Monday, May 23, 2011

Screen capture in X

This is the cheapest screen capture in town. It's also probably installed right now and you can get it to work in seconds.

Use xwd which is the X Window Dumper to capture your desktop/window.
Use ImageMagick's convert to convert the xwd into a png/jpg etc
Collate the images into a video using mencoder

xwd is found in  x11-apps under debian.
convert is part of the ImageMagick suite.
mencoder is part of the mplayer suite.

So open a terminal, cd into a work dir and start capturing screenshots at 5fps.

while :; 
    xwd -root |convert - blah-$(date +%s.%N).png; 
    sleep 0.2; 
Then go do your stuff... Much later ctrl-c the while loop to terminate it and create your capture
mencoder "mf://*.png" -mf fps=5 -o output.avi -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4
You can also speed up your screencap by faking the fps. Make it 50 in the mencoder command above and see.

It should be pretty trivial to record a separate audio stream and add it to your video

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