Sometimes it’s Good to be a Developer

The other day, I had need of a tool.

Nothing terribly fancy, toolwise.

I needed a screen capture utility.

Normally, I’d just use print screen or alt+print screen, and crop my images in Paint.NET.

My need was such that it would make such processing onerous.

What is the need?

Stop motion animation, using screen captures of Bitstrips.com.

With stop motion, I have a need to take MANY MANY images, so cropping each one would be a bear.

I checked out the various free screen grabber utilities that are good for taking lots of images.

Each one makes you move the capture rectangle with the mouse in order to nab the image, so positioning the mouse correctly each time would also be a bear.

I needed a fixed location rectangle for each shot.  I just want to click the “capture” button, and have the same exact rectangle on the screen get captured each time. That way, I can move the bitstrips characters around, capture, then move them again.

You know… stop motion animation. A million tweaks and pictures.

After three tries, I didn’t find what I wanted.

So I asked myself “how hard can doing a screen grab be?”

Googling for three minutes, and making an app for about 15 minutes, I had a screen grab utility that meets my needs.

It ain’t pretty, but it does the job.

I specify Top, Left, Width, Height, Path, FileName (a pattern actually), and a Number (which autoincrements), and I can capture all day.

I then throw the images in sequence into windows movie maker, and go.


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