If you've having ScreenNinja problems, I feel bad for you son. We've got 9 FAQ entries, if you can find the right one.

...but if you can't, please get in touch with us, and we'll try to help.

Frequently asked questions

What is ScreenNinja?


ScreenNinja is the perfect tool to record Time-Lapse screencasts of your long-running creative processes. It lets you transform the creation of your next digital painting, comic, icon, website or other work of art, into an interesting and exciting Time-Lapse video.

One click will start your recording. Or, you can explore the options that control how ScreenNinja will record and what will be visible in your recordings.

ScreenNinja has Ninja Powers

You can Hide apps from your recording, or 'Solo' the apps you're using (and automatically hide everything else). Hiddden apps remain visible on your screen where you can use and interact with them, but they magically vanish from your recordings.1


  • Create amazing Time-Lapse screencasts.
  • Hide any app from your recordings.
  • Choose if System Elements like the Menu Bar, Dock, Desktop Icons and OS X Notifications are visible in your recordings.
  • Pause and resume recording.
  • Use the Time-Lapse Amount Slider, or specify exactly how often frames are captured and how many frames per second your final Time-Lapse will be.
  • Advanced crop control.
  • Optional webcam overlay in your recordings.
  • Multiple Screen and HiDPI/Retina Display support.
  • Export in H.264, Motion-JPEG, ProRes and more.
  1. The icons and/or names of hidden apps may still appear in your Menu Bar, Dock or in the Finder. You can hide these elements separately.

Why create a Time-Lapse Screencast?


ScreenNinja is the perfect tool to document your long running creative processes. Show the world how you work from start to finish, a process that might take hours or even days to complete. Who would want to watch that in real-time?

ScreenNinja's customization options allow you to work the way you're comfortable. You can hide anything you want from your recording without changing system settings or what you see on your screen. Your finished screencast will allow viewers to focus on what matters: Your Work.

Creative ScreenNinja Users include:

  • Graphic Designers
  • Game Jam Participants
  • Storyboard Artists
  • Web Designers
  • Illustrators
  • 2D, 3D and Stop Motion Animators
  • Game Artists and Designers
  • Photo retouchers
  • Progammers and Interactive Artists
  • Fine Artists and Commercial Artists
  • Videographers
  • and more.

Users have devised a wide variety of other uses for ScreenNinja including simply keeping track of their computing time.

Help! My Recording is all Super Sped Up!


ScreenNinja is designed to record Time-Lapse screencasts, so that's exactly how it should look.

To create a real-time screencast try QuickTime Player 10, which comes pre-installed on your Mac. You can find a short tutorial explaining how to record your screen with QuickTime on Apple's support site.

How can I control the amount of Time-Lapse?


ScreenNinja provides two methods to control how much real-time will be represented in each second of your Time-Lapse recording.

The Time-Lapse Amount Slider, in the main window, controls how often a frame will be captured, as well as how many frames-per-second (FPS) your final Time-Lapse will be and provides an estimate of how much real-time will be represented by 1 second of your finished Time-Lapse.

For more precise control over the frequency and FPS, simply click on the Capture Interval control above the slider and the detail panel will appear.

Here, you can edit exactly how often a screenshot will be taken, as well as how many FPS your finished Time-Lapse will be.

Hide Anything? How does that work?


ScreenNinja allows you to specify which apps will be visible and which will be hidden from your recordings or screenshots. When you hide an app with ScreenNinja, the app will still appear on your screen and you can use and interact with it as usual. However, hidden apps won't appear in your recordings or screenshots.1

Some apps are not listed in ScreenNinja's App Visibility Panel. Apps that aren't currently running, apps that live in your Menu Bar (like Dropbox or Alfred), and other background processess that don't generally show a UI won't appear in the App Visibility Panel. But, you can drag the icon of any Mac app from the Finder into ScreenNinja's App Visibility Panel to add that app to the list, and control it's visibility.

You can also control the visiblity of System Elements such as the Menu Bar, System Menus (Including Menu Items, Context Menus, etc), Desktop Icons, The Dock, Mouse Cursor and Notitification Center popup notifications.

Hiding apps (such as web browsers or IM clients) or System Elements (cluttered Dock and Desktop Icons) can be useful for removing personal information and other distractions from your screencasts.

  1. The icons and/or names of hidden apps may still appear in your Menu Bar, Dock or in the Finder. You can hide these elements separately.

What formats can ScreenNinja export to?


For Time-Lapse Screen Capture

  • Video Formats
    • H.264
    • Motion-JPEG
    • Apple ProRes (Both 4:4:4 and 4:2:2)
  • Image Sequence Formats1
    • JPEG Sequence
    • PNG Sequence

For Single Shot2

  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • PDF
  1. An Image Sequence is a directory of sequentially numbered image files. Find out more about Image Sequences

  2. Single Shot allows you to set a system-wide hotkey to take single screenshots with the full power of ScreenNinja.

What's an Image Sequence?


Instead of a .mov or .mp4 file, an Image Sequence is a directory of numbered image files.

Why would I want to export my recording like this?

A PNG sequence has lossless compression as well as an alpha channel. It's also provided for compatibility with some older video editors that can't import some of the other formats ScreenNinja can export in.

Because an Image Sequence isn't a single file, you are unable to set the playback rate of recordings. Instead, ScreenNinja will show the number of frames (that will be) captured.

What are ScreenNinja's minimum system requirements?


ScreenNinja requires a Mac running OS X 10.8 or higher, and runs best on systems with 4GB of RAM or more.