If you have a video that you need to extract a still frame from, you’ll find few free tools for the job. That said, free tools aren’t non-existent, they’re just poorly advertised. Here are three, easy and free ways to extract a frame from a video on Windows 10.
This method is by far the easiest and you likely have thought of it yourself. Play your video in your preferred video player and pause it at the right moment. Use any screenshot tool of your choice to capture everything on your screen. You can use Win+Prntscrn on Windows 10 to take a screenshot which is saved to the Pictures library. Make sure the video player controls are hidden when you’re taking the screenshot.
Movies & TV app
If you don’t want to take screenshots, you can use the Movies & TV app instead. Open the video that you want to extract frames from in the Movies & TV app. Go to the part that you want to extract an image of. Click the edit button at the bottom. From the menu that opens, select Save photo from video.
This will open the Photos app. You can use the arrows to go forward or backward frame by frame. When you’re ready to save a photo, click the Save a photo button.
Use VLC Player
VLC player lets you extract a frame from a video. Before you can use the app to extract frames, you should trim your video down to the exact part you want to extract frames from. You will need to play the entire video in order to get the frames so it will take time.
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Assuming you have the video ready, you can start setting VLC up to extract frames from a video. The first thing you should do is create a folder where the frames should be extracted to. Copy the path to this folder to your clipboard.
Open VLC player with admin rights. Go to Tools>Preferences. At the bottom, select the ‘All’ button. This will expand the Preferences window and you’ll get a column on the left with loads of more options.
Scroll down to the Video section in this left column and select Filters. Do not expand Filters just yet. Select it first and it will reveal a list of additional options to select. From these options, select the ‘Scene video filter’, and click Save.
Once you’re done, you can expand the Filters options, and select Scene Filter. Here, the first thing you need to do is enter the folder path you copied earlier in the ‘Directory path prefix’ field. Next, you should change the Image Width and Image Height fields to match the resolution of the video.
The final thing you need to change is the ‘Recording ratio’. By default, it’s set to 50. The recording ratio is something that you’re going to need to play with a bit. This has to do with the frame rate of the video you’re extracting frames from. If you want to extract a certain number of frames from a given number of frames, this is how you set it.
Click Save once you’re done, and close VLC player.
You’re ready to extract frames now. Open VLC player with admin rights. Go to Media>Open File. Select the video and let it play. You can minimize VLC player but you have to let the video play to the end. Don’t interrupt it.
Once the video completes, open the folder that you created for the frames and the files ought to be there. If there’s nothing in the folder, it’s time to start experimenting with the Recording ratio.
VLC extracted 13 images from a 5 second video recorded at 30fps with the Recording ratio set at 10.