Version 32 (modified by sstri, 6 years ago) (diff)

fixed an example: replaced I by PICT_TYPE_I

FFmpeg Filtering Guide

FFmpeg has access to many filters and more are added on a regular basis. To see what filters are available with your build see ffmpeg -filters.


Refer to the FFmpeg documentation for each filters' documentation and examples. This wiki page is for user contributed examples and tips.

Contributions to this page are encouraged.



Starting with something simple. Resize a 640x480 input to a 320x240 output.

ffmpeg -i input -vf scale=iw/2:-1 output

iw is input width. In this example the input width is 640. 640/2 = 320. The -1 tells the scale filter to preserve the aspect ratio of the output, so in this example the scale filter will choose a value of 240. See the FFmpeg documentation for additional information.

Speed up your video

See How to speed up / slow down a video for syntax (the setpts filter)/time lapse etc.

Filtergraph,Chain,Filter relationship

What follows the -vf in an ffmpeg command line is a Filtergraph description. This filtergraph may contain a number of chains, each of which may contain a number of filters.

Whilst a full filtergraph description can be complicated, it is possible to simplify it for simpler graphs provided ambiguity is avoided.

Remembering that filters in a chain are separated by commas "," chains by a semicolon ";" and that if an input or output is not specified it is assumed to come from the preceding or sent to the following item in the chain.

The following are equivalent:-

ffmpeg -i input -vf [in]scale=iw/2:-1[out] output
ffmpeg -i input -vf scale=iw/2:-1 output                                      # the input and output are implied without ambiguity

As are:-

ffmpeg -i input -vf [in]yadif=0:0:0[middle];[middle]scale=iw/2:-1[out] output # 2 chains form, one filter per chain, chains linked by the [middle] pad
ffmpeg -i input -vf [in]yadif=0:0:0,scale=iw/2:-1[out] output                 # 1 chain form, with 2 filters in the chain, linking implied
ffmpeg -i input -vf yadif=0:0:0,scale=iw/2:-1  output                         # the input and output are implied without ambiguity

multiple input overlay in 2x2 grid

Here four inputs are filtered together using the -filter_complex option. In this case all of the inputs are "-f lavfi -i testsrc" but could be other inputs. Within the filtergraph the first input is padded to the right and bottom by double its height and the other three inputs are individually filtered using hflip, negate, and edgedetect. The overlay filter is then used multiple times to arrange of latter three inputs on top of the first one. The offsets used in the overlay filter arrange the inputs into a grid shape.

ffmpeg -f lavfi -i testsrc -f lavfi -i testsrc -f lavfi -i testsrc -f lavfi -i testsrc -filter_complex "[0:0]pad=iw*2:ih*2[a];[1:0]negate[b];[2:0]hflip[c];[3:0]edgedetect[d];[a][b]overlay=w[x];[x][c]overlay=0:h[y];[y][d]overlay=w:h" -y -c:v ffv1 -t 5 multiple_input_grid.avi

Escaping characters

As described in the documentation, it can be necessary to escape commas "," that need to appear in some arguments, for example the select filter:-

ffmpeg -i input -vf select='eq(pict_type\,PICT_TYPE_I)' output                         #to select only I frames

However an alternative, which also allows for white space within the filtergraph, and which may assist in clarity of reading complex graphs, is to enclose the whole filtergraph within double quotes " " thus:

ffmpeg -i input -vf "select=eq(pict_type,PICT_TYPE_I)" output                #to select only I frames
ffmpeg -i input -vf "yadif=0:-1:0, scale=iw/2:-1" output                     # deinterlace then resize

Note that the examples given in the documentation mix and match the use of "full quoting" and "\" escaping, and that use of unusual shells may upset escaping.

Burnt in Timecode

PAL 25fps non drop frame

ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -vf "drawtext=fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/truetype/DroidSans.ttf: timecode='09\:57\:00\:00': r=25: \
x=(w-tw)/2: y=h-(2*lh): fontcolor=white: box=1: boxcolor=0x00000000@1" -an -y out.mp4

NTSC 30fps drop frame

(change the : to a ; before the frame count)_________________________________________________________
ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -vf "drawtext=fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/truetype/DroidSans.ttf: timecode='09\:57\:00\;00': r=30: \
x=(w-tw)/2: y=h-(2*lh): fontcolor=white: box=1: boxcolor=0x00000000@1" -an -y out.mp4

Scripting your command line parameters

If building complex filtergraphs the command line can get very messy so it can help to break things down into manageable pieces. However one needs to be careful when joining them all together to avoid issues due to your shell and escaped characters.

The following example shows a sample bash script containing a filtergraph of one chain with three filters; yadif, scale and drawtext.

# ffmpeg test script



cd $path

filter="-vf \"yadif=0:-1:0, scale=400:226, drawtext=fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/truetype/DroidSans.ttf: \
text='tod- %X':x=(w-text_w)/2:y=H-60 :fontcolor=white :box=1:boxcolor=0x00000000@1\""
codec="-vcodec libx264  -pix_fmt yuv420p -b:v 700k -r 25 -maxrate 700k -bufsize 5097k"

command_line="ffmpeg -i $in_file $filter $codec -an $out_file"

echo $command_line
eval $command_line

Note that the double quotes " around the whole filtergraph have been escaped \" and the filtergraph spans more than one line, the echo command shows the full command as it is executed. Useful for debugging.

The eval invocation of the $command_line variable is required to avoid loss of the embedded escaped quotes which occurs if it is absent. Other shells may behave differently.

List of Filters

Filters bundled with libavfilter as of 3.56.101 (as configured with --enable-gpl). Filters relying on external libraries, such as frei0r, are not listed here. remember, you can get documentation for each on the ffmpeg documentation page, for instance aformat's documentation, etc.

abuffer          |->A       Buffer audio frames, and make them accessible to the filterchain.
abuffersink      A->|       Buffer audio frames, and make them available to the end of the filter graph.
aconvert         A->A       Convert the input audio to sample_fmt:channel_layout.
aevalsrc         |->A       Generate an audio signal generated by an expression.
afade            A->A       Fade in/out input audio.
afifo            A->A       Buffer input frames and send them when they are requested.
aformat          A->A       Convert the input audio to one of the specified formats.
allpass          A->A       Apply a two-pole all-pass filter.
alphaextract     V->V       Extract an alpha channel as a grayscale image component.
alphamerge       VV->V      Copy the luma value of the second input into the alpha channel of the first input.
amerge           |->A       Merge two or more audio streams into a single multi-channel stream.
amix             |->A       Audio mixing.
amovie           |->|       Read audio from a movie source.
anull            A->A       Pass the source unchanged to the output.
anullsink        A->|       Do absolutely nothing with the input audio.
anullsrc         |->A       Null audio source, return empty audio frames.
apad             A->A       Pad audio with silence.
aperms           A->A       Set permissions for the output audio frame.
aphaser          A->A       Add a phasing effect to the audio.
aresample        A->A       Resample audio data.
aselect          A->A       Select audio frames to pass in output.
asendcmd         A->A       Send commands to filters.
asetnsamples     A->A       Set the number of samples for each output audio frames.
asetpts          A->A       Set PTS for the output audio frame.
asettb           A->A       Set timebase for the audio output link.
ashowinfo        A->A       Show textual information for each audio frame.
asplit           A->|       Pass on the audio input to N audio outputs.
astreamsync      AA->AA     Copy two streams of audio data in a configurable order.
atempo           A->A       Adjust audio tempo.
bandpass         A->A       Apply a two-pole Butterworth band-pass filter.
bandreject       A->A       Apply a two-pole Butterworth band-reject filter.
bass             A->A       Boost or cut lower frequencies.
bbox             V->V       Compute bounding box for each frame.
biquad           A->A       Apply a biquad IIR filter with the given coefficients.
blackdetect      V->V       Detect video intervals that are (almost) black.
blackframe       V->V       Detect frames that are (almost) black.
blend            VV->V      Blend two video frames into each other.
boxblur          V->V       Blur the input.
buffer           |->V       Buffer video frames, and make them accessible to the filterchain.
buffersink       V->|       Buffer video frames, and make them available to the end of the filter graph.
cellauto         |->V       Create pattern generated by an elementary cellular automaton.
channelmap       A->A       Remap audio channels.
channelsplit     A->|       Split audio into per-channel streams.
color            |->V       Provide an uniformly colored input.
colormatrix      V->V       Convert color matrix.
concat           |->|       Concatenate audio and video streams.
copy             V->V       Copy the input video unchanged to the output.
crop             V->V       Crop the input video to width:height:x:y.
cropdetect       V->V       Auto-detect crop size.
curves           V->V       Adjust components curves.
decimate         |->V       Decimate frames (post field matching filter).
delogo           V->V       Remove logo from input video.
deshake          V->V       Stabilize shaky video.
drawbox          V->V       Draw a colored box on the input video.
earwax           A->A       Widen the stereo image.
ebur128          A->|       EBU R128 scanner.
edgedetect       V->V       Detect and draw edge.
equalizer        A->A       Apply two-pole peaking equalization (EQ) filter.
fade             V->V       Fade in/out input video.
ffabuffersink    A->|       Buffer audio frames, and make them available to the end of the filter graph.
ffbuffersink     V->|       Buffer video frames, and make them available to the end of the filter graph.
field            V->V       Extract a field from the input video.
fieldmatch       |->V       Field matching for inverse telecine.
fieldorder       V->V       Set the field order.
fifo             V->V       Buffer input images and send them when they are requested.
format           V->V       Convert the input video to one of the specified pixel formats.
fps              V->V       Force constant framerate.
framestep        V->V       Select one frame every N frames.
geq              V->V       Apply generic equation to each pixel.
gradfun          V->V       Debands video quickly using gradients.
hflip            V->V       Horizontally flip the input video.
highpass         A->A       Apply a high-pass filter with 3dB point frequency.
histeq           V->V       Apply global color histogram equalization.
histogram        V->V       Compute and draw a histogram.
hqdn3d           V->V       Apply a High Quality 3D Denoiser.
hue              V->V       Adjust the hue and saturation of the input video.
idet             V->V       Interlace detect Filter.
il               V->V       Deinterleave or interleave fields.
interlace        V->V       Convert progressive video into interlaced.
join             |->A       Join multiple audio streams into multi-channel output.
kerndeint        V->V       Apply kernel deinterlacing to the input.
life             |->V       Create life.
lowpass          A->A       Apply a low-pass filter with 3dB point frequency.
lut              V->V       Compute and apply a lookup table to the RGB/YUV input video.
lutrgb           V->V       Compute and apply a lookup table to the RGB input video.
lutyuv           V->V       Compute and apply a lookup table to the YUV input video.
mandelbrot       |->V       Render a Mandelbrot fractal.
movie            |->|       Read from a movie source.
mp               V->V       Apply a libmpcodecs filter to the input video.
mpdecimate       V->V       Remove near-duplicate frames.
mptestsrc        |->V       Generate various test pattern.
negate           V->V       Negate input video.
noformat         V->V       Force libavfilter not to use any of the specified pixel formats for the input to the next filter.
noise            V->V       Add noise.
null             V->V       Pass the source unchanged to the output.
nullsink         V->|       Do absolutely nothing with the input video.
nullsrc          |->V       Null video source, return unprocessed video frames.
overlay          VV->V      Overlay a video source on top of the input.
pad              V->V       Pad input image to width:height[:x:y[:color]] (default x and y: 0, default color: black).
pan              A->A       Remix channels with coefficients (panning).
perms            V->V       Set permissions for the output video frame.
pixdesctest      V->V       Test pixel format definitions.
removelogo       V->V       Remove a TV logo based on a mask image.
rgbtestsrc       |->V       Generate RGB test pattern.
scale            V->V       Scale the input video to width:height size and/or convert the image format.
select           V->V       Select video frames to pass in output.
sendcmd          V->V       Send commands to filters.
separatefields   V->V       Split input video frames into fields.
setdar           V->V       Set the frame display aspect ratio.
setfield         V->V       Force field for the output video frame.
setpts           V->V       Set PTS for the output video frame.
setsar           V->V       Set the pixel sample aspect ratio.
settb            V->V       Set timebase for the video output link.
showinfo         V->V       Show textual information for each video frame.
showspectrum     A->V       Convert input audio to a spectrum video output.
showwaves        A->V       Convert input audio to a video output.
silencedetect    A->A       Detect silence.
sine             |->A       Generate sine wave audio signal.
smartblur        V->V       Blur the input video without impacting the outlines.
smptebars        |->V       Generate SMPTE color bars.
smptehdbars      |->V       Generate SMPTE HD color bars.
split            V->|       Pass on the input video to N outputs.
stereo3d         V->V       Convert video stereoscopic 3D view.
super2xsai       V->V       Scale the input by 2x using the Super2xSaI pixel art algorithm.
swapuv           V->V       Swap U and V components.
telecine         V->V       Apply a telecine pattern.
testsrc          |->V       Generate test pattern.
thumbnail        V->V       Select the most representative frame in a given sequence of consecutive frames.
tile             V->V       Tile several successive frames together.
tinterlace       V->V       Perform temporal field interlacing.
transpose        V->V       Transpose input video.
treble           A->A       Boost or cut upper frequencies.
unsharp          V->V       Sharpen or blur the input video.
vflip            V->V       Flip the input video vertically.
volume           A->A       Change input volume.
volumedetect     A->A       Detect audio volume.
yadif            V->V       Deinterlace the input image.

Other Filter Examples

Developing your own Filters

Basically, you can follow the examples given of the existing filters, which helps a lot, as well.

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