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FFMPEG - Who even needs a GUI video editor

Donald Feury
Appalachian Boi
Originally published at Updated on ・1 min read

So I've been messing around with FFMPEG alot to see how much video editing I can do without using an actual GUI video editor, so far it turns out that the answer is quite a bit.

I go over three main common tasks I've needed to do recently with only FFMPEG:

  • Cutting out a section of a video into its own file

    • The main benefit of this is that this process does not cause a re-encode, which saves an amazing amount of time. When I did the same thing in Davinci Resolve, it took 15ish minutes to render out the clip. FFMPEG took a whole 20 seconds.
  • Cleaning up a video clip by removing "frozen frames", using the FFMPEG filter called mpdecimate (Frozen frames are sections of a video where there appears to be nothing happening, hence it looks frozen)

    • This is really useful for making time lapses of processes, as you remove all the dead frames and you get only 100% action going on.
  • Taking the decimated video and creating a time lapse of any duration in seconds by calculating the value needed to adjust the presentation timestamps to get the desired duration.

    • This one has been really handy for making time lapses of my wife's design work. I've used it so far to make versions for Instagram and Tiktok.

Enjoy the video

Discussion (7)

dak425 profile image
Donald Feury Author

If anyone is curious what my more recent videos look like without using a proper editor, here is my latest one

tiffany profile image
Tiffany White

If you're doing proper video work, color correction, audio leveling, etc, you need a GUI. This is nice for quick edits but not for video editing itself.

dak425 profile image
Donald Feury Author

Possibly, I know you can actually do color adjustment with an ffmpeg filter but I forget what its called. Theoretically, if you had consistent lighting and had done some color adjustment in something like Davinci Resolve, you could take note of what adjustments you had made, slide those values into a script to run the proper ffmpeg filter and BOOM automated color correction.

klais profile image
Klais Laren • Edited

I am now looking for just the mechanisms to learn how to create video without complex programs.

sasakiska profile image

I am still making videos without editing, but I also plan to look for something easier soon.

malafisen profile image

I remember how I had to find a normal video editor. I wanted to do the usual easy editing and not to load a lot of laborious software on my computer. Fortunately, I managed to find a way to do video editing quickly and directly in my browser. I use for this purpose now, and on the whole it's not a bad editor, with a large set of functionality, which is exactly enough for most contentmakers on YouTube. In addition, I found the video compression function useful, especially after shooting the screen via Fraps. Also interesting is the slide show function, which was also useful for slicing. I hope that it will continue to work no worse.