Extracting Frames From A Video File

Using avconv (formerly ffmpeg):

avconv -ss 00:07:05 -i MAH00016.MP4 -t 2 -f image2 -q 1 Image-%03d.jpeg

The options:

  • -ss starting time in hh:mm:ss (or seconds)
  • -i input file
  • -t duration in seconds (or hh:mm:ss)
  • -f mux/demux for still images
  • -q quality (1 = best)

Use a video player to find the interesting section, then bracket it with the starting time and duration. Putting the -ss starting time before the -i input file lets the decoder skip through the file, rather than grinding through everything preceding the specified frames.

The -q 1 setting wrings the best quality out of the input video file. That’s why the camera captures 1920×1080 video @ 60 fps; I wish I could dial its compression back a bit, but that’s not an option.


Do you think he didn’t quite kill me between bites or is that a K-Mart bag and he was yakking on a phone like everybody else?

Near Miss - Jackson Drive - 2014-05-03 - car interior
Near Miss – Jackson Drive – 2014-05-03 – car interior

Clicky for more dots. I compressed the image from the avconv output file, but it’s good enough.

4 thoughts on “Extracting Frames From A Video File

    1. I really wish the video data wasn’t so aggressively compressed; dropping back to 30 frame/s doesn’t help, so it’s not a data rate problem.

      The camera runs embedded Linux, but with no controls for anything. [sigh]

  1. The straight, nearly-vertical lines above the joint between the thumb and forefinger on the right hand suggest he is holding a dark-colored bottle, rather than a sandwich. Any chance that could be an artifact of the reflection in the window?

    1. The view through the window may be a Rorschach test: we can find nearly anything we want.

      But… a dark brown bottle? Eeek!

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