FFmpeg commands


Listing some of the commands that I am using these days while working with FFmpeg. Some readers may find them useful.


analyse motion vector data of any supported input video stream
ffplay -flags2 +export_mvs input.mp4 -vf codecview=mv=pf+bf+bb
ffmpeg -flags2 +export_mvs -i input.mp4 -vf codecview=mv=pf+bf+bb output.mp4



Convert any file to YUV420 file. Pixel format is YUV420P
ffmpeg -i akiyo.mp4 -c:v rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p akiyo.yuv



Convert any video file to HEVC using libx265
ffmpeg -i  input.mp4 -c:a copy -c:v libx265 out-hevc.mp4




Control frame rate to 5fps and play in full screen mode
ffplay -framerate 5 -fs str.bin


Play video files using FFPlay
ffplay akiyo.mp4
ffplay str.bin


Show all frame information, print frame wise information on terminal, can be modified to print on a file instead
ffprobe -show_frames  str.bin


Count number of frames in any video stream
ffprobe -v error -count_frames -select_streams v:0  -show_entries stream=nb_read_frames -of default=nokey=1:noprint_wrappers=1 str.bin

Options description

  • -v error This hides “info” output (version info, etc) which makes parsing easier.
  • -count_frames Count the number of frames per stream and report it in the corresponding stream section.
  • -select_streams v:0 Select only the video stream.
  • -show_entries stream=nb_read_frames Show only the number of read frames.
  • -of default=nokey=1:noprint_wrappers=1 Set output format (aka the “writer”) to default, do not print the key of each field (nokey=1), and do not print the section header and footer (noprint_wrappers=1).




Extract Y, U and V components of a video sequence in separate video files
ffmpeg -i akiyo.mp4 -filter_complex 'extractplanes=y+u+v[y][u][v]' -map '[y]' y.avi -map '[u]' u.avi -map '[v]' v.avi


Fade first n frames in a sequence, n = 100 here
ffmpeg -i akiyo.mp4 -filter_complex 'fade=in:0:100' output.hevc

Personal notes -
  • akiyo.mp4 was approximately 470KB, it’s raw YUV is 42MB. The str.bin after HEVC main compression is 23.9KB for same visual quality
  • YUV name & size MP4 file size QP PSNR HEVC .bin size
    akiyo.yuv 470KB 32 40.48 23.9KB
    akiyo.yuv 470KB 51 28.94 5.4KB
    akiyo.yuv 470KB 20 47.21 151.4KB