Log in

17 March 2007 @ 12:26 am
VLC automatic screencapping tutorial  

Welcome everyone to my humble graphics journal! Tonight we will go literally step by step as I teach you how to automatically screencap with VLC. (i.e., the computer does it for you.)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me; I'll try my best to answer them.

So to start off with, open VLC. You should get a screen similar to this:

See where it says “Settings” near the top? Click that and a pop down window will appear; scroll down until you see “Preferences” and click on that.

You will be acquainted with a window such as this:

See where it says “Video” on the left hand panel? Click on it; then click the “+” to the left of it to expand the options in the panel.

You should get a window such as this:

Now click on “Output modules” on the left hand panel underneath “Filters” underneath “Video” Click on it, then click the “+” to the left of it to expand the options in the panel. You should get something like this:

See the little “Advanced Options” text near the bottom right of the panel? Click the check-box next to it and this is what you should see:

See near the top where it says, “Video Output Module” and says, “Default” in the drop down window? Click the drop down window and change it to “Image Video Output”, giving you this screen:

Now see on the left hand panel underneath “Output Modules” it says, “Image file”? Click on that and you should see a screen with multiple options.

I would show you this screen but I don’t know what the original options were, so thus I cannot. Do not be shocked as if I skipped a step when I show you the next picture. xD

Change “Image Format” to “PNG” or keep it as is; change the “Recording Ratio” to whatever you desire, though 20-25 or more is usually good. Finally, change the file name prefix to whatever you prefer; I change it depending on the movie I’m capping; for instance right now I’m capping Dead Man’s Chest and so for my prefix I wrote “dmc-” Do not forget to add the dash or else your image files are one big sloppy mess.

This is what my screen looked like after I changed all the options applicable:

So finally click “Save” at the bottom left and you should be back to this screen:

Now see where it says, “File” at the top of the screen? Click that and then scroll down to “Open Disc” when a pop down menu appears. You should be greeted with this screen:

See where it says “File” again near the top as the left-most tab? Click that and you should see this screen:

See where it says, “Open” then to the right says “Browse”? Click “Browse” and you should be greeted with a screen similar to this IF YOU HAVE A PC! If you have a Mac, I’m not sure what the exact screen should look like; though probably something similar to this:

***NOTE: For MAC users: A heads up, with the latest version, on a Mac, VLC will save the file to the 'Macintosh HD' instead of within VLC files.

For WINDOWS users: Click “My Computer” and you should see something similar to this (MAKE SURE THE DISC YOU WANT TO CAP IS IN THE DRIVE!):


Click on your disc; as in this case I clicked the one that says, “PIRATES_OF_THE_CARIBBEAN_2” It should come up with a window that has two folders; one labeled “AUDIO_TS” and the other labeled “VIDEO_TS”. Obviously we are clicking on “VIDEO_TS” and you should get something similar to this:


See where it says, “VIDEO_TS” again near the top, only this time as an icon with a little traffic cone next to it? Click on THIS not anything else or it will NOT work. (Believe me; I’ve made this mistake multiple times.)

After you clicked on that icon you should be greeted with this screen:

See where it says, “Disc” near the top, the second most left tab? Click on that and you should be greeted with a window.

Again, I did not take a picture of this window but fear not; it just is a window with a lot of options; just follow my next instructions and you should be fine. :)

*Do not change ANY of the options except for “Title” to “1” on EVERYTHING and ONLY change “Chapter” for Avatar or other EPISODE related DVD’s; for MOVIES keep the “Chapter” at 0 or else you will only screencap THAT scene and the movie and screencapping will stop; believe me I’ve done this and it took me awhile to figure out what I was doing wrong so don’t repeat my mistake. (Example: If you are screencapping Avatar and want to screencap the 3rd episode of that DVD; change “Chapter” to 3)

***NEW NOTE (12/28/08)** I just realized that some DVDs are REALLY stupid and just opening the video does not guarantee screencaps---I had to go to Windows Media Player and play the video to figure out that The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian doesn't really start until Title 58. And I spent over an HOUR trying to figure out where it capped, only to fail ever time, trying title 0 and 1 and variations of that with different chapters and so forth.

So opening the video in Windows Media Player (FIRST) will guarantee you where the video actually is first before you waste time in VLC--that'll probably help a bunch of people; I know it helped me.

These were the options I ended up with; yours may be different depending on whether or not you're capping a movie like I am or an episode such as one in Avatar or something:

Finally click “Ok” and your movie/episode should start in about 30 or so seconds; be patient as depending on how fast your computer is it will be faster or slower.

And one last note: DO NOT FREAK OUT IF YOU ONLY HAVE AUDIO AFTER GOING THROUGH ALL THESE STEPS-that is how it is; only audio plays when VLC screencaps things.

Finally, again, if something doesn’t work or if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.


EDIT: Here are some added things that I forgot the first time around; thanks to all who helped me with these! :)


So basically--if you have a Mac it'll be different--you have a "C" drive (mine's under "my computer"), right, with all your program files? And you can go under program files and see all the programs that are on your computer with their respective folders, right?

Well, go all the way down till you see "Video LAN"; click on it, then click, "VLC".

THAT is where all your automatic caps go; and THAT is the only place they go.

(You should see all your screencaps there; cap again and they will all pop up there You can move them to a different folder if you like or delete them once you're done with them.)

:::::SIZES OF CAPS:::::

If you put the size you want the caps to be into the image width & image heigth, it comes out that size instead of the 720x480. I did this cap of how I did it, with the DVD I am currently capping. (It also makes it so you can make the caps bigger than the aspect ratio)

i.e., see the "Image Width/Image Height" then see the little drop down box that says "1024" and "576" in the screencap above? That's what you change--if you want the default settings back, put "-1" in both of the boxes. (That makes the size of the caps whatever the normal size of video is.)

Just click the speaker to mute it I think, or click one of the green bars closest to the right on the main screen of VLC to either lower or mute the volume if you don't want to listen to the movie when it's automatically capping/rather prefer listening to other music and so forth.

LINK. By adela_nightmoon.

Anything I missed? Be sure to tell me so I can add it to this tutorial! Any questions? Just ask and I'll try to help you as best as I can.

Current Location: In VLC
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Pirates of the Caribbean
Awapuhi: mulanpoipu on March 17th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Well. Heh.


(Know what I should put in for Episode 1? HALP. It just keeps replaying the menu. I'll have a zillion of the same caps.)
Awapuhipoipu on March 17th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Scrath that, it didn't even cap a thing. I have serious issues.
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 17th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poipu on March 17th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 17th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poipu on March 18th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 18th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poipu on March 18th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 19th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - poipu on March 19th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 19th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emeralddreamz on April 1st, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on April 1st, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emeralddreamz on April 2nd, 2007 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on April 2nd, 2007 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kelly: Tamaki D:alpaca4eva on March 20th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
Heeyyy! Thanks for the tutorial, but does it cap stuff that you don't have on DVD too? Say a downloaded episode of Naruto?

*listens to an episode of Lost as VLC screencaps... hopefully*
Lindsayamethyststeam on March 20th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
If you can open it with VLC; then yes. =)

Also, one last thing I forgot to add in the tutorial is that the caps are under a folder under "My Computer" then "Drive C" then "Program Files" then "Video Lan" then "VLC" and the caps will be in that folder. They'll appear nowhere else but there, must as you try. xD
(no subject) - alpaca4eva on March 20th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 20th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alpaca4eva on March 20th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on March 20th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - awry on June 3rd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on June 3rd, 2008 01:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - awry on June 3rd, 2008 02:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
I refuse to give up my obsessionendlessdeep on April 1st, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Ack! Your entry at icontutorial was deleted before I could ask my question. thank goodness I saw it before that happened. Because I was wondering just today how to make screencaps in VLC.

And here's my question after reading your wonderful tutorial here.

What if I am not capping from a DVD, but from a VLC media file (.avi). Would the settings or anything else be different in VLC?

Thanks so much. :)
Lindsayamethyststeam on April 1st, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
The mod got mad at me for posting that just because it's a large community and it was an off-topic question. x_x

But where else was I supposed to post it? Besides; caps have to do with icons, so it's not completely off topic. -.-

Oh and no problem. =)

I'm sure the settings would pretty much be the same; with the title at 0 and the chapter at 0; I'd try it with the same settings first to see if it works (I'm not sure myself; sorry D:) and if it doesn't; either try to change some of the settings or come back here and I'll try to help you. =)
(no subject) - endlessdeep on April 1st, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on April 2nd, 2007 04:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - endlessdeep on April 2nd, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on April 6th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
S.: matthew macfadyenartic_fox on April 6th, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
Question! :D

I haven't actually tried it yet, because I just downloaded the program, but I was wondering if this only auto caps. I'm after something that manually caps - ie: I can find a shot I like, and then cap it. Does this program do that, and if so, how the hell do I make it work? ;P
Lindsayamethyststeam on April 6th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
No, no no! It most DEFINITELY does regular caps too. =DD

If you want me to show you how to do that too; I can make a tutorial on that today sometime hopefully as well and post it here. ^_^ (It'll be a shorter tutorial than this; it doesn't take that long to figure how to take manual caps ^^)
(no subject) - artic_fox on April 6th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
how do you manually cap things? - (Anonymous) on October 10th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Kerie-dono: HYD - Full supportawkwardnormalcy on April 22nd, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this tutorial ^^ I just have one question that you might've answered but I missed it ^^; if so I apologize >.>, anyways, I want to screencap a episode thats saved on my computer, its not on disc, how do I do that?
Lindsayamethyststeam on April 26th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
No, it's alright. =) I've never screencapped an episode on my computer, but I think you should be able to open it up in VLC through the same methods here only going to the place where it's saved; when you downloaded VLC it should have changed a lot of the file formats of video files to VLC accessable files but I dunno about downloadable files.

Sorry if this doesn't work. :x
DragonLady981: Lilo & Stitchdragonlady981 on April 25th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
I don't know if you know this or not, but it's something you should add if you want to. I get a lot of questions about it. I didn't see it in the tut. Great tut by the way it is how I learned to do it. Thanks!

If you put the size you want the caps to be into the image width & image heigth, it comes out that size instead of the 720x480. I did this cap of how I did it, with the DVD I am currently capping. (It also makes it so you can make the caps bigger than the aspect ratio) :)

Click to make it grow....

Sorry if you already knew or covered this.
Lindsayamethyststeam on April 26th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
Oh no, I didn't know that! =D Thanks for telling me and I'll add it to the tutorial when I get time. ^__^
nicspaper on April 25th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
just what I needed! thanks!
DragonLady981: Lilo & Stitchdragonlady981 on April 25th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Glad I could help. :)
Rachel Marie Smith: Arashi catsfilmingtea on April 27th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
I love this! It helped me out a lot. Though I need some help. I want it to make a TON of caps. It's only make a few every handful of seconds or so. Do you know how I can set it so it caps almost every shot?

Thank you so much!! **hugs**

- Rachel

PS I'm trying to make screen-caps for Arashi's new PV "We Can Make It" You can download it if you would like. It's a great PV!!
Lindsayamethyststeam on May 27th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)

^See the "recording ratio" thing in the cap above? See how I put "25"? The lower the number, the more the caps; the higher the number the less the caps. :)) Usually I just experiment with the number til I find the number that works, though I usually keep it on 20 or 25 because both produce a solid number of good caps. ^^
(no subject) - catsfilmingtea on May 28th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on May 28th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
aimenicianaimenician on May 1st, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
blurry pics
I tried the tutorial and it worked beautifully for my anime. Thank you so much for writing it.
When I tried the movie I wanted all the pictures were blurry. Out of 500 caps not a single one was clear even the ones with no movement in them. Is that normal?
Lindsayamethyststeam on May 27th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
Re: blurry pics
Huh, that's weird. o.0 That's enver happened to me but either a) you had it set to jpegs and they tend to sometimes come out bad when capping or b) the photo ratio you used was really small (like how I picked the recording ratio to be "25" here: http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r71/amethyststeam/captured7.jpg)

If it's not one of those, then I don't know; only a few out of 6000 some caps of Pirates came out blurry, and those were the action shots. :-/
webbers: Costumes | Swingwebbers on May 30th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! It was exactly what I needed, and it seems to be working like a charm.
Lindsayamethyststeam on May 31st, 2007 05:57 am (UTC)
No problem, glad it helped. :DD
Marymorning_town on June 1st, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
It seems kinda obvious, but maybe you could mention that if people don't want to listen to the move they can turn off the sound by clicking the green bars to the right of the little speaker, and dragging them to the left. :3
Marymorning_town on June 1st, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
Or you can just click the speaker.
XP I didn't realize that at first.
(no subject) - amethyststeam on June 1st, 2007 03:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Dia Aren Mariedia_aren_marie on June 2nd, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've had mem'ed for a while but I finally got around to trying it, and it's a lifesaver~! ♥ No more pausing every few seconds, and scrolling back if I missed, then rinse repeat, just to get a good cap~ XD

One question~ :O In Recording ratio, for example if I put 20, would that make less number of caps than if I put 25, or vice versa?
Lindsayamethyststeam on June 2nd, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
No problem. :DD Glad it helped; and I most certainly know what you mean about going back and taking such a long time to get a perfect cap. XD

For the recording ratio, I'm almost 100% positive that 20 gives you more caps than 25. I could be wrong, but pretty sure. ^_^'
acoustics1220: !!!acoustics1220 on July 7th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
what's VLC?
Lindsayamethyststeam on July 10th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
Check google. ;)
Luthyluthienaogondor on July 21st, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO much for making and posting this! ^.^ It's the easiest and most useful one I've found. I used it to cap one of my movies, and it was all very easy and smooth and... yay. XD
I haven't tried it with music videos yet, but I will soon.
Thanks again!
Lindsay: galadrielamethyststeam on July 22nd, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
Re: Huzzah!
No problem. :)) Glad you found it and appreciate it. ^^
Re: Huzzah! - luthienaogondor on July 22nd, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Huzzah! - amethyststeam on August 9th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
IcyWhispericywhisper on August 17th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Definitely be crediting you, you've helped me so much!
Thank you!
Lindsay: jack//potc//ohyeaamethyststeam on August 18th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
No problem, glad it helped you! :D
belle98 on October 1st, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
Thank You!
I have been looking all over the place for some explaination on how to do caps. You just made my day!

Thank you so much! This is a life saver.

Thank You!!!!!
Lindsayamethyststeam on October 1st, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank You!
No problem; glad it helped! =D
Allison: twilight [lion]vapor on October 28th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so so so much for this! :) I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I've been needing an autocapping program for a while. ;) Thanks babe.
Lindsay: dudley//hp//quoteamethyststeam on November 29th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
No problem. =)) It was helpful to me; I knew it'd be very helpful to others. ^_^
sunisasunisa on November 4th, 2007 09:24 am (UTC)
That's excactly what I searched for, for such a long time. Just Great. Thx so much.
Lindsay: hermione//hp//riddikulusamethyststeam on November 29th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
No problem. :)) Glad it helps. ^^
carolineraawwwwr on November 27th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
thanks a lot!! :D
Lindsay: azula//avatar//shipamethyststeam on November 29th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
No problem. :)
Allison: keira [pink]vapor on January 30th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Helloooo. I recently got a new laptop and it has Vista, and just tonight I felt like capping SATC, but I'm having a wittle twubble. XP

I'm pretty sure the program is capping okay, it's just locating my caps. Here are screencaps of everything I plugged in:
image video output
opening the disc
opening the disc #2
i go to computer
select the local disk
go to program files
video lan
and no screen caps!
Do you know where I went wrong or anything? Thanks so much for any help. :)

ladykittykatwku: bambi tiredladykittykatwku on March 1st, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
I'm having the same problem, did you ever figure it out?
(no subject) - vapor on March 1st, 2008 05:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladykittykatwku on March 1st, 2008 06:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
reijamirareijamira on February 2nd, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)

I found your post with Google and I'm so happy I did!! I was so looking for a way to cap my BLEACH episodes and you helped me so very much with this tut!! My VLC makes a lot of caps as I'm writing this! *happy dance* Thanks for sharing!
Lindsay: eowyn//lotr//whiteladyamethyststeam on February 11th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Wow; my post on google? *_*

Glad you found it and it helped, though! =D
(no subject) - reijamira on February 11th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amethyststeam on February 15th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
because I'm fun like that: MOVIES- (STM) OMG YAY!marishna on February 4th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
I've been using VLC to cap forever but I've never been able to figure out if you can autocap dvds. THANK YOU for this!
Lindsayamethyststeam on February 11th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
No problem. :D
only_gremo: Naruto happyonly_gremo on February 7th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for this tutorial. It really helped. I never knew I could do auto caps with VLC player. ^-^
Lindsayamethyststeam on February 11th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
No problem. ;)
khallandra on February 9th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for this, settings are pretty much the same in a Linux version. Without further tweaking of settings, it is shoving the caps in my home directory (where my video file is being stored) happily.
Lindsayamethyststeam on February 11th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
No problem. :)
baroque_tragedybaroque_tragedy on March 21st, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this! I have been wondering how to do automatic caps with VLC since forever. Great tutorial. :D
Lindsayamethyststeam on March 31st, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Glad it worked well for you. :)