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Alias Smith & Jones
Blake's 7
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The Professionals
The Wild Wild West

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Contact Me

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Frequently Asked Questions

I've added this page to answer some of the questions people often send me about this site. If there's something you'd like to know, please look through the questions here before writing to me; you may be able to get your answer more quickly here than through email.



icon May I use some of your pictures on my own website?
Yes, you are welcome to do so, as long as they are not being used commercially. I make no ownership claim to these images, because they're not mine to begin with -- I'm just capturing them from the DVDs and videotapes. By the same token, I can't grant any kind of legal right to them, so be aware of that if you do use them. If you plan to use some of the images, please copy them to your own site; do not link directly to them on my site. Doing so is called "bandwidth theft", it increases my already not-inconsiderable costs, and I don't need it. Again, you're welcome to use the images -- but copy them to your own site and link to them there.

icon What kind of equipment and software do you use to create the frame captures?
Some of my captures are still coming from videotape, for those shows which haven't yet been released on DVD. I am now using DVDs whenever they're available, since they are easier to work with and yield much better images.

All you need to do frame captures from videotape is some kind of video capture device and a good graphics program -- plus a fair amount of time and patience. Currently, I'm using an InVideo PCI capture board. They aren't making that model any longer, having switched to an external device with a USB connection last time I checked, but you'll get pretty much the same result from any video capture device, as they're all doing essentially the same thing. The differences are mostly a matter of how fast they can operate; I use the InVideo because it's really intended for full-motion video capture, and hence is very fast on individual frames. (Also, it handles both PAL and NTSC formats, essential for me since I'm working with both.)

I use CompuPic ( for all my image cataloguing, resizing, format changes, and for most of the image processing work I do on the captures. It's a useful program which, among other things, has a good batch capability allowing the user to perform the same operation on a whole set of images.

The key to getting good results from video frame capture isn't so much in what hardware you use as in the quality of the input material and the post-processing you do on the captures. I generally use commercially released videotapes, since my off-the-air tapes are of poorer quality, and I do quite a bit of post-processing.

For DVDs, I have a PC-resident DVD player and use the PowerDVD software to operate it and make the captures. PowerDVD is available from Cyberlink.

icon How can I make my own frame captures look better?
Raw frame captures from videotape take a fair amount of work to look good; they usually need to have contrast and saturation adjusted, and can often benefit from a little filtering to remove scan lines. You won't be able to get still-photo quality, because videotape simply isn't a very high-resolution medium, but with enough practice and tweaking, you can often get frame captures to look pretty good. Much of it is a matter of practice; I've been maintaining my frame capture site for four years now, and I'm still refining my image-processing techniques. Play around with your graphics software and see what gives the best results.

Some things to try:
Adjust the contrast. Depending on what software you're using, there are varying ways to tinker with this. You may use a simple contrast adjustment, controls which allow you to adjust the black and white points separately, or assorted fancy histogram control functions.
Adjust the saturation. Video frame captures often have fairly low saturation, giving them a washed-out look. Alternately, I find that after adjusting the contrast, the images may be too saturated, making the colors too strong. (Skin tones may turn orange, for example.) In either case, the saturation control in your graphics program can give the image a more realistic look.
Use a filter to reduce scan lines. These are the horizontal lines you can sometimes see in your captures; they're especially obvious in areas of sharp contrast. A bit of filtering can often reduce or eliminate scan lines without appreciably diminishing the appearance of the capture otherwise. Try a very small amount of blur, followed by an equally small amount of sharpening, for instance. Or, if your software includes a function to reduce graininess in photos, try playing with that a bit. (This may also be helpful if the video you're capturing from has a grainy look, which sometimes happens.)

icon Will you add pictures from my favorite show to the site?
I'm not planning to add any more shows to the site right away, as the ones I'm working on now are enough to keep me busy for some time to come. It's possible that I may add another show eventually, but it would have to be one that I am particularly fond of and one for which I have high-quality tapes or DVDs. Making the captures requires watching the episodes in excruciating detail to pick out the frames, and I'm simply not willing to do that unless I really like the show to begin with. That narrows the field down quite a bit.

So, if you're especially anxious to get frame captures from your own favorite show, my suggestion would be to try doing your own. Capture devices are fairly inexpensive these days, and it's not a particularly difficult process, though it can be tedious.

icon Will you be doing captures from my favorite episode?
For shows already on the site, whether I do a specific episode depends on whether I have, or can get, a high-quality tape or a DVD of it. This limits the possibilities quite a bit for some shows, where not all episodes are commercially available. For the other shows in the library, I do have tapes of the entire series and hope to cover them all eventually. It'll take a while, however; this is slow work at the best of times.

icon Why don't you have more information about the shows and actors on your site?
For shows like the ones I'm covering, which have a substantial fan following, there are invariably quite a few sites devoted to information on the shows themselves, the actors, etc. I see no need to duplicate what is already available on these other sites, especially since the effort involved in doing so would take time away from my real objective, which is building up the library of frame captures. This site is not intended to be a central reference for the shows; it's very specifically a library of frame capture images.

icon Can you add new episodes more often?
Don't hold your breath. I'm doing the best I can; my goal is to complete one new episode of frame captures per week. However, that's not going to be an invariable rule; real life has a way of interfering with my hobbies from time to time, and if I have a very demanding week at work, or have too much going on at home, or I'm sick, or there are any of a number of other complications, I won't be able to finish an episode that week. I have a full-time job, a household to run, and I also maintain another fannish website, so while I do plan to keep adding to the frame capture library as quickly as is practical, it isn't likely to get much faster than the current rate.

icon Are you selling photographs, T-shirts, etc.?
No. This site is purely a hobby, and is not in any way a commercial enterprise, nor am I connected with any such business. I'm not selling anything, and I have nothing to offer besides what you see here on my site.

icon Can you get my favorite actor's autograph or address for me?
No. I am not in touch with any of the actors on these shows, have never met them, and do not have their addresses or any means of contact.

icon Will you do frame captures from other sources for pay?
No, I don't do this commercially at all. I already have a full-time job, which takes up more than enough of my time, and I'm not interested in taking on additional part-time work that would cut into my leisure hours (which are what this website comes out of.) There are probably commercial firms which would do this kind of work (though I don't know anything about them), or you could look into doing your own.