How to Extract Still Images from DVD Movies

How do you capture picture frames from DVD videos for printing ?

The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of screen capture is the good old “Print Screen key” (that’s generally in top right side with the label PrtScn) – you will play the video or DVD inside Windows Media Player, hit the pause button when the playhead reaches that scene that you want to capture and hit PrtScn hoping that the scene image is now in the clipboard.

You open MS Paint (or any image editor) and paste the clipboard image but will be disappointed because all you see in a dark black image instead of the actual video frame.

The reason is simple - When the video plays on your computer, it is actually displayed on a different surface/layer called overlay that is produced by hardware acceleration. When you take a standard screen capture, you’re capturing the regular surface where the video isn’t displayed. That’s the reason why PrintScreen will give a blank output.

Related: Extract Still Photographs from Wedding DVD Videos for Printing

Don’t worry as there are two easy options to capture images from videos.

The easiest route is to download a third-party media player like GOM which has an inbuilt screen capture feature. If the video is too dark or light, GOM will let you adjust the brightness and contrast before the screen capture. You can also change the image quality and file format.

The other reason why I recommend GOM Media Player is because it has a Burst Capture feature that lets you capture screenshots continuously - you no longer have adjust the video play-head to get the exact video frame.

If you don’t want to shift to another Media Player, turn off the option in Windows Media Player that says “Use Overlay”. Also disable Hardware Acceleration in your system and the Print Screen key will then work again.

Details in our previous article - Capture Pictures from DVD Movie Scenes in Windows Media Player

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


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