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Auto-Screencapping with VLC for Mac

This guide is for the newest version of VLC (1.1.9) for Mac users. You will no longer have to use the old version of VLC (0.9.9a or below) to auto-cap. Just follow these simple steps!

I. Open VLC. On the menubar go to VLC > Preferences (⌘,) to open the preferences window. On the bottom left-hand corner, there are two radio buttons, one for Basic options and the second for All options. Select All and it will automatically open all preferences.

II. Click on the Video tab. If it does not expand automatically, click on the left-arrow button (►).

III. Under the 'Output modules' tab find and click on 'Scene filter'. 'Directory path prefix' will save the caps to whichever directory you specify. If you do not specify a directory, it will save to your Pictures folder. If there is a specific folder you want the caps to be saved to, it will look something like this: /Users/Username/Desktop/FolderName. I usually set 'Recording ratio' between 20-40 depending on what I am capping. The lower the number the more screencaps.

IV. To enable scene filter select the Filters tab and in the 'Video filter module' textarea type in scene.

V. Now Save your preferences. Start playing your video and it should start to screencap automatically. If the changes do not take effect immediately, quit and reopen VLC.

VI. To turn off automatic screencapping, go back to Video > Filters and delete scene from the 'Video filter module' textarea and Save changes again.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
i don't think you realize how much i love you right now. i tried messing with it and just gave up, so thank you!! :D

Edited at 2011-04-30 08:46 pm (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
That is cool thank you so much for doing this tutorial. :D
Apr. 30th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
OMG I really love you right now! +gives you cookies+
I was looking everywhere but I found nothing about auto-screencapping on mac
Really, thank you so much!
Apr. 30th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
I don't have a Mac anymore but this is very helpful for those always on the hunt for the technique :) Thanks!
Apr. 30th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
This is the first time I have been able to get this to work in any version. You've pretty much made my life rn. Thank you! ♥
May. 1st, 2011 05:46 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this!
May. 2nd, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing this! If you hadn't I wouldn't have known about this new version and would've just continued to use the outdated one.
May. 6th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
i can finally switch to the latest version :))
the old one was iffy with some softsubs i was using :x
May. 12th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
Thx and ?!
First off thx for a fantastic tutorial! Its easy to read and to follow even for someone as stupid as me! LoL

Now I do have a question and you may or may not be able to help me but I thought I'd ask anyway. I use Windows VLC but doing the same as your tutorial above and it works great. However I've having a problem where when attempting to screen capture a show that was DVD encoded that the set aspect ratio is incorrect at 16:9, now VLC automatically changes the view on my computer to 4:3, but when I capture I still end up with the 16:9 view. Do you know how to set the captures so they grab the window view and not the source? Much thx again for any help you can offer!
May. 25th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Thx and ?!
Sorry it took so long to reply. I had an issue like that a couple of years ago, and the only solution was to manually screencap unfortunately.
May. 26th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
Re: Thx and ?!
No problem at all! And thankfully I managed to figure it out...and it was sadly so easy I wanted to smack myself for missing it in the first place! LoL Thx again for the tutorial it is awesome!
Jan. 8th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Thx and ?!
I'm having the same problem trying to cap from a dvd. Could you tell me how you fixed it?
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for thissss :D
Jul. 30th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
you are a lifesaver! thanks!
Jul. 30th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, thank you. I used to cap in an older version of VLC and couldn't quite suss out how to do it in the most recent update. Thanks again.
Sep. 8th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Thanks a million for this! Though, I don't suppose you know how to get VLC to take caps with a normal aspect ratio? On some DVDs, the caps look squished. I used the -1/-1 settings
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to create this!
Dec. 28th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this! You made my life much easier!
Dec. 29th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
i've set up all the preferences the way you instruct, but my vlc isn't starting to auto screencap when i play it. and i've quit and restarted it a couple times too. is there a button i have to push or something along those lines?

thanks for the help! i'm trying to make gifs and my vlc keeps skipping frames so i'm trying to just get it to capture everything.
Jan. 4th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry it took so long to respond (I've been having computer issues). Hmm, not too sure why it wouldn't be working. I've installed the newest version of VLC (1.1.12) and followed the steps and it works fine. Are you trying to screen cap from a DVD or a video file? What do you have your recording ratio set at? And you're sure you specified the directory path? I just really have no clue why it would't be working. =X

Edited at 2012-01-04 03:31 pm (UTC)
Jan. 4th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
It's okay, I just found a different program to use. My VLC seemed to rebel against all the changes, it almost just stopped working. Which is just because my computer is stupid, not by any fault of the tutorial. But thanks for the help!
Jan. 7th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
omg you have no idea how much i love you right now. every time i tried to fix my settings on VLC to screencap, it would always be the MAC interface, but the poster always had different outputs than i. this is amazing! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you
Jan. 10th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
You are AMAZING. THANK YOU!!! <3
Jan. 30th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
thank you so much (for writing this a while ago, but i am still enjoying it now). this is working perfectly.
Feb. 26th, 2012 05:25 am (UTC)
Hi there! Thanks for this tut, it's really helpful but I do have one problem... a lot of the times I auto cap, the caps are just "empty" images which means I keep missing tons of the pictures I need to make gifs! Are my settings on something weird?? I've tried capping over and over again and the weird empty images keep getting captured. Please help?
Mar. 29th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Sorry for being terribly late in replying back. Did you ever figure out what the problem was? If not, what are you capping from? A video file? A DVD?
Mar. 29th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
It was a video file, I tried it with tons actually and I never figured out how to get rid of the problem! Every time I auto cap it just keeps coming up with tons of empty images, so much so there was never actually enough caps to make a gif :S I ended up having to manual gif which works ofc but is way more time consuming!
Mar. 29th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
That's very strange. I've never come across the problem so I'm completely stumped as how to fix it. Sorry. ;-;
Mar. 30th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
That's all good, thanks anyway! x
Dec. 22nd, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Just found this tut and I'm having the same problem. I thought it might be file type but it's happening with mp4, flv, etc. Did you ever find a fix for this? Thanks!
Mar. 4th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just got a mac, switching from a PC and had no idea how to autocap. Meming for certain.
Aug. 8th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Hi, I am extremely new to all of this.

I was able to set up the auto capping correctly. My problem is the subtitles do not show up on the caps I take. Does anyone have any idea how to fix this.

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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