Capturing Video From DVDs And The Internet

DISCLAIMER: Note that the following instructions are to be applied to classroom and school projects only, and please ensure that you are working within the bounds of copyright limitations and permitted uses of material.

Aimersoft Video Converter

One of the computers in the DML is equipped with Aimersoft Video Converter, software that enables you (among other things) to pull video clips from DVDs and output them as video or audio in various formats. Here we will focus on how to specify and create a video clip from a DVD that can you can then embed in a Wiki or add to a Prezi. Please see this page for instructions regarding the use of this program.

Snapz Pro

Snapz Pro is an easy-to-use tool available on the computers in the DML that permits you many options in capturing video. You can include or omit accompanying audio, and hide your cursor or make it visible (which is useful for demonstration purposes, as in the videos embedded throughout the how-to pages). You can then trim the ends of your video as necessary in Quicktime with a few simple steps outlined below, and then embed it in a wiki or add it to a prezi or another program as you wish. You can also use the program to capture only the audio accompanying a given video by following the steps recounted here.

The icon for Snapz Pro should be visible in the dock at the bottom of your computer screen, and looks like this:


If for some reason you do not see it in your dock, you can locate it in your application folder. Make sure that the screen you wish to capture is visible before you open the program, as afterwards you cannot rearrange your windows.

When you open Snapz Pro, you will see a window that looks like this:


You will want to click the movie button as shown above.

In the next window you will find several settings options. If you want to record a voiceover or the like, make sure the checkbox next to "Microphone track" is selected. If you wish to capture audio that goes along with the video, click "Mac audio track" as shown in the example below. The third box permits you to show or hide your cursor movement.


You will find that you are provided a dashed box that represents the width and height of your eventual screen capture. You can adjust its dimensions to those of the video you intend to record. For instance, let's say we want to capture one of the youtube videos embedded on the DML wiki page. The "capture area" may initially look something like this:


By clicking and dragging the black squares in the center of each side of the dashed box, its area can be resized to capture only the video as shown below.


After adjusting the box as needed, simply hit the "return" or "enter" key on your keyboard to begin recording, and then click the play button on the movie. When the movie is done, or you've recorded as much as you wish, click the Snapz icon in the dock to stop the recording process. You will now see the window shown below.


If you determine after the fact that you don't want the audio track, or perhaps you only want the audio track and not the video, you can select the relevant checkboxes accordingly. Next to each aspect you will see a "settings" button, visible above, which permits you to make some determinations as to quality and format.

In the video settings you will find you can select a compression type from the pulldown menu at the top as shown below. H.264 is required for wikis, but you may have different needs for other programs. You can also adjust the quality, which will ultimately affect file size (the higher the quality, the larger the file size). Make your selections and then click "okay" to save changes and return to the original screen.

videosettings.png videopulldown.png

You will find some similar options in the audio settings menu. Here again you can change your format and the sound quality with the options shown below.

audiosettings.png audioformat.png

Once again, click "okay" to save any changes and return to the original screen. Click "save now" to finalize your clip.


The captured video will likely open automatically in your default movie playing program; on the computers here that will be Quicktime. If the video does not automatically open, simply find it on your desktop and manually open it.


If you wish to edit the beginning and/or end of your clip (for instance, to eliminate the time it took to start playing the movie or end the recording process), you can do so within the Quicktime program. Click the pulldown edit menu and select "Trim," or type command-T on your keyboard. You will now find yellow "bookends" surrounding stills from your movie as shown below.


Drag the yellow ends to make the clip your desired length, which you can preview by scrolling or clicking the play button (or pressing the space bar).


Hit the "trim" button to the right to finalize your selection, and save (or "save as") your edited clip. For instructions on how to then embed this clip into a wiki, see this page. To add it to a prezi, see this page.

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