Convert video to images with FFmpeg in Linux

Linux video to images with FFmpeg. Torvalds about Nvidia

Extract images from a video with FFmpeg to make this Torvalds GIF

This guide will show you how to efficiently extract the images from the video using the ffmpeg utility.

Some time ago, you could read how to extract images with VLC player. It is a great tool but it is not always comfortable. At the same time, there is a method that requires much fewer efforts: ffmpeg utility. You will need to type one simple command in the Linux terminal. Let’s look closer how to convert video to images with ffmpeg on your Linux system.

You can watch the video tutorial or continue reading further.

Video Tutorial

How to convert get images from a video with ffmpeg

For this tutorial, I took the video where Linus Torvalds spoke about Nvidia. You can also download this YouTube video. The required fragment is from 1:44 to 1:48. So, open the terminal in the required folder and run the following command:

ffmpeg -ss 01:44 -i Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia.mp4 -t 00:04 Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia_%03d.png
Linux video to images with FFmpeg. Terminal

Linux video to images with FFmpeg. Terminal

What does the command mean?

Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia.mp4 is the source file name.
Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia_%03d.png is the converted images names.
%03d indicates how many digits the output file name will contain. In my case, it will have 3 digits. The file name will look like these: Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia_001d.png, Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia_002d.png, Linus-Torvalds-Nvidia_003d.png.
-ss defines the time when the utility starts to extract images.
-t specifies the duration of the fragment to be converted.
-i is the input video name you are going to convert.

Having entered the command, wait some time until the utility extracts all the images from your video file in a set time limit. The required time will depend on how powerful is your computer and how long the time period you specified to extract.

Check the results

To check the results, go to the file manager. You will see many generated images.

Linux video to images with FFmpeg. Ready results

Linux video to images with FFmpeg. Ready results

After that, you can do everything with these images. For example, create GIF animation.


It is very easy to convert video to images with ffmpeg. This is a powerful tool to extract frames from a video in efficient way: you need to run only one command.

Please, feel free to share any other ways to convert video to images in Linux down below.

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