Digital Tool: VLC Frame Extraction

I decided to write a brief tutorial on how to extract video frames in VLC media player. This is a tool that can prove useful if you’d like to create a GIF out of your favorite video or movie, or if you want to just save a batch of screen shots from the best scene. I used this tool to create a series of glitched GIFs from a fantasy film. (Read about it here!)

First, you’ll need to install VLC media player and download the video or movie of your choice. Once you have everything needed, open VLC and go to Preferences, then select ;Show All’ near the bottom left corner. A list should appear in the dialog box, and from there you should select ‘Video’, then ‘Filter’. A series of boxes will appear, and you’ll want to check ‘Scene Video Filter’ to enable the image-saving setting. Once you do this, return to the left menu list and display the drop down menu for ‘Filter’. Select ‘Scene Filter’.

Once you’re here, establish how many frames per second you want to save in the ‘Recording Ratio’ text box, and indicate the location where you’d like your frames to be saved in the ‘Directory Path Prefix’ text box. I’ve indicated in my example that I’d like one our of every 2 frames to be saved to my Pictures folder, but feel free to play around with the FPM; the lower the number, the more image files will be saved to your computer. When I create GIFs, I usually set it to 2-3.

Once your settings are saved, hit File and open the movie/video and play it through. Once finished, you should have all of your frames! Yay!

BEWARE! You should go back to Preferences > Filters and uncheck ‘Scene Video Filter’ so that VLC doesn’t continue saving images everytime you watch something.

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