CamGrab. Free, Easy to use simple utility for capture / playback of Yahoo Messenger users webcams. Save as image sequence or AVI video.

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Getting Started User Guide

This guide is a preliminary overview of the new functions in CamGrab-2+.

  • Most buttons/interactive areas have mouse over information. Hold the mouse pointer over a button/text etc for a few seconds to see extra information when available. 

  • Many buttons have Alt-key accelerators enabled. Simply hold ALT while pressing the underlined character to activate.

  • CamGrab-2+ is designed for a high screen resolution. It will work as low as 800x600 but anything above this is to it's advantage. 

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Startup Screen

From this main screen are two minor changes over the SE version. The auto refresh ensures the list of active webcams is maintained (Auto refresh occurs approx every 5 seconds). Because CamGrab-2+ uses a more efficient scan method there should be no noticeable drop in performance.


The new FTP/MyCam toggle button, open and closes the combined FTP output window and MyCam capture and upload options. When pressed the new control panel will appear attached as a sliding child window. To open and reveal the controls shown below simply drag the sliding window handle to any position, alternatively a right mouse click will toggle between fully closed/open. The resize handle on the child window can be used to expand the FTP output status window. However resized, the window can still be hidden under the main control window at any time.  


The MyCam frame remains grayed out until you open and begin to broadcast your own webcam via Yahoo. 'Capture MyCam' Opens control panel to capture the webcam images you broadcast. 'UP-Load FTP' begins upload of captured image to FTP site. 


Shown below is the output after FTP Upload button is pressed. The text 'Status' Will change between bold and normal style to indicate upload status. Starting FTP Upload will attempt to connect and create CamGrab directory. Image files are not uploaded until you begin capture of the webcam you wish to upload (To upload your own cam you have to be capturing)


Below is the MY-Cam capture window open. Currently FTP upload only occurs with capture. The FTP status window shows each image as it is uploaded. (The capture window for MY-Cam is currently a cut down version in functionality, allowing only fixed frame rate capture.) 

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CamGrab-2+ has more options/settings. To help organise things they have been split into 3 main sections. 'Image Save Settings' is the origional settings included with CamGrab-2SE (With a few extras). Single click the settings icon to open the popup menu.


The image save settings contains the basic options for saving the webcam images. 

  • Format : allows you to select the default file save type. 
  • Frame Rate : How often the webcam image is captures
  • Skip Duplicate Frames : Useful feature where only new frames are saved. If used with a high frame rate ensures all new frames are captured without duplicates.

New Save Location options. You can now select the location to where CamGrab image directories are created. (This will be the same location used by the playback window to look for captured webcams)

  • New sub directory each session : With LE and SE versions, the webcam images are saved under the persons name. Webcams captured on concurrent days are simply appended. Enabling this option creates a new directory each time. 
  • Detect webcam window obstructions : If the webcam image is obstructed (covered by another window/off screen), CamGrab will try to remove the obstruction and in any case not capture the image. (details below)
  • Image Scale : With None selected, Small and large image size webcams are saved in separate directories. When enabled the image is scaled to either size.


Pressing the 'Select...' link in the Image Save Location above, will display the following window for easy selection of a new save to directory.

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Image Obstruction Detection

When enabled, CamGrab-2+ will attempt to detect other windows obstructing the image being captured.  

Above is CamGrab in normal operation. If the webcam window is moved so that the image is off screen this would normally cause corruption of the image. Shown below is CamGrab-2+ in this situation. The frame counter box has been highlighted RED to show there is a problem and the frame is not saved. As soon as the window is moved to display the entire image capture is resumed. 

Other occasions are where CamGrab would capture frames covered by other windows. The example below shows opening the windows Start button menu. CamGrab-2 SE/LE would simply capture the image including the menu. 

With CamGrab-2+ an attempt is first made to bring the window to the front. Below is the same example where the webcam window has be brought to the front enabling correct capture. 

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User Interface Setup

Ok, my blue colour scheme is not always received with open arms :)  I think it looks ok on my screen (1600x1200). At lower resolutions I admit it needs some work. Below is my compromise, You can change all aspects of colour and title font. 

Option - Auto-Dock : New windows are auto attached to the main control window, This allows you to control all windows as one (Drag one window will move all connected, Right click to minimize one window will minimize all, etc...). You can manually dock/undock windows by dragging the dock icon (Hold mouse over left hand side of title text) More details to follow. 

CamGrab-2+ comes with a number of pre-defined colour schemes shown below (but if you choose the green or purple you need help! ;)

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FTP Settings

The FTP settings window allows you to specify all details required for image upload. This allows you to upload webcam images for viewing from a webpage. This can be useful for allowing Yahoo users to view as normal and also a higher quality still image from a webpage. 

You will need to know the corresponding website URL for the FTP details. CamGrab uploads a index.htm file along with the images to allow easy viewing  (The page refreshes the images every 20 seconds)

You will need to know the address of the server as well as username and password. The Path should be the root location for HTML files viewable from a website. (more details to follow)

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New Capture Window Controls

The new additions include the Grab single frame button. This allows a single frame to be taken when in stop mode (This will NOT override the no duplicates option)

Expanding the capture window (Select Preview) displays the image controls toggle. When enabled a child sliding window similar to the FTP window is displayed. Image controls allow small adjustments to be made to the saved image. Useful where there is a slight colour cast caused be artificial lighting (E.g. yellow cast) or to enhance a dark image.

Copy to clipboard button makes a copy of the current frame available to paste into a image application.

Save single frame brings up a file save dialog to allow save of a single frame to any location. (Currently only BMP format). 

UP-Load FTP begins upload of the current webcam images.

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Correcting Colour Casts

Some webcam images can be less than perfect; Cause can range from poor lighting (dark image), cheap cameras can sometimes have a colour cast over the image (green/purple/red cast) or simply the type of lighting used combined with poor white balance (yellow/blue cast). CamGrab can help correct this to some extent for the images it saves, the adjustments made with the sliders is shown on the preview image and it is this image which is saved.


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In Operation

Below shows the typical setup on my system. The FTP output window is resized to show more information and moved to only display the output text. The current open webcam is attached to allow easy organization. The Image/FTP control panel is displayed and hidden to display the FTP settings only.


Don't forget the Quick 10 Step Guide or
for one on one feature support use our CamGrab2 forum at

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