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How can I make a simple capture from a video. Preferably from the command line?

Idea: take 9 snapshots for 9 even placed (on the timeline) times, and save them as JPGs


Movie length = 10 min
T1= snapshot of 1 min
T2= snapshot of 2 min
T9= snapshot of 9 min
   |   |
 T1| T2| T3
 T4| T5| T6
 T7| T8| T9
   |   |

What's the best program to do this? Are there any opensource programs?

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2 Answers 2

ffmpeg is an excellent open source tool for manipulating videos, including extracting frames.

To extract single frame from specific timestamp you can use command like

ffmpeg -i video.avi -r 1  -t 00:01:00 -f image2 image%05d.png

-r is framerate. You can also use command like

ffmpeg -i video.avi -r 1/1440 -f image2 image%05d.png

to get one frame every one minute (assuming 24FPS video). The %05d means that ordinal number of each thumbnail image should be formatted using 5 digits.

If you want to combine images as montage (your grid), you can use imagemagick after extracting frames using ffmpeg.

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It's not a command line program, but you may also use qframecatcher.

For ubuntu/debian the requirements are: sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev libxine-dev build-essential

wget http://download.berlios.de/qframecatcher/qframecatcher-0.4.1.tar.gz
tar xzf qframecatcher-0.4.1.tar.gz
cd qframecatcher/src

Source: http://blog.radevic.com/2008/06/how-to-create-movie-or-video-frame.html

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