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Author Topic: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?  (Read 3435 times)

Nod5

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screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« on: March 21, 2007, 07:38:00 PM »
I currently use FastStone Screen Capture since it is simple and lightweigth and since I most often do not need the more advanced features that other screen capture programs offer.

But today I did need a feature that FastStone lacks. I needed to take a sequence of (partial area) screencaps and append/stitch them into one single image.

So I'm ideally looking for a tool that: makes a screen capture each time the user presses a hotkey/button and draws an area with the mouse (many tools do that already) AND automatically appends/stitches the capture to a single image (this is the critical feature I'm after). At the end of the sequence, the user presses another hotkey/button and the image is then saved somewhere.

A plus would be if parameters like maximum width/height and background color could be set in advance. So for example, after stitching two screencaptures together horizontally, if appending a third capture on the same "row" would exceed the set maximum width then the program "linebreaks" and continues appending at the start of the next "row". If both maximum width and height is reached the image is saved and a new appendable image is started.

Is there any screen capture tool that can do something like that? (Note that I want each capture to retain it's size, so a tool that makes thumbnail image sheets out of a set of images would not be a solution here)

I suppose this is a feature that only few have use for on a daily basis. But on occasions when it is needed it could be a real timesaver compared to manually saving single screencap images, opening them all in a editor, creating a large canvas and copying and pasting them together.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 07:41:25 PM by Nod5 »

mouser

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 07:44:23 PM »
funny you should post this -- i have thought for a while about adding such a feature to my ScreenshotCaptor program.. it's not that hard to imagine cases where it might be useful.. the only thing that has really kept me from adding it is the thought that it might be more useful to make a general purpose program for arranging multiple images in such arragements easily via drag+drop.. 

Perry Mowbray

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 06:27:03 AM »
funny you should post this -- i have thought for a while about adding such a feature to my ScreenshotCaptor program.. it's not that hard to imagine cases where it might be useful.. the only thing that has really kept me from adding it is the thought that it might be more useful to make a general purpose program for arranging multiple images in such arragements easily via drag+drop.. 

Like an export option? That would work nicely inside of ScreenShot Captor, as that would be the programme doing the capturing.

SnagIt (which we're given at work) has a not-too-disimilar feature where you can add multiple objects from the one screen to one image (via multi-click), which means you can "composit" your base image more easily if it requires more than one window... but that's not what Nod5 was wanting anyway (but I thought I'd mention it anyway ;) )

Nod5

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2007, 01:11:05 PM »
mouser,
Such a general purpose program sounds very useful too! I haven't switched to ScreenshotCaptor mainly because I haven't had a need for its more powerful features but this kind of thing would win me over. Was it something like this you had in mind: when a user drags an image from explorer over the "stitcher application" window the image is automatically read into the program and displayed like a dragged image object. Releasing the mouse button automatically pastes it onto the canvas.

I still think that a program that autostitches images would be faster in some cases though. For example, imagine taking 20+ partial area screencaps from various parts of a site. That means a whole lot of dragging and dropping after capturing compared to some autoappending solution.

Perry,
"SnagIt (which we're given at work) has a not-too-disimilar feature where you can add multiple objects from the one screen to one image (via multi-click), which means you can "composit" your base image more easily if it requires more than one window... but that's not what Nod5 was wanting anyway "

Thanks. I'll check it out, it might be close enough.

Nighted

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2007, 09:37:43 PM »
Why not just capture then create a contact sheet of all the captures....sounds simpler to me...

Maybe I don't get it though!
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.

lanux128

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2007, 10:12:13 PM »
i think he meant something like this: Re: Photo panorama creation

Perry Mowbray

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2007, 05:30:09 AM »
i think he meant something like this: Re: Photo panorama creation

I'm pretty sure Nod5 just meant "stitching" as in joining together, not the positioning & blending that happens with panoramas.

There are some added benefits of this method, especially if the images are not going to be commented/referenced individually. For example: I wanted a block of images, 5 wide and 2 high, which are examples of my desktop for inserting into Word. They wont be titled, they'll just sit there together... it'd be easier (in Word) to have them as a single image to import and move where I like.

I know I could import all 10, position them, and group them, but this sounds nicer  ;)

To me it sounds like something that should be run from within ScreenShotCaptor, or accessible from the Context menu?

- Perry

Nod5

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2007, 05:54:48 AM »
Nighted & lanux128, No and No. Perry, Yes!  :D

We could separate:
1. Photo panorama maker: tool that takes several photos of the same motif from partly different angles and stiches them together to a large, borderless panorama photo. (PhotoShop can do this and so can the various standalone tools in the threaed lanux128 mentions)

2. contact sheet creator: tool that takes several images of different motifs and creates a large image with row and column separated thumbnails of the input images. (several mentioned in this DC thread )

3. "non-resizing input separating image appender": tool that takes several images, like partial area screenshots, and creates a large image with row and column separated non-resized copies of the input images.

I'm looking for a screen capture tool that does 3 automatically.

Here's a quick example of what I thought the output of 3 might look like when used to capture parts of a site (ideally background color, distance between images and so on should be customizable):
[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]

Some uses this would have:
- create an overview image of various parts of a site/application for use in a review
- create a photo mosaic by screencapping parts of your photos (when viewing them) to send to friends/family

lanux128

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Re: screen capture tool that appends captures to single image?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 09:30:45 PM »
i'll be interested too in a program that does all three.. :)

btw, IrfanView also does something similar..

ws-iv-panorama-2.png