Code Still Image Data (Create a Snapshot)

This Tutorial video demonstrates bringing a still image into Transana for coding as a Snapshot .

Please note that we have revised the Snapshot Window interface slightly in Transana 5.0 compared to the older version shown in the video.

Code Still Image Data

You can create free-standing codable images, called Snapshots, for analysis in Transana. These images may be independent, or they may be linked to a media file. They may be loaded from still image files or can be captured from video within Transana.

Create and Code A Snapshot From A Graphics File

Create a Snapshot

Right-click a Collection where you would like to place a Snapshot. Choose Add Snapshot from the popup menu.

To load an image from a graphic file, press the Browse button and browse to the directory where you stored the image you would like to import and select the file.  Press Open to confirm the file selection. Notice that if you have not entered a Snapshot ID, Transana will name the Snapshot after the file name.

If you want to associate this graphic file with a particular spot in a particular Episode, select the appropriate Library ID, Episode ID, and Transcript ID, then enter the Episode Position and Duration for the Snapshot. You should be able to determine these values by looking at the Visualization Window’s Current Time indicator while working with your Episode.  If you do this, the Snapshot’s coding will be reported as part of the Episode’s coding in appropriate Reports, Maps, and Graphs.

We also may add some Keywords on this form. Keywords added here are coded for the entire image.  Then press OK to indicate you are done defining the Snapshot Properties.

Code a Snapshot From an Image File

Transana now displays the Snapshot in the Snapshot Window, ready for detailed coding. Change the mode from Review to Code Image to place the Snapshot into Edit mode so that you can code the image and your other changes will be retained.

The first thing to do is to frame the image properly. Use a combination of zooming, positioning the image in the frame, and resizing the Snapshot Window to get the image to look exactly the way you want. We want to reduce the amount of white space around the image in our example, but you may want to focus on a particular portion of your image.

To code a Snapshot, Transana allows you to draw Coding Shapes on the image to represent codes. Available shapes include rectangles, ellipses, lines, arrows, and free-form polygons. Each Keyword can be assigned a different combination of shape, color, line style, and line width.

Our sample image shows an ancient Assyrian statue from the British Museum. I wanted to use coding to emphasize the way that legs are represented. I chose the polygon shape because the way the legs appear was difficult to capture using simpler shapes like rectangles and ellipses. I chose solid green lines for legs that are only represented once and red dashed lines for the right front leg, which is represented twice in this sculpture, as is shown in the coding key.

Rectangles, ellipses, lines, and arrows are drawn by placing the cursor on the screen, pressing and holding the left mouse button, moving the mouse, and releasing the mouse button. Polygons use a different procedure because you need to define an arbitrary number of anchor points. To draw a polygon, position the mouse at the first anchor point, left-click, move the mouse to the next anchor, left-click again, and so on until you reach your final anchor point, where you right-click to signal that you are done defining the polygon.

If you don’t get the coding shape positioned exactly like you want it on your first try, you can always right-click the coding shape and select Delete from the popup menu, then try again.  Note that you can draw as many coding shapes on a Snapshot as you wish.

Change the mode back to Review to leave Edit Mode and save the sizing, positioning, and coding you’ve done on the Snapshot.

When you are in Review mode, you can explore your coded Snapshot, including hiding and showing different codes, resizing the image or frame, and so on, without affecting the saved settings of the Snapshot. Changes are only saved when you are in Edit Mode.

Create A Snapshot By Capturing A Video Screen Shot

You can also create a Snapshot by capturing a frame from a video file within Transana.  Start by loading an Episode Transcript with an associated video file.  Play the video until you come across in interesting visual and pause the video there.

Now right-click a Collection where you would like to place the Snapshot. Choose Add Snapshot from the popup menu.

We want to capture a screen shot from the currently loaded and positioned video, so press the Capture Snapshot for Coding button next to the “Browse” button on the Add Snapshot dialog box. This will call up Transana’s Media File Conversion tool.

When you capture a screen shot to be placed in a Document or Transcript, you do not have to worry about the file name given to that screen shot. That’s because images are actually imported into a Document or Transcript and immediately lose their connection with the source image file. Snapshots, on the other hand, maintain a connection to the source file, much the same way that Transana’s Episodes and Clips maintain a connection to the media file(s) they are connected to.

As a result, you need to change the Destination Media File name on the Media File Conversion form. This greatly reduces the chances of accidentally over-writing your Snapshot image with a different screen shot from the same media file. Change the file name from the default name to something unique and identifiable. (Transana will automatically append the necessary “_%06d” text to the end of the file name.) Press “Convert”.

Edit the Snapshot ID if desired. Notice that this Snapshot is automatically connected to the current video position in the Episode from which it was captured. However, you may wish to adjust the Episode Position to and the duration to more accurately reflect the time that the image appears in the video. Finally, you may wish to add some Keywords as Whole Snapshot Keywords. Press “OK”.
You will now see the Snapshot Window, as described in our first example. Go into Edit mode so you can frame and code the image as you wish.

Press the “Show Coding Key” button in the Snapshot Window so the Coding Key is displayed. You will note that the coding key helps connect the color, shape, style and line thickness of the Coding Shapes to your Keywords.

Analytic Memos

It’s now a good idea to create more analytic memos. No action in Transana should be considered finished until you have written about it in an analytic memo.

Right-click (Ctrl-click on macOS) the Snapshot you just created and choose Add Snapshot Note from the popup menu. Name the new Note and enter your initials as NoteTaker. Press OK.

Press Ctrl-T on Windows or Cmd-T on macOS to insert a date-time stamp in the note. It’s usually a good idea to record information about the source of the still image, why you made the exact selection(s) you did, and why you chose the coding you did, as well as how this Snapshot fits into the larger study.  When you are done, close the Snapshot Note.