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Thread: Create a Reversed Video Clip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Talking Create a Reversed Video Clip

    When putting together some old home movies, I can across a section I needed to run in reverse, just like we did at home with the Cine Projector (jumping backwards out of a swimming pool). OK, it made us laugh then! So searched for a solution using mencoder or ffmpeg but nothing was forth coming, so I set about sorting this out with a script.

    Mplayer has a useful feature that exports frame by frame to jpeg, I wrote a short code loop to reverse the numbering order of the created files, and then used mencoder to recombine the files into a video again.

    For the audio, ffmpeg is used to decode to wave, then sox can apply a reverse filter on the sound file, and ffmpeg again to create the output file.

    Finally mencoder again to remux the video and audio.

    The script is probably only useful for home / casual use, and on my old slow PC required me to slow the playback of mplayer right down to allow it to generate all the images.

    Here is the script, and it is also attached here ->


    #This script is designed to provide a reverse playback video clip
    #using mplayer, mencoder, ffmpeg and sox. For home use only it
    #offers the user the ability to generate short video clips with
    #both video and audio in reverse. It's not perfect by any means
    #but for casual use does the job.

    #If you don't need the audio you can comment out the audio section,
    #the remux section, and the remove section. These are highlighted.

    #Requisites: mplayer, mencoder, ffmpeg, sox.

    #Advice: use ffmpeg -i movie.avi to discern frame rate before you start
    #You'll need the input video in the same directory as the script!
    #Leave STARTNO & MAXFILES variables alone

    #Make sure you have plenty of disk space, a 1 minute clip can
    #generate up to 1500 jpg images taking up 750mb space!

    #place script and target video in a directory of your choice
    #ensure script is executable
    #cd to the directory with the script and the movie in it
    #edit the script variables to ensure correct start and end positions
    #(STARTPOS is the starting point of the clip, ENDPOS is the length of the clip)
    #You may need to play around with the speed setting to generate all the
    #frames if you have a slow PC

    #type ./scriptname moviename at the command line

    STARTPOS=00:01:00 #start of the clip
    ENDPOS=00:00:30 #duration of the clip
    QUALITY=100 #for best quality output
    MAXFILES=100000 #allows for an hour of jpegs
    START=99999 #allows for an hour of jpegs
    SPEED=0.15 #reduce speed accordingly for longer segments
    FPS=25 #either 25 or 23.976
    #inputvideo = $1 (from the filename you type)
    #extract and reverse audio using ffmpeg and sox
    #this could be streamlined but provides an "out of the box" solution
    ####Comment out the three lines below if you do not need audio###
    ffmpeg -i $1 -ss $STARTPOS -t $ENDPOS -vn -ac 2 -ar 44100 input.wav
    sox -V input.wav output.wav reverse
    ffmpeg -i output.wav -acodec libmp3lame -ac 2 -ab 128k -ar 44100 output.mp3
    #grab jpegs
    mplayer -idx -speed $SPEED -ss $STARTPOS -endpos $ENDPOS -vo jpeg:quality=$QUALITY:maxfiles=$MAXFILES $1
    #rename files in reverse
    for f in *.jpg
    mv $f $i.jpg
    i=$(($i -1))
    echo $i
    #encode jpegs back to a movie
    mencoder "mf://*.jpg" -mf type=jpg:fps=$FPS -o reverse.avi -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4
    #remux audio and video
    ###Comment out the line below if you do not need audio###
    mencoder reverse.avi -ovc copy -oac copy -audiofile output.mp3 -o reverseoutput.avi
    rm *.jpg
    rm *.wav
    rm *.mp3
    ###Comment out the line below if you do not need audio###
    rm reverse.avi

    #Nothing to undo
    Welcome all/any comments on how to improve script or on other methods that have been used to achieve the same thing with open source.
    Last edited by Jose Catre-Vandis; December 13th, 2009 at 04:08 PM.
    No longer participating......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Venice, Chased by Jaws
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Create a Reversed Video Clip

    This is incredibly helpful, albeit confusing for those who aren't familiar with some of the cl mentioned. I've been trying to do this via Avidemux, however, only the video can be reversed using the filters. The audio features are very limited.



    I got it!

    An easier way is to use Avidemux:

    Step 1:
    Select clip to trim (A to B), use the filters in the video section and add reverse. The audio will not be altered as there is no filter to allow for this.

    Step 2:
    Save file.

    Step 3:
    Open saved file. Go to Audio > Save

    Step 4:
    Make sure ffmpeg and sox are installed. Then use Jose Catre-Vandis's method above.

    ffmpeg -i audiofile.mp3 -vn -ac 2 -ar 44100 input.wav
    sox -V input.wav output.wav reverse
    Step 5:
    Open video that was reversed in step one. Go to Audio > Main Track. Select 'Audio source' as 'External wav' and in the 'External file' choose the output from step 4 that you had reversed.

    This is more for us gnoobs and gnobs who aren't just yet at the cl level that the OP had put together. It was a tremendous bridge that allowed me to figure out a simpler way.
    Last edited by imwithid; July 21st, 2010 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Elaborate on topic / spelling errors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Create a Reversed Video Clip

    Glad you found another way, its handy to know, even if i don't use Avidemux
    No longer participating......

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