I often need to perform some operations on videos or image sequences. Usually I use linux and ffmpeg, and sometimes I struggle to remember all the commands. Here is a collection of recipes that I usually use with a bit of explanations.

Video conversions

Cut a range of frames

Cut a range of frames (100, 130) from a video and save it to mp4 with a good quality using x264 codec:

ffmpeg -i ./input_video.mp4 -vf "select=between(n\,100\,130)" -vsync 0 -vcodec libx264 -crf 15 -an ./output.mp4


  • -vf "select=between(n\,100\,130)" - cut according to the frame numbers. Slash symbols are essential.
  • -vsync 0 - some synchronization magic. Without it some duplicated/ freezed frames are added.
  • -crf 15 - good quality, large output file. set to a bigger value if you need more compression.
  • -an removes audio from the file. otherwise some black frames are added. I think there is a way to cut audio track as well, I just don't need it usually.

Cut according to time (between seconds 5.5 and 122):

ffmpeg -y -i ./input_video.mp4 -vf "select=between(t\,5.5\,122)" -vsync 0 -vcodec libx264 -crf 15 -an ./output.mp4

Resize video

ffmpeg -i "input.mp4" -vf scale="720:480" -vcodec libx264 -y output.mp4


ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -filter:v "crop=80:60:200:100" -c:a copy out.mp4

(audio is coped as is)

Crop to the size divisible by 2 (for x264 encoding)

ffmpeg -i "input.mp4" -filter:v "crop=(floor(iw/2)*2):(floor(ih/2)*2):0:0" -vcodec libx264 -crf 15 -y output.mp4

Compile images into video with a given framerate

ffmpeg -framerate 5 -i "input_%04d.jpg" -vcodec libx264 -crf 15 -r 30 -y vis__compiled.mp4

Images are assumed to have frame rate of 5. Video is saved with frame rate 30 (with duplicate frames).

More info here

Convert to jpeg

ffmpeg -i ./input_video.mp4 -qmax 1 -qmin 1 -start_number 0 output_image_%05d.jpg

Converting indexed a sequence of images to a sequence of images (png to jpeg compression), starting from 80th frame and saving starting from 80th index:

ffmpeg -start_number 80 -i input_image_%09d.png -qmin 1 -qscale:v 1.5 -start_number 80 output_image_%09d.jpg

Here we specified -qmin 1 to allow -qscale:v to be lower than 2. 2 is a default minimum. The compression is visually close to lossless.

Stack images/videos

# stack horizontally
ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -filter_complex hstack=inputs=2 output.mp4

# stack vertically
ffmpeg -i input0.mp4 -i input1.mp4 -filter_complex vstack=inputs=2 output.mp4

Strip metadata (EXIF) from multiple images

Single file in-place

mogrify -strip filename.jpg

Multiple files (linux)

find . -name "*.jpg" | sort | xargs -I {} mogrify -strip {}

See also