How do I record screen as a sequence of bitmaps, not video?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
I want to record not a video of the screen but a temporal sequence of bitmap images. Can I do that with Camtasia? If not, can I export from a trec whereby it creates and exports a bitmap every x milliseconds?
Photo of Jim Andrews

Jim Andrews

  • 30 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 1
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 4501 Posts
  • 2010 Reply Likes
Hi there

Unfortunately this is not currently possible. There was a recent thread about that and a suggestion was made there.  The link to the thread is below:

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/is-it-possible-to-convert-a-full-snagit-video-captur...

I did ask in that thread what the advantage of a sequence was but I received a bit of a non-answer.

Would you mind advising why you need or desire this type of capture? Personally I'd appreciate it so that I can better understand why such a thing is desired.

Thanks... Rick :)
Photo of Jim Andrews

Jim Andrews

  • 30 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks, Rick.  I am a programmer-artist. I write animation software that creates visual art. I use Camtasia to create videos about the art. But I also need to work with the animations sometimes as sequences of still images. To create slideshows of the art such as http://vispo.com/alephTouch/slideshow or http://vispo.com/dbcinema/olga .

The old tool I wrote to create the animated art was also capable of outputing a sequence of jpg images. But I'm moving on to a new tool I wrote, and it's in JavaScript, so it's problematical to quickly create such jpg images on the fly with JavaScript.

I wonder if ffmpeg will record the screen as a sequence of jpgs? Hmm. No, it doesn't look like it. However, ffmpeg will create a jpg from a video every x milliseconds, where x is configurable, as we see at https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Create%20a%20thumbnail%20image%20every%20X%20seconds%20of%20the%20video 
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 4501 Posts
  • 2010 Reply Likes
Hmmm, okay. That makes sense.

While I'm sorry there really wasn't much to offer in the way of a cohesive answer, I'm thankful you provided an explanation to help me better understand the need.

Thanks again... Rick :)
Photo of Dubie

Dubie

  • 962 Posts
  • 743 Reply Likes
Jim.

Sorry i do not have something to offer help in your quest but I do have a question of my own.

In the links you give above, Is the Slidevid Program used your creation?

:)
(Edited)
Photo of Jim Andrews

Jim Andrews

  • 30 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yes, I wrote Slidvid.
Photo of Dubie

Dubie

  • 962 Posts
  • 743 Reply Likes
It is very cool. Wish I had something of help.

Again very cool page and program.

:)
Photo of Jim Andrews

Jim Andrews

  • 30 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks very much!
Photo of Jim Andrews

Jim Andrews

  • 30 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
This is a market you could dominate with very little dev effort. How much work would it take the Camtasia dev team to create a feature whereby one may record to a sequence of jpg or png images every x milliseconds, where x is configurable? Not much, for sure, relatively speaking. What other options should go with it? The size (%) of the images. You should also be able to record either the whole screen or a selectable section of it or a window, as per usual recording options.  And you'd need to be able to select/create the folder where the images would be saved. And you'd want to be able to select the numbering scheme. Leading zeros or not? Filename prefix? And should duplicates be overwritten or renamed? And start the numbering at what number?

I'm a computer animation artist, and such people of course need to record the screen a lot and work with stills. But I expect we're not the only ones. How about scientists who need to analyze stills of videos routinely? 
Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 5685 Posts
  • 2950 Reply Likes
Here's something to consider Jim,

If using Camtasia for your recording purposes can make your life easier than what your doing now.
There's a relatively easy way to get get the sequence you want. It's a workaround but it could be worse.

I imagine you have a bit of initial editing to do. Cut out a few bits and pieces. So do that. Then, Save the video as an AVI for image quality purposes.

Use one of the free editors I listed in the link Rick provided above.

 Convert the video to a png Sequence. This step is relatively fast if you have a decent computer.
The exported images are numbered in order automatically, just be sure to extract them to a folder, there can be thousands depending on the duration of your video.

Selecting the images to be used.... divided by milliseconds is the last step.

 The math is really up to you.If you determine that a 30 fps recording needs every 3rd frame for your project.

You resize Windows File Explore. Use ICON view and Resize them to a size that fits the job at hand.
In this case make the window width so that only 3 Icon's appear. They will be in perfect order. You just "Select all the Frames to the Right" Copy and Paste them into your project. They remain in order because of the rising numerical order.

      

Every  7th frame


Dual monitors, frame 48.
I could've fired up a third monitor but I've already gone to far.LOL


Anyway, less than ideal? Absolutely.

Will it work? Absolutely.

Regards,Joe