Screen Captures

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Like many of you, I think a well-chosen screen cap can add a lot to the display of a replica prop. And caps are obviously an invaluable research tool for recreating a prop in the first place.

So here comes my FNG question:

How, exactly, do you go about capturing a frame from a DVD into your computer? Are you using a particular type of software and, if so, what? Is one program better than another? :confused

I'm sure that this "how to" topic must have been covered on the RPF many times before, so I searched for it in the archived threads, and then across the board in general. But my keywords were either too specific (no return on the search) or too general (pages and pages of material, a lot of which I sifted through without finding an answer. I did, however, find an excellent tutorial by Montagar on how to correct an anamorphic cap :thumbsup ).

Many of you RPFers are masters of the grab (still talking about screen caps, here :p ). Can you help a newbie out with a tutorial, or point me the way to the appropriate thread?
 

ob1al

Sr Member
I play my DVD's on the PC with Cyberlink PowerDVD. It has a built in screen cap facility so its as easy as pressing a button, really.
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by ob1al+Feb 4 2006, 07:10 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ob1al @ Feb 4 2006, 07:10 PM)</div>
I play my DVD's on the PC with Cyberlink PowerDVD. It has a built in screen cap facility so its as easy as pressing a button, really.
[/b]
Pressing a button. I can do that. :D

Thanks for the response, ob1al.

As it happens, I'm on a Mac PowerBook G4. Apple's proprietary DVD software is pretty basic and doesn't include any screen cap facility, at least not as far as I can tell. :( But it's interesting to know that some DVD software offers screen cap capability as a basic feature. I didn't know that.

EDIT:<!--QuoteBegin-phase pistol
@Feb 4 2006, 07:23 PM
Snapz Pro on the Mac with OSX. :thumbsup
Thanks, phase.

Please keep the info coming... both for us Mac users, and for others who are on PCs. :)
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ah. A brother Mac user. :D

Yeah the Mac DVD player suxx. But I use it since it gives better frame-by-frame control. (You still can't BACK UP by frames unfortunately... )

They say that you can take grabs in VLC ("Video LAN Client") using the regular OSX screen grab function

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

...but I find that VLC is laggy and not very controllable.

That's the key to frame grabs... isolating it down to the ONE single best frame in a sequence. Then it's all about processing in Photoshop. I use Levels and Curves to "correct" the image and remove color casts and lighting problems. Then its sharpening and so forth (I usually pop into LAB mode for these corrections, then it's back into RGB to save out). I try to compress the JPG as much as possible too, without incurring artifacts and distortion. I shoot for 50-100K on the final JPG.

Good luck.

- Karl
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for the great tips, oh brother Mac user. :D

Originally posted by phase pistol@Feb 4 2006, 07:46 PM
You still can't BACK UP by frames unfortunately...
That particular shortcoming has always really bothered me about Apple's DVD player. Obviously designed by someone who doesn't understand the importance of watching the same frames again and again. :)

I've now dowloaded VLC through the link you kindly provided and have already started experimenting with Mac's regular OSX grab function. In the course of doing so, I also discovered something in my applications folder called "Image Capture," apparently meant for grabbing images from devices attached to the computer. I wonder if I can connect my Japanese DVD player to my computer and capture frames using this feature. That would effectively double my library of "capturable" DVDs, as half of my collection is coded Region 1 and the other half Region 2. (I watch the Region 1 DVDs using my Mac.)

Originally posted by phase pistol@Feb 4 2006, 07:46 PM
That's the key to frame grabs... isolating it down to the ONE single best frame in a sequence. Then it's all about processing in Photoshop. I use Levels and Curves to "correct" the image and remove color casts and lighting problems. Then its sharpening and so forth (I usually pop into LAB mode for these corrections, then it's back into RGB to save out). I try to compress the JPG as much as possible too, without incurring artifacts and distortion. I shoot for 50-100K on the final JPG.
I have much to learn. :confused Now I see your avatar in a new light. Looks as if the science officer is correcting some of the lighting problems in a cap from "Catspaw." :lol

Thanks again for the great leads, phase.
 

mikajedi

Well-Known Member
Hi, I have also Cyberlink PowerDVD on my PC,
I just click on the small camera (during the movie)
then I can choose by clicking on the right button (onthe small camera icon)to select a file
where I can add my pics (ex : my pictures )
The pictures are in bitmap, I use paint, I
choose "save as with the JPEG format and that's it)
Here's a pic I took today,

Here's another pic, It was too dark so I have added more light,
There might be too much light for you because my screen has some problems.
Anyway I can zoom , and improve every details in all the movies,
this is cool . :)
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by mikajedi@Feb 4 2006, 10:02 PM
Hi, I have also Cyberlink PowerDVD on my PC,
I can zoom , and improve every details in all the movies,
Cyberlink PowerDVD lets you zoom and clean up without exporting the image to Photoshop? Cool. I wonder if Snapz Pro can do that on the Mac.

The captures you posted look great, mikajedi.

Guess I'm going to have to get me some software... :D
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by temponaut@Feb 4 2006, 06:29 AM
In the course of doing so, I also discovered something in my applications folder called "Image Capture," apparently meant for grabbing images from devices attached to the computer.  I wonder if I can connect my Japanese DVD player to my computer and capture frames using this feature.  That would effectively double my library of "capturable" DVDs, as half of my collection is coded Region 1 and the other half Region 2.  (I watch the Region 1 DVDs using my Mac.)
[snapback]1175758[/snapback]​
Not sure if that would work, but you could try it. Now me, I upgraded new flash RAM to the internal mac DVD drive, so now the region can be reset unlimited times. ;)

Not a mod for the faint of heart. You can "brickify" your DVD drive if you screw it up.

Plus you have to keep running a separate app to manually reset the "number of region changes you have left".

This is real bozo behavior for a Mac BTW... as I understand it, PCs have no trouble with multiple region play. Thanks Apple. :unsure

- k
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by temponaut@Feb 5 2006, 03:36 AM
Cyberlink PowerDVD lets you zoom and clean up without exporting the image to Photoshop?  Cool.  I wonder if Snapz Pro can do that on the Mac.
[snapback]1176434[/snapback]​
To zoom in the Mac screen, go to the System Preferences control panel, the "Universal Access" module, and turn on "Zoom".

Now when you hit Command-Option-"plus sign" (that is, the "+" key), you zoom in. Same thing with minus sign to zoom out.

Then when you invoke Snapz Pro, you can grab the zoomed in area. :D

And Snapz Pro can be set to take screen captures in several formats, including JPG, PNG and PSD. Change this in the Preferences tab while Snapz Pro is running.

As far as screwing with the video image (brightness, contrast, etc) you can't do it in Snapz Pro, but try the "Video Color" controls under the Window menu in DVD Player. You can adjust the video picture first and then take your grab with Snapz.

- k
 

mikajedi

Well-Known Member
Hi, temponaut. In fact I just take some pics with Cyberlink PowerDVD.
(But I can't clean up a pic with this software)
After, I change the format in JPEG (simply with paint, I save the target as JPEG ) because it's too heavy in bitmap.
Then with my camera software (photo impression3) I can zoom & clean up what I want. It is not photoshop,
but If you have it you can do what you want.

Originally posted by temponaut@Feb 5 2006, 08:36 AM
Cyberlink PowerDVD lets you zoom and clean up without exporting the image to Photoshop?  Cool.  I wonder if Snapz Pro can do that on the Mac.

The captures you posted look great, mikajedi. 

Guess I'm going to have to get me some software...  :D
[snapback]1176434[/snapback]​
 

midrifter

New Member
Great tips everyone. I use ACDSee Photo software to clean up my screen shots. It is extremely easy and user friendly.
 
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