How to get a picture from a video

How to get a picture from a video

Do you have a video and you have to get a picture from it? In this article we explain how to do it both in Windows and Mac. Do not worry, capturing a picture from a video is easier than you think.

In this article we tell you:

How to capture a picture from a video with the VLC

In a previous article we explained how to play any video format by using the VLC Media Player and how to download and install it. Remember that the VLC works both in Windows and Mac. In that article we also told you how to use the VLC to convert between video and audio formats.

This time, we show you how to use the VLC to capture a frame from a video:

  1. If you still do not have the VLC, what are you waiting for? Download and install it as we showed you in our article How to play any video format.
  2. Open the video that you want with the VLC and hit the pause.
  3. In the “View” menu, click on “Advanced controls”. Now you will have the “Frame by frame” button (in the image below we show you this clearly).
  4. Set the play position approximately to where the picture that you want to capture is.
  5. With the “Frame by frame” button, keep clicking to go ahead every single frame with every click, until you have reached the exact picture that you want.
  6. Go to “Video” menu and click on “Take Snapshot”.
  7. 7. By default, the captured picture will be saved into your “Pictures” folder. The picture taken from the video will be a .png file with a name starting with “vlcsnap-” (which stands for VLC snapshot).
How to capture a picture from a video with VLC

Changing the VLC settings for taking snapshots from videos

If you prefer to save the snapshots taken with the VLC into a different folder, or if you prefer to save them with .jpg format instead of .png, you can change the settings:

  1. Open the VLC.
  2. Go to “Tools” menu and click on “Preferences”.
  3. Click on the “Video” icon on the left.
  4. You will see the the “Video snapshots” settings at the bottom (you might have to scroll down).
  5. In “Directory”, choose the folder where you want the captured pictures to be saved. to.
  6. In “Prefix”, you can change the prefix for the file names if you want.
  7. In “Format”, you can choose “png”, “jpg” or “tiff”.
VLC settings for taking snapshots from videos

How to get a picture from a video with QuickTime player in Mac

Remember that the VLC Media Player works in Mac too and it will allow you to play most video and audio formats.

However, if you have a Mac and you can play your video with QuickTime (remember that QuickTime is the default player in Mac), you can capture a picture from the video directly with it:

  1. Open the video with QuickTime (by default, you will only have to double click on the video).
  2. Hit the pause.
  3. Set the play position approximately to where the picture that you want is. If you have a Magic Mouse or a Trackpad, you will find it very handy to play ahead and play back just by swiping your finger faster or slower.
  4. With right and left cursor keys, go frame by frame until you reach the picture which you want to get from the video.
  5. Go to “Edit” menu and click on “Copy”, or just press Cmd+C keys.
  6. Now you have the picture taken from the video on the clipboard. Do not worry if you had changed the QuickTime window size, on the clipboard you will have a copy of the picture with the original video frame size.
  7. Now launch the Preview application.
    • Um... Don't you know how to? Very easy, just go to Launchpad and type in “Preview”.
    • If you have an older version of OSX and you do not have the Launchpad, you can go to the Spotlight (or press Cmd+Space) and type in “Preview”.
  8. In the “File” menu, click on “New from clipboard”. Now you have the picture that you had got from the video.
  9. Go to “File” menu and click on “Save”. Save the picture where you want and with the format that you prefer.
How to get a picture from a video with QuickTime

How to get a picture from a video in Android

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, you can capture a picture from a video directly:

  1. Play the video in your Android smartphone or tablet.
  2. Hit the pause.
  3. Set the play position to the picture that you want.
  4. Tap on the tiny icon with a camera at the top. (The player interface might be different depending on the Android version that you have).
  5. Now you have the image captured from the video.

How to get a picture from a video in iPhone or iPad

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can get an image from a video directly:

  1. Play the video in your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Hit the pause and set the play position to where the picture that you want is.
  3. Tap on any part of the video screen so the player controls will be hidden. Turn your iPhone or iPad to landscape, so the video can take up most of the screen.
  4. Press the lock/power button and the home button at the same time.
  5. Now you have the picture taken from the video.

Remember that videos have author rights

Probably you are reading this article because you have a video recorded by yourself with your camera or smartphone, but if you are using a video which has not been made by you, remember that videos are subject to author rights. Keep this in mind, especially if your intention is to publish on the Internet the picture that you have got from a video, or if you are going to use it with commercial purposes.

The video which appears in the images of this article corresponds to the “Tears of Steel” short film, produced and published by the Blender Foundation (mango.blender.org) under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

Do you still have doubts?

If you still have doubts about how to get a picture from a video, we encourage you to participate by leaving your comments, and if you have found this article useful, why don't you share it in your social network by using the buttons below?

If you have doubts about how to do things in your Windows PC, your Mac, your smartphone or your tablet, feel free to leave your queries, we will write articles about the most frequently asked questions.

Have you found this article useful? Share it: