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Taking video snapshots in Movie Maker 2.0
Last updated 6-11-03

Movie Maker comes with a really nifty feature … the program lets you take “snapshots” directly from your movie! This means you can go to any point within a video clip, capture a freeze frame picture, and save this image to your computer’s hard drive.

There are many uses for these snapshots …

  • You could e-mail “hi-light pictures” of your video to friends and family. Not everyone can receive or view wmv videos, so these pictures are a great alternative (and they don’t take as long to download).

  • You can use the snapshot feature to transform your camcorder into a low-resolution “digital camera.” Simply point your camcorder at your subject and later you can go through your video and take virtual snapshots directly off the captured video. I don’t have a digital camera so I use this method to take pictures of items I sell on EBay … while the resulting pictures aren’t good enough for printing, they are fine for webpages.

  • You can also use these video pictures to create title slides. I like to find an interesting video scene that seems to “symbolize my movie” and capture a snapshot of it. Then, I’ll import this picture back into my project and turn it into a “title picture” by adding an introductory title animation on top of it. You could also add a title directly to the picture using a photo-editing program.

The actual process of taking these snapshot is quite easy. While viewing a video clip in the preview monitor, pause the clip at an appropriate spot, and click the “Take Picture” button under the preview monitor. Movie Maker 2 will then ask you where you’d like to save the picture. By default, Movie Maker will try to save your picture in your “My Pictures” directory. If you plan on actually using this picture in your current project, I recommend saving the picture into your project’s own directory. This will keep everything organized and keep all your projects files together where you can find them. (you can find out more about this organization structure in this article)

If you run into problems capturing pictures this way, this may occur because you don’t you’re your hardware acceleration turned on. You can check this by going into your display settings, clicking on the troubleshoot tab, and setting your acceleration all the way up.

Next: Make your own video slideshow
Or: See all our Movie Maker 2 articles and tips!

Go right ahead! You can even copy and use the pictures. We only ask that you include the following sentence (and link) at the bottom of the article:
You can find more useful home-video "tips and tricks" like this one at www.mightycoach.com - they even have an online-video course that teaches you to edit video on your home computer!

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