Extracting a series of frames from a video can be a great way to summarise its contents, but getting the precise results you need is often a challenge. We recently looked at Free Video to JPEG Converter, for instance, and while the program was easy to use, it had limited extraction options.
If you need more power, then, you might prefer the free Video Image Master Express. It provides a host of ways to define exactly how your frames should be extracted, and as a bonus it can also combine still images of your own into a simple video slideshow.
After an easy installation (no adware to worry about), the program launches with a straightforward interface. There are two main tabs – “Video > Images” covers frame extraction, “Images > Video” creating slideshows – and clicking either of these displays all the relevant options.
Choose the “Video > Images” option, for instance, and you’re first able to load your source file. Simple sliders then allow you to choose the section of video which you’d like to use.
The program provides many ways to define which frames should be extracted. You can opt for every Nth frame, for instance, or one frame every X seconds. And you’re able to set a total number of frames, leaving Video Image Master Express to choose an evenly spaced set.
There’s an option to extract a frame every time the scene changes. This isn’t too smart, or accurate (it’s just triggered whenever the change between frames is greater than a percentage value you define), but it’s good enough for many purposes, and is way more than we expected from a free tool.
You even get the ability to create composite images, single JPEGs which each contain multiple frames in whatever number of rows and columns you need.
A host of post-processing options then help you deliver the best results. The images can be resized, for instance; rotated, or flipped; if you don’t want to export JPEGs then there are plenty of other formats available, and you can define the output file names, too.
By comparison, the “Images > Video” function looks relatively weak, but if you occasionally need to build video slideshows then it might be useful. You can import single images or entire folders, then reorder them as you like; there are options to set the output video size, and its frame rate; and you can add a custom soundtrack, as well as configuring its volume and tempo.
We have one or two small issues with the program. There are a few extraction options which aren’t entirely clear: what’s the difference between extracting a “Total” of 5 frames, and an “Express Total” of five frames, for instance? We’re not sure, and the rather basic help doesn’t explain.
For the most part, though, Video Image Master Express does a great job, particularly in extracting frames from videos, and if that’s a task which interests you then we’d recommending giving the program a try.