Screenshots and Screencasts
In order to facilitate teamwork and rapid prototyping, you may want to quickly take pictures or make videos of your work. In this chapter, we explain the options present in Blender, and at the end of the page, we offer some useful shortcuts of the most used Operating Systems. In Blender you have options for:
- Blender Screenshots: very useful to show what's going on with your work or to ask for help, show stages of modeling, or highlight necessary details of your work.
- Blender Screencasts: useful for teaching, creating timelapses of your work, or even test videos, showing manually created movements over time.
Mode: All modes
The shortcut CtrlF3 will take a screenshot of your Blender window and then open the Blender File Browser Window, allowing you to specify the name and location of the screenshot. In the example Image at the right, the PNG format will be the output of the Screenshot taken. The picture taken will be saved in the format specified in the Output panel of the Render context Window (See fig: Output Panel PNG Image format).
- Blender Screenshots are saved with the full width and height of the Blender window you are using when you call the command.
There is also an option to save only the active Window you are working in. When the Blender File Browser window opens for you, at the left, there is a Tab called Save Screenshot where you can find a Checkbox with the Option Full Screen (See Fig: Save Screenshot Option).
- Check the Option to save the entire Blender Window.
- Unckeck the box to save only your active Window (where your Mouse is located when you call the command).
|Keyboard Shortcut Conflicts|
|Space and type Screenshot, in the Search Popup|
Mode: All modes
The shortcut AltF3 starts the screencast function. Screencasts will record your actions over time either as a video or sequence of image files. The type and location of the output is determined by the settings in the Output panel of the Render context window.
The default settings will generate a screencast consisting of a series of PNG images captured every 50 ms and stored in the /tmp folder. If you want to record a video, set the Output to one of the Movie File Formats supported by your system listed in the Output panel format menu. If you are unsure what video codecs your system supports, select AVI JPEG.
(See Fig: Options in the User Preferences Editor)
Blender Screencast doesn't support audio recordings, you will have to do it manually using other software in conjunction with Blender. Such as Audacity
When you start Blender Screencasts, the header of the Info Window will change, and it will show you a button for stop your capture.
Bellow, we show the Normal header of the Info Window, when in normal Blender operation (See Fig: Info Window - Header - Normal Operation), and with the Stop button for the Screencast, when in Screencast Mode. (See Fig: Info Window - Header - Capture Stop Button).
(Note: The header Image was taken using Blender 2.61)
The only way to stop the Screencast
Pressing the Stop button in the header of the Info Window is the only way to stop the Screencast capture. If you press Esc, the shortcut will only work for operations performed in the Blender User Interface, (it will stop animations, playbacks and so on...), but will not work to stop Screencasts.
The frames are stored using a suffix added to their file name, the suffix is composed of the numbers present in the fields for start and end frames, defined in the Frame Range of the Dimensions panel, Render context. (See Fig: Dimensions Panel - Frame Range - highlighted in yellow)
|The configuration of the End frame, present in the Frame Range of the Dimensions Panel, will not stop your capture automatically. You will always have to stop the Screencast manually, using the Stop button.|
The Videos are generated internally in the same manner as the Screenshots, using the width and height of the Window you are working on, but depending on the output chosen, Blender will have to pass those frames to a codec.
Warning: Some codecs limit the output width/height or the video quality.
- When you save your Screencast in an Image format, they will be saved using the entire Blender Window, with full width and height, and the quality of the Image will be defined by its type (i.e. JPG, PNG, and so on) and configuration (i.e. Slider quality of the .JPG format).
- When you save your Screencast in a Video format, they will be sent to a codec. Depending on the codecs limitations, the resulting output Video could be scaled down. Furthermore, some combinations of Window width and height cannot be processed by certain codecs. In these cases, the Screencast will try to start, but will immediately stop. In order to solve this, choose another Window format and/or another codec.
|Keyboard Shortcut Conflicts|
|Space and type Screenshot, in the search Popup|
Addon: 3D View:Screencast Keys
The community based Addon 3D View:Screencast Keys, will show you the keys and combination of keys under your 3D cursor whenever you press a key when capturing Screencasts. The community Addon comes with the default installation of Blender. The Image below shows the community Addon with its Tab Open. (See Fig: 3D View: Screencast Keys - Addon). To enable the Addon, open the User Preferences Editor Window CtrlAltU, go to the Addons Tab, and go to the 3D View Addons. Just click on the checkbox (Highlighted in yellow) to enable the Addon.
Mode: All modes -> Addon Enabled
Hotkey: Use N to show the Properties Panel -> Screencast Keys Tab
Menu: View » Properties -> Screencast Keys Tab
Once the Addon is enabled you will see the Screencast Keys section at the end of the list, on the Properties panel. To display the properties Panel select menu:
- Start display button: when you press this button, blender will display any key or combination of keys you press, on the down left corner of the 3D window as floating text. If you press several times the same key or combination of keys, blender will add an “ xn” tag at the end indicating how many times you pressed the key or combination of keys.
- Stop display button: will stop blender displaying ScreenCast Keys.
- PosX: postion of the Screencast text en X axis.
- PosY: position if the Screencast text on Y axis.
- Font: Screencast text font size.
- Mouse: Screencast mouse icon size.
- Mouse display: In this drop down menu you can select how the Screencast text will be displayed
- Text: Will display the keys pressed an mouse button pressed as text.
- Icon: Will display the mouse as icon and key pressed as text.
- None: Will display info about key pressed only, without mouse button info.
- Group Mouse & Text Check box: when is checked, blender will display a box around the Screencast Text to made reading more easy.
- Color: Let you choose the color of the Screencast text.
|New Community Addon|
|There is also currently an Addon for Blender 2.5/2.6 which will take a screenshot of any area you like at the click of a button, and proceed to upload it directly to Pasteall The addon currently has no development page, but it will be linked to here when it's finished.|
Operating System Screenshots
You may also use the Operating Dystem to capture the screen to the clipboard. You can then paste the image from the clipboard into your image editor.
Press AltPrint screen to capture the active program window to the clipboard.
Mac OSX Screenshots
Press ⌘ Cmd⇧ Shift3 to capture the screen to a file on the desktop.
Press Ctrl⌘ Cmd⇧ Shift3 to capture the screen to the clipboard.
Press ⌘ Cmd⇧ Shift4 to capture an area of the screen to a file on the desktop.
Press Ctrl⌘ Cmd⇧ Shift4 to capture an area of the screen to the clipboard.
On some Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu) and window managers, you can press Print screen to capture the screen to a file. For other distributions or window managers you may require additional software. Examples of such software include, but are not limited to: xvidcap, scrot and recordMyDesktop. Consult your distribution's manual or software repository for more information.
In addition to the options present in Blender and in your Operating System, there is other useful software to take Screenshots of your screen, like Gimp, Photoshop, Screenhunter, and so on.
Taking Screenshots from Gimp:
- Go to File -> Create -> Screenshot.
- There are two options:
- Take a Screenshot of a single Window
- Take a Screenshot of the entire Screen
There is also a Delay field, where you can input some delay in seconds. Choose the appropriate options and click on the Snap Button. If you choose to Take a Screenshot of a single Window, you will have to click in a Window at the end of the delay.