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How To Capture A Frame From Any Video File?

How To Capture A Frame From Any Video File?
To capture a screen of any window you have one of two options: either you press the Print Screen key on your key board (or Print Scrn) to capture the whole desktop or press (Alt + Print Scrn) to capture...
  1. Open the video file using your favorite software.
  2. Press (Alt + Print Scrn) together on your key board, now you have copied the active window to the clipboard.
  3. Open Paint by going to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Paint.
  4. Click on Edit -> Paste (Ctrl + V) to paste your captured window, now you should see the picture, goï?½ to File -> Save (Ctrl + S) to save the file.
Print Screen 1

Easy? yes. But what is that? you have the whole window but not the video! Instead you have a black area where the captured frame should be, why?
Because your video card doesn't use your computers memory for playing frames! (Sounds strange?) Instead it uses its own memory to speed things up for much better performance and only uses the area where you see the video as an empty window for the video to appear. When you pressed the (Alt + Print Scrn) keys, you copied the contents of the Ram of your computer assigned to the window, that is why you saw a black area instead of the video frame. Try moving the Paint window and you will see parts of the video frame while moving if you still have the video open (I told you it is just like an open window) but of course it will not be saved with a file, just black area instead of the video frame.

So what shall we do? I will tell you what to do without buying any additional software, just using Windows!

To do that, we have to stop our video card from using its memory and force it to use our computer's ram until we capture the video frames and set it back to normal again, here is how:

  1. Right click on any empty place on your desktop and choose Properties from the popup menu.
  2. The Display properties window will open, now choose the Settings tab (located at the top right).
  3. Click on Advanced button.
    Print Screen 2
  4. A new window will open now choose Troubleshoot tab.
  5. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left (None).
  6. Click on the Apply button for your changes to take effect without closing the window.
    Print Screen 3
  7. Open the video file and capture the frame by doing the above four steps again.
  8. We now can see a video frame instead of this black area, now save the file.
  9. Repeat the top four steps to capture as many frames as you like.
    Print Screen 4
  10. Move the hardware slider to right (Full), press Ok and Ok again in the Display Properties window to revert every thing back to normal and close all open windows.

Note that these steps should work with any video player and any video file type, I have just used Windows Media player as an example.

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