Where do my screen captures go?

Can’t figure this one out – say I download a film clip as an mpeg. I then run the clip in media player, and pause it at [del]a particularly toothsome shot of Trent Reznor[/del] whatever it is I want to capture.

Using my handy “Prt Scrn” button, I then open a Paint window and paste. Voila! A still shot. I save the resulting picture as .bmp or .jpg or .png. So far, so good.

However, as soon as I save it, the picture goes black. The file properties show the right amount of kilobytes for a picture, but there is no picture there.

What’s up with that?

I suggest to use a graphics program other than paint. Any graphic program other than paint. There are all sorts of free ones out there.

Ooh. I had this problem, too. It wasn’t because I was pasting into Paint, as I tried with Paint Shop Pro and other graphics programs as well.

I made a cheat sheet note once I’d found a solution (as I knew I’d never remember again. Here’s what my little note says:

Capture a screenshot from an online video

Here’s a quick way to switch off the hardware overlay in Windows XP.
Open Display Properties, Click Advanced, Click the Troubleshoot Tab, and Move the Hardware Acceleration Slider to “None.” The hardware overlay is now disabled.
This seems to allow me to take screencaps of video. BUT REMEMBER TO CHANGE THE SETTINGS BACK.

Use the take a snapshot feature of the media player you’re using.

I know VLC, MPC, and NMP all have the ability to do that. Not sure if regular old media player does.

This won’t help at all because the problem is happening before Paint even enters the picture.

The reason is because Windows is using graphics acceleration to display the video more quickly and directly rather than using the normal means of displaying stuff. As a result, trying to screenshot a playing video with the Print Screen key is kind of like taking a picture of the giant green screen behind the weather man of your local TV station. View it while the video player’s still running, and the picture will still get magically replaced. Exit, and you see the blank screen that the replacement was being placed over.

So your best bet is to go with the solution Naturally Oblivious posted, as a video player is privy to everything that’s going on and thus knows to capture the actual video stream rather than working in a generic manner like the Print Screen button. If your video player doesn’t have that option, then Savannah’s solution will still work since it causes Windows to stop using the efficiency-improving cheat that I described in the last paragraph.

Probably Digital Rights Management. It’s set up to prevent people from taking screen captures as easily as that. I’ve had the issue when trying to record a video on the screen – it just came out blank.

There are more sophisticated programs that can override the DRM and let you save a still image, but I doubt Print Screen and Paint are going to do it.

I doubt that’s the reason – it’s basically due to video acceleration using some sort of video overlay – the screenshot literally grabs the pixels in the window which are solid black, with the video being streamed in a more efficient manner than being drawn onto the window.

DRM usually locks up, or deletes, a file. It doesn’t prevent you from copying a frame.

It is definitely as the others describe - an overlay issue. My solution is to use the save image feature in my media player of choice, originally Media Player Classic, sometimes VLC, though I now use GOM player.

Being a geek, I naturally have about ten different media players.