One of the not so nice aspects of hosting your own Jing / Jing Pro videos is generating thumbnails that can be used for the “click-to-play” screen that viewers initiate video playback with. My current thumbnail workflow works something like this:
- Capture video.
- Save video to local disk (desktop).
- Open video with QuickTime Pro ($30).
- Select a video frame and Choose QuickTime’s “Export Movie as Bitmap” option.
- Open .bmp file generated by QuickTime Pro in Fireworks (beaucoup $$$).
- Resize image in Fireworks to fit my embed dimensions (embed dimensions are different than video dimensions).
- Export out JPEG file (.jpg) with some compression applied (trade quality for size).
Jing’s supposed to be all about the easy, but the workflow above is decidedly not. It shouldn’t be that hard to generate thumbnail images from your JIng videos and it shouldn’t be ultra expensive. Enter ThumbGenie, an AIR application, written by moi, that allows you to load MPEG4-AVC or SWF files, select a video frame and generate a thumbnail image as either a JPEG or PNG file. Wait, it gets better. You can apply JPEG compression and scale the exported image down. Best of all its completely free, as in beer. So what are you waiting for, download ThumbGenie and start generating thumbnails pronto!
If you head over to ThumbGenie central you’ll find some helpful “getting started” videos as well as the installer badge.