the last step to resize and clean your screens, the quality is substantially better.

    A big thanks, to you for taking the time to write this.

  3. 7,

    Indeed, VLC, like other media players, has a build in function for taking screenshots and can be an alternative easy solution. The advantage of the method I describe is flexibility: you can take screenshots of anything that appears on your screen and adjust them in a variety of ways in a batch mode πŸ™‚

    – – –

    Sunggyu,

    Yes, the last step of adjusting the pictures can make some difference.

    You are welcome πŸ™‚ A couple of people expressed interest, and I decided to write up a brief screenshot taking tutorial πŸ™‚

  4. @sunggyu: Did you just call me lazy? LOL!

    the quality of the screen shot is always sub-par, but if you actually do the last step to resize and clean your screens, the quality is substantially better.

    Sorry buddy, I would have to disagree with you on this one. Do keep in mind that the quality of any screen shots is solely limited by the quality of the video. If you have a video of lower quality than I do, you’re going to get stuck with a low quality shot, no matter how much you preserve the aspect ratio unless you Photoshop it. Point is, as long as people get high quality videos in their media players, their shots will be high quality as well…unless they distort the size as they insert them on their posts.

    @Kitsune: That’s so true! Built-in screen shot captors don’t give you that much freedom to adjust the area of capture. I have yet to find a way to balance flexibility with quality and ease of use.

  5. 7,

    Please note that Sunggyu made that statement without seeing your post – I approved both posts at the same time. The lazy comment was never directed to you personally. There is nothing wrong with taking screenshots via media player.

    While adjusting an image in Photoshop is definitely better, some settings of Fast Stone Viewer might, potentially, improve the quality. However, I have not investigated all the possibilities.

  6. @7

    Screenshots of anything are subpar to the quality of optimized images using image editing software, was the point I was trying to make. Not just in built-in-screenshots, but scans, pictures, and all images of the like. If you want images that are worthy of publishing, take the time to clean and resize images so they are of upmost quality. And yes, I wasn’t referring to you in my post, as Kitsune said, but I was referring to myself since I do the same. There is nothing wrong with taking screens using VLC or other players, but compared to that same screen shot after it has been optomized using photoshop there is obviously no comparison.

  7. The lazy comment was never directed to you personally. There is nothing wrong with taking screenshots via media player.

    Is that so? Whoopsies then. πŸ™‚ Apologies for jumping into conclusions. Even if it was aimed at me directly, I wouldn’t take anything personally.

    Do let me know if you come across any methods of balancing flexibility, quality and and ease of use. With this post of yours, you nailed down flexibility and quality. In the meantime, I’ll check out this method of yours. Thanks for the post.

  8. 7,

    The set up might be somewhat involved, but the execution will be not much different from the VLC: you’ll use one key to save the screenshots. The only difference is the adjustment of the frame size in the beginning and an additional few seconds for batch resizing and cleaning at the end.

  9. I use GomPlayer to watch anime episodes and screen capture them at the same time with a shortcut key (like this one ^_^).

    My personal difficulty on putting up photos is resizing the pictures on my post neatly (like a thumbnail) without taking so much time so that when visitors click it, they’ll see the full size. Currently, I just drag the corners of a picture to a certain size to make it faster lol XD…

  10. I believe 7 mentioned before that one way to ease the posting of the images is to consume some pasta πŸ˜‰ You could save a template of your most commonly used formats, such as 3×2 arrangement, and change the URLs.

    The fastest way to post images that also link to the high resolution version is the WordPress gallery feature (Add an Image). Once you upload the pictures and insert the gallery into the post, it will automatically generate thumbnails and link them to the original picture. However, it seems that WordPress.com team does not want you to mess with the gallery attributes – they hid the code from the FAQ site, but you can find it in other places πŸ˜›

    What is different in your case is that you like to vary the image sizes and include the comments between batches of images. One way to solve this problem would be to post multiple galleries with various attributes. For example, one gallery will have two columns and the other – one column. However, I don’t know how to separate several galleries for one post. One way to circumvent that problem is to use id attribute, but that might take even more time than that manual resizing πŸ˜›

  11. Thanks for the Tips πŸ™‚

    As for the image above, I’m thinking it’s either Harumi or Kei (Nozomu’s older brother)… Though, I’m really not sure

  12. I set up screencaptor and chose a file destination. I did the ctrl+shift+printscreen thing too. However, when I ctrl+leftclick, the image saves in the size of the selection only the first time. After that everytime I use the repeated capture hotkey, the screenshots are a little bar that i didn’t select. Also, they replace the first screenshot with another one so they end up being all the same(as in, the last screen that I capture).
    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Can someone help me please?

    1. Probably, the repeat capture option should specify how to name new images. It should start from something like img0001 and save the consequent images sequentially.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s