Here the program MPlayer is used as a command line tool. MPlayer is available for the operating systems Windows, OS X, and Linux, and also as source code from this website:
(There is also a GUI version of MPlayer, named GMPlayer, but this text refers to the command line version.)
A video file (or any other video source supported by MPlayer) can be decoded into a sequence of image files as shown in the following example.
Example 1: Create uncompressed tga images
> mplayer -vf format=bgr24 -vo tga video.avi
Here the video file video.avi is decoded into consecutively numbered TARGA (tga) images with 24 bit/pixel.
If hard disk space or bandwidth is limited, other image formats like png or jpeg may be preferrable. The jpeg format gives the smallest files, but uses a lossy compression. The png format uses a lossless compression, but requires more CPU-time than the other formats.
Example 2: Create png images with compression level 6
> mplayer -vo png:z=6 video.avi
For jpeg we recommend a quality setting of at least 90% to avoid a degradation of the tracking results due to low image quality.
Example 3: Create jpeg images using a quality setting of 95%:
> mplayer -vo jpeg:quality=95 video.avi