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Take Snapshots of Your Favorite Movie Scenes in VLC

Have you ever wanted to grab a screenshot of your favorite TV or movie scene? Today we’ll show you how to do so with VLC Media Player.

If you don’t have it already, download and install the latest version of VLC (link below). Start playing your movie, and to grab a snapshot, select Video from the menu and click Snapshot.

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When you take a snapshot, by default a preview is displayed at the top left and the folder where the file is saved is briefly displayed on the screen.

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If you enable the Advanced Controls, you can take a snapshot with a click of a button, and advance the video frame by frame to get a more accurate shot. To enable the Advanced Controls, select View and Advanced Controls.

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You’ll see the Advanced Controls buttons appear below the slider. Now just click on the Snapshot button to grab an image.

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You can more easily control the frame you wish to grab by pressing the Frame by Frame button. You can pause the movie when it is near the perfect spot for your snapshot, and then press the Frame by Frame button to advance a single frame at a time.

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By default, the snapshots are saved as PNG files in your My Pictures folder in Windows. You can change those setting in the Preferences.

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First, you’ll need to select All under Show settings at the bottom. Then click on Video on the left. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see the Snapshot section.

Here you can change the format from PNG to JPG, change the directory to which the snapshots are stored, turn on and off the preview, and change the filename prefix. Click Save when finished.

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Now you have nice screenshots of your favorite movie to display as you wish…such as a Desktop Background!

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VLC is an excellent media player that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. In addition to playing almost any media file, it also makes grabbing screenshots of your videos a breeze.

Want to know more about VLC? Check out some of our previous articles like how to rip DVDs and how to set a video as your desktop wallpaper.

Download the Latest version of VLC

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 05/28/10

Comments (10)

  1. Rothgar

    That is exactly what I used to get screen shots of IT Crowd for my wife’s cross stitch pattern. http://1n73r.net/2006/12/02/it-crowd-cross-stitch I wish I would have known about the advanced controls and frame by frame options though. I just kept re-winding and pausing it till I got it right.

  2. Alexandra Jau

    Great guide with just one flaw, it doesn’t work. No mather what I change the screenshot folder to VLC keeps putting the images in the default folder. I have Windows Vista and the latest version of VLC.

  3. Card R

    How do I do this with a Blu-Ray disc?

    Thanks Much.

  4. DigitalGeekery

    @Rothgar – Wow, the cross-stitch is very cool and clever!

    @Alexandra Jau – Not sure what to tell you… Changing directories works perfectly for me in Win7.

    @Card R – Good question. I’ll have to research that and see what I come up with since VLC doesn’t support Blu-ray.

  5. Alec S.

    Make sure you leave the capture width and height at -1 (same as source), then just resize them using a dedicated image processing application. I had changed mine to be half-size and forgot to set it back, so a whole bunch of my stills are now unnecessarily small. :(

    @Alexandra Jau, did you exit VLC and restart it; the settings don’t take effect for the same session.

  6. anno1404

    RE: options not working on Vista.

    I exited VLC and restarted it, is still does not work.

  7. anno1404

    I take that back, it does work, thank you!

  8. yogesh auti

    thanx dude its really nice and easy …
    thank you very much

  9. prem patel

    does anyone know how to change the size of the snapshots i went to the settings and it had an option for image width and height which were set to -1 what should i change them to get wallpaper size images.

  10. Muhammad Afzal

    VLC is an excellent media player and Snapeshot feature is so good but ther is a problem!!
    The quality / resolution of image captured by VLC is too low about 72px. Any one guide me how I am increasing the resolution of the image in VLC

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