Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to get a still image from a digital video I've taken.

A quick search has revealed these two possibilities,

Any suggestions on which might be better or alternatives?

I'd be using Windows OS

In the end I used Windows Live Movie Maker

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I like VLC and have it installed so for ease of use I would probably use that. If I didn't find those results satisfactory I would probably attempt to use ffmpeg with one of the autobuilds from tripp.

Syntax as follows:

ffmpeg -i foo.avi -ss 00:01:43 -t 1 -s 1280x720 -f mjpeg bar.jpg

That should take one shot at 1 minute 43 seconds and output a jpg, at 1280x720

share|improve this answer

VLC has a snapshot item on the Tools menu, which will take a snapshot of the video and save it as a bmp file.

How can I take screenshots?

To take a snapshot of the video displayed by VLC, you just need to press the pre-defined snapshot hotkey:

* Windows / Linux / Unix: Ctrl+Alt+S
* Mac OS X: Command+Alt+s

To change it, go to Preferences -> Interface -> Hotkeys settings, check Advanced options, and set Take video snapshot.

You can also take a snaphot via the menu Video -> Snapshot.

To change the snapshot format or directory, go to Preferences -> Video.

share|improve this answer

"Alt-Prt Scr" with the video player's window active to copy the window to clipboard.

"Shift-Prt Scr" will capture the entire desktop.

Paste it into your favorite image editor (ie: MS Paint) for cropping, etc.

Hope that helps...

share|improve this answer
snapshots of videos using overlays will result in a big black snapshot if this is used. – Sathya Feb 11 '11 at 6:14
True, but since there was lack of detail as to which kind of 'digital video' was in question I figured I'd offer the easiest answer, as it's often an option the user may not be aware their 'Windows OS' has. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 12 '11 at 3:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.