If you wish to freeze your favorite video frames into high-quality images, Video Screenshot is a free solution that not only saves selected frames as JPEG, BMP, or PNG images, but that can also produce animated GIFs using your screenshot selection. The program is a standalone video player that will play any MP4, AVI, FLV, MKV, 3GP, MOV, VOB, or WMV videos (among others) and will save your favorite images.
Do not let the program’s name confuse you – this app won’t make “screenshots” of your PC screen or of selected areas of it. Video Screenshot is limited to any video playing in the program’s main interface, which is nothing but a simple video player with some basic playback functions. Whatever happens outside that window is none of the app’s business. The functionality that it offers is fairly basic as well – it will play back the selected video and you can click on the “Take Screenshot” button as many times as you wish to create standalone images of your favorite frames. Other similar tools use function keys or shortcut keys to make things even easier, but Video Screenshot doesn’t support any of those. Thus, you just have to point your mouse to the button provided and wait for the frame to appear. The app also offers you a Pause button and a slider to help you stop the video in the desired frame.
But this simple functionality, which can be easily found in a long list of free video players, is not what makes Video Screenshot different from many of them. If you open the settings dialog, you will find that you can set the app to produce single shots or continuous shots. This, in itself, is a feature worth mentioning, as not many players will let you take series of shots automatically, up to the number of your choice and with the interval (in seconds) that you prefer. To top it all off, Video Screenshot uses this function to offer you the possibility of generating animated GIFs automatically out of your series of images and with the delay of your choice and with our without continuous playback capabilities. This is what makes this simple free tool stand out from a number of its competitors.
In the settings window, you will also find options to determine the format, size, aspect ratio, and quality of the images saved, as well as the folder where you want the program to save them. Note, however, that every time the program takes a new screenshot or a series of shots, it will reset this folder to the default, forcing you to come back here to change it again if you happen to want to keep all your screenshots in the same place. This is both useless and annoying for the user, but not as annoying as the fact the program tends to freeze after you’ve created a couple of GIFs, forcing you to shut the process manually.
The app looks promising, and it does its job correctly, but in terms of usability, it does require serious fine-tuning. In the meantime, if you don’t intend to use this app for hours and to produce dozens of GIFs or shots, it might well work for you as it did for me.
- Screen resizes automatically to fit video size
- Saves images as JPEG, BMP, and PNG
- Allows for custom quality settings
- Creates animated GIFs
- Can open subtitle files
- Resets output folder to default after each screenshot
- No support for shortcut keys
- Freezes occasionally