My video collection, whether it be movies i’ve taken, other people have made or ones from sources I can’t remember, its useful to have a thumbnail or pictorial representation of the movie itself. Although the latest version of Finder shows a thumbnail of the movie it can sometimes be difficult to remember what the contents are. This situation is also exacerbated if the thumbnail is a black square, the file name is a string of random letters and Quicklook decides it want to wait to the end of the universe before it will open. To get around this problem I have slowly begun creating screen grabs or “caps” of my movies. This is where screen shots of the movie are taken every x minutes and made into a simple grid pattern. This allows me at a quick overview to see the whole movie, rather than the first frame. Its useful especially for archiving and quickly finding what is happening in a movie.
To do this on a Mac is a simple affair using a program called ScreenGrabber. Its designed to do just this. When you have downloaded and installed the program it can be used to grab frames of a movie quickly and simply. When you are ready to go, drag you movie onto the program. Select your image width, this is the size of the final composite image and not the individual frames. Then select the grid size. A 2×2 grid is excellent for short movies and brief over views, with 3×3 and 4×4 grids suited to most applications. The largest 4×16 is excellent if you have a long movie or want a lot of detail, however I think it produces too many images for an archival or brief overview that I think is best with this program. Finally press capture to let the program run.
The image below is me trying to drive a skid pan car, not that successfully, and the application in action.
When the app if finished it produces an image similar to the one below. I’m surprised you can’t seem more tire smoke.
Overall, the application is useful for creating screen caps of your movies. With the batch function you can set it to run on your entire movie library and it will automatically create the thumbnails for you.
There are some limitations of this app, it doesn’t seem to work with wmv and I have had some problems with other file formats. However look into the setting and have a play.