ffmpeg examples

ffmpeg's documentation: ffmpeg.org/documentation.html

gluing video files together

inline, with different-sized video inputs:
ffmpeg -i IMG_3198.MOV -i IMG_3199.MOV -i IMG_3201.MOV -i IMG_3202.MOV -i IMG_3203.MOV -i title.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:0] [0:1] [1:0] [1:1] [2:0] [2:1] [3:0] [3:1] [4:0] [4:1] [5:0] [5:1] concat=n=6:v=1:a=1:unsafe=1 [v] [a]" -map "[v]" -map "[a]" -s 960x540 output.mp4

inline, with similar inputs:
ffmpeg -hide_banner -i "Wow-64 2015-01-19 22-08-49-73.avi" -i "Wow-64 2015-01-19 22-08-49-73.avi" -filter concat=n=2:v=1:a=1 -c:v libx264 -crf 24 -preset slow -b:a 96k turning_in_10_onyx_eggs.mp4

with a file:
ffmpeg -f concat -i filelist.txt output.webm

fixing "Unsafe filename": ffmpeg -safe 0 -f concat -i filelist.txt ...; remember to use single quotes in filelist.txt. concat demuxer documentation

video duration

stop encoding after output duration reaches 1 minute: ffmpeg -i longvid.avi -t 00:01:00 "first minute.mp4"

stop encoding after reading 1 minute from input: ffmpeg -t 00:01:00 longvid.avi "first minute.mp4"

stop writing output once it is 4 minutes long: ffmpeg -i longvid.avi -t 04:00 out.avi

stop encoding after N frames have been output: ffmpeg -i vid.avi -frames:v N out.mp4

seek past the first ~20.3 seconds of input: ffmpeg -ss 00:00:20.3 -i infile.avi outfile.avi
send first 20.4 seconds processed to /dev/null: ffmpeg -i infile.avi -ss 20.4 outfile.avi

combining both: skip 11 seconds of input and stop reading input at position 3:40 (=input duration is 3:29): ffmpeg -ss 11 -to 3:40 -i longvid.mp4 -c:v libx264 -crf 20 out.mp4
and a modification: read and encode those 11 seconds in the beginning but don't include them in the output (this avoids the input being weird because part of it was cut off): ffmpeg -to 3:40 -i longvid.mp4 -c:v libx264 -crf 20 -ss 11 out.mp4

video size

specifying resolution: ffmpeg -i large.avi -s 1280x720 out_small.webm

scaling while keeping aspect ratio: ffmpeg -i large.avi -vf "scale=w=-1:h=320" out_small.webm (relevant doc section)

resolution as memnonics: ffmpeg -i large.avi -s hvga "480 by 320.mp4" | relevant doc section | vga (640x480), hvga (480x320), qvga (320x240), cif (352x288), qcif (176x144), hd480 (852x480), hd720 (1280x720), hd1080 (1920x1080), qhd (960x540), nhd (640x360) pal (720x576), ntsc (720x480)

cropping: ffmpeg -i in.avi -filter:v "crop=out_w=702:out_h=540:x=129:y=0" out.avi | relevant doc section

an example with everything: ffmpeg -i cbnxcn.mp4 -filter:v "crop=x=115:y=145:out_w=(in_w-405-115):out_h=(in_h-115-145), scale=w=1280:h=720" -c:v libx264 -crf 24 -preset slow -c:a copy -t 15 -ss 2.3 ekjkbdko.mp4

add padding (in black) to the sides of the video so that the output is 1280x720, and center the video in both directions: ffmpeg -i oddsize.mov -filter:v "pad=w=1280:h=720:x=-1:y=-1" -c:v libx264 -crf 23 -movflags +faststart youtube_ready.mp4

video quality

specifying bitrate: ffmpeg -i in.avi -b:v 500k out.avi | documentation doesn't like this though

specifying quality, for h.264: ffmpeg -i in.avi -c:v libx264 -crf 23 out.mp4 | crf values of 18-28 are considered "sane" | crf 0 is lossless, 23 default, 51 worst | relevant wiki link

generic quality options: ffmpeg -i in.avi -q:v N out.avi | ffmpeg -i in.avi qscale:v N out.avi | meaning of -q and -qscale is codec-dependent


relevant doc section | an example where the video's timecode is burned in in seconds.frame format:
ffmpeg -i infile.avi -filter:v drawtext=" fix_bounds=1: fontfile='//COMPUTER/Users/oatcookies/Desktop/DejaVuSansMono-Bold.ttf': fontcolor=white: fontsize=24: bordercolor=black: borderw=1: textfile=burn-in.txt: x=1: y=main_h-line_h-1:" outfile.avi
where burn-in.txt has the following contents: %{expr: (floor(n/30)) + (mod(n, 30)/100)}
of course, that specific expression applies to a 30 fps video. the odd fontfile path is because ffmpeg doesn't exactly like windows' drive letters: trying 'C\:\\Windows\\Fonts\\x.ttf' (with varying amounts of (back)slashes) always resulted in an error.

a different burn-in.txt: %{expr_int_format: floor((n/30)/60) : d : 2}:%{eif: mod(floor(n/30), 60) :d:2}.%{eif: mod(n, 30)+1 :d:2} | this shows the timecode in minutes:seconds.frames format.

time code for text-burning filters


screen capture

from Windows

ffmpeg -f gdigrab -show_region 1 -framerate 30 -video_size 942x1003 -offset_x 8 -offset_y 30 -i desktop out.avi

With h264 compression but not a lot of it:
ffmpeg -f gdigrab -show_region 1 -framerate 25 -video_size 800x600 -offset_x 1 -offset_y 30 -i desktop -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -preset veryfast out.mp4

from linux

ffmpeg -f x11grab -framerate 25 -video_size 218x148 -i :0.0+0,95 -c:v libx264 -crf 21 -preset superfast screencast.mp4


making louder: ffmpeg -hide_banner -i "quiet input.mp4" -af "volume=40dB" -vcodec copy "louder output.mp4"

removing entirely: ffmpeg -i with_sound.mp4 -vcodec copy -an no_sound.mp4

sound quality: ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -b:a 64k out.mp4

example filelist.txt

file 'G:\ff\day1\2015-05-15 21-53-49-96.avi'
file 'G:\ff\day1\2015-05-15 22-03-57-86.avi'
file 'G:\ff\day2\2015-05-16 22-08-42-72.avi'

perl script to generate a file list:

my $prefix = 'G:\\ff\\';
foreach my $subdir (("day1", "day2")) {
	my $dirname = "$prefix\\$subdir";
	print("# $dirname\n");
	opendir(my $dirhandle, $dirname) || die "Can't opendir $dirname: $!\n";

	open(my $outfile, '>', "$subdir.txt") || die "Can't open > $subdir.txt: $!\n";

	my $i = 1;
	while (readdir $dirhandle) {
		if ($_ =~ /*.avi$/ ) {
			print( $outfile "file '$dirname\\$_'\n");


sed -E "s/(.*)/file '\1'/"

viewing file information

ffprobe infile.mp4

framerate acceleration

example: input was recorded at 5 fps. output should be the same frames but at 25 fps, making the output video 5x faster.

ffmpeg -i input_5fps.mp4 -r 25 -filter setpts=PTS/5 output_25fps.mp4

example: a web rip had borders and a speedup to avoid algorims.

ffmpeg -i inrip.mp4 -r 30 -ar 44100 -filter:v "crop=out_w=640:out_h=360:x=345:y=235, setpts=PTS/0.9" -filter:a "asetrate=39690" -c:v libx264 -crf 24 "output.mp4"

example: speeding up a video 16-fold but keeping its framerate

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i 1x.mp4 -filter:v "setpts=PTS/16" -r 30 16x.mp4

speed-up by 20× and scale down

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i $file -filter_complex "[0:v] setpts=PTS/20, scale=h=360:w=-2, pad=w=640:h=360:x=-1:y=-1, minterpolate=fps=60:mi_mode=blend [v]; [0:a] atempo=2, atempo=2, atempo=2, atempo=2, atempo=1.25 [a]" -map "[v]" -map "[a]" -c:v libx264 -crf 22 -preset veryfast -b:a 128k S/$file

one could also do atempo=20 instead of the 2,2,2,2,1.25 done here; the doc on atempo says "note that tempo greater than 2 will skip some samples rather than blend them in"; i didn't really hear a difference but i wanted to "blend it in" anyway. also, i noticed that if this speedup is done in two separate filters, with -filter:v and -filter:a, the encoding will kind of like hang on to the last frame and make the entire video as long as the input even tho it's speeded up in its entirety: it'll be the speeded up video and then nothing until the file is as long as the input, really weird. doing video and audio simultaneously in one filtergraph with -filter_complex fixes this.

speedup video (which lacks audio) and add silent audio: ffmpeg -hide_banner -i $file -f lavfi -i anullsrc -filter_complex "[0:v] setpts=PTS/20, scale=h=360:w=-2, pad=w=640:h=360:x=-1:y=-1, minterpolate=fps=60:mi_mode=blend" -shortest -c:v libx264 -crf 22 -preset veryfast -b:a 128k S/$file

selective muting

ffmpeg -i copyright_trolled.mp4 -c:v copy -filter:a "volume='ifnot(between(t,20834,20987),1)':eval=frame" part_muted.mp4

mp3 metadata

ffmpeg -i in.mp3 -c:a copy -metadata TSOT="sort by this string" out.mp3

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i "424745724.mp3" -c:a copy -metadata TITLE="The Title" -metadata ARTIST="Whoever" -metadata DATE=2018 -metadata LYRICS="a windows command line cannot include a newline but a unix one can" -metadata TSOT="Title, The" forarchive.mp3


doc section

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i shaky.mp4 -filter:v "deshake" -c:v libx264 -crf 23 -c:a copy lessshaky.mp4

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i shaky -filter:v "deshake=edge=original:rx=32:ry=32:blocksize=4" -c:v libx264 -crf 22 -c:a copy -t 15 less_shaky.mp4

compare videos side-by-side

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i a.mp4 -i b.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:v]pad=iw*2:ih[int];[int][1:v]overlay=W/2:0[vid]" -map [vid] -c:v libx264 -crf 22 -map 0:a -c:a copy ab.mp4

palettize and export as gif

ffmpeg -i 2020-02-24.mkv -vf palettegen palette.png

you can now edit palette.png if you want to change it, reduce the number of colours and stuff (but keeping it as a 16×16 image)

ffmpeg -i 2020-02-24.mkv -i palette2.png -filter_complex "[0] crop=w=1180:h=720:x=0:y=0,scale=472x288,crop=w=449:h=265:x=10:y=12 [x] ; [x] [1] paletteuse=dither=none:diff_mode=rectangle" -t 3 thing3sec.gif

generate test screen with text and a silent audio track

ffmpeg -f lavfi -i anullsrc -f lavfi -i "yuvtestsrc=rate=60:size=1280x720,drawtext=text='lol โ”(ยดโˆ€\` )โ”Œ':fontcolor=white:fontsize=48:bordercolor=black:borderw=3:x=(w-text_w)/2:y=(h-text_h)/2" -c:v libx264 -crf 22 -b:a 256k -t 5 testfoo.mp4

[test screen]

generate just a test screen, play it back immediately

ffplay -f lavfi "yuvtestsrc"
or instead of yuvtestsrc try testsrc (which has a built-in seconds counter) or pal75bars or rgbtestsrc or smptehdbars.

generate a mandelbrot set, zooming in

ffplay -f lavfi "mandelbrot=size=1024x768:inner=convergence" ; doc section

burn subtitles

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf "subtitles='subs.srt'" (-c:a copy -c:v libx264 etc...) video_sub.mp4 (filter documentation, ffmpeg wiki link)


youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ -f 137+140 -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" --get-filename

-o "%(upload_date)s %(title)s %(id)s.%(ext)s"

youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MqYE2UuN24 --list-subs

youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MqYE2UuN24 -f 22 --write-sub --sub-format vtt --sub-lang en

turn an image file and an audio file into a video file

ffmpeg -loop 1 -i picture.png -i audio.mp3 -map 0:v -map 1:a -c:v libx264 -crf 24 -b:a 320k -r 30 video.mp4

This'll make the video the resolution of the image, and at 30 frames per second (the -r 30 part). For a different size video, use (for example) -s 1080x1080 after the -map 1:a flag but before -c:v.

Note that this will keep adding soundless frames of the picture to the end of the video until you quit the program (by pressing q); it doesn't stop when the input audio stops. I haven't figured out how to stop when the audio stops, but you can get around this by first running ffprobe on the audio, getting its exact length, then adding (for example) -t 03:14.15 right before the output file name to make the video exactly 3 minutes and 14.15 seconds long.

originally created , last edited · index