FFmpeg command for padding Video

FFmpeg, a powerful multimedia processing tool, enables users to enhance video presentation by adding padding. Padding allows you to create a frame around your video, adjusting its aspect ratio or incorporating additional visual elements. In this detailed guide, we will explore the FFmpeg commands for padding videos, providing step-by-step instructions and customization options.

  1. Installing FFmpeg:
    Before getting started, ensure FFmpeg is installed on your system. Download the latest version from the official website (https://ffmpeg.org/download.html) or use package managers like Homebrew on macOS or APT on Linux.
  2. Navigate to the Video File Directory:
    Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the directory containing the video file you want to pad. Use the cd command to change the directory:
   cd /path/to/video/directory
  1. Execute FFmpeg Command – Adding Padding to Video:
    To add padding to a video, use the following FFmpeg command:
   ffmpeg -i input_video.mp4 -vf "pad=width:height:x:y:color" -c:a copy output_padded_video.mp4

Breakdown of the command:

  • -i input_video.mp4: Specifies the input video file.
  • -vf "pad=width:height:x:y:color": Applies the pad filter to the video.
    • width:height: Specifies the desired width and height of the padded video.
    • x:y: Specifies the position of the original video within the padded area.
    • color: Specifies the color of the padding (e.g., black, white, blue, or hexadecimal color codes).
  • -c:a copy: Copies the audio stream without re-encoding.
  • output_padded_video.mp4: Defines the output filename for the padded video.
  1. Execute FFmpeg Command – Example with Padding:
    For example, to add 100 pixels of padding to each side of a video and set the padding color to black, the command would be:
   ffmpeg -i input_video.mp4 -vf "pad=width=iw+200:height=ih+200:x=100:y=100:color=black" -c:a copy output_padded_video_example.mp4

Breakdown of the command:

  • width=iw+200: Sets the width of the padded video to the input width plus 200 pixels (100 pixels on each side).
  • height=ih+200: Sets the height of the padded video to the input height plus 200 pixels (100 pixels on each side).
  • x=100:y=100: Positions the original video 100 pixels from the left and 100 pixels from the top within the padded area.
  • color=black: Sets the color of the padding to black.
  1. Adjusting Parameters:
  • Width and Height (width= and height=): Modify the width and height values to achieve the desired dimensions for the padded video.
  • Position (x= and y=): Adjust the x and y values to control the position of the original video within the padded area.
  • Padding Color (color=): Choose the desired color for the padding.
  1. Executing the Commands:
    Press Enter to execute the FFmpeg commands. FFmpeg will process the video, adding the specified padding. The progress will be displayed in the terminal.
  2. Viewing the Output:
    Once the process is complete, navigate to the output directory where the padded videos are saved. Open the generated files using a media player to inspect the added padding.
  3. Customization and Additional Options:
    Explore FFmpeg’s extensive documentation for advanced options, such as using specific padding filters, adjusting aspect ratios, or applying additional visual effects. Customizing the command allows you to create uniquely padded videos based on your preferences.

To pad the video means to add an extra area to the video frame to include additional content. Padding video is often needed, when the input should be played on a display with a different aspect ratio

For example, to create a 30-pixel wide pink frame around an SVGA-sized photo, we can use the command

ffmpeg -i photo.jpg -vf pad=860:660:30:30:pink framed_photo.jpg

Padding videos from 4:3 to 16:9

ffmpeg -i input -vf pad=ih*16/9:ih:(ow-iw)/2:0:color output

For example, without knowing the exact resolution of the film.mpg file with 4:3 aspect ratio, we can add so-called pillarboxes in a default black color with the command

ffmpeg -i film.mpg -vf pad=ih*16/9:ih:(ow-iw)/2:0 film_wide.avi

Padding videos from 16:9 to 4:3

ffmpeg -i input -vf pad=iw:iw*3/4:0:(oh-ih)/2:color output

Enhancing video presentation with padding using FFmpeg provides a versatile and efficient solution for adjusting aspect ratios and incorporating visual elements. By following this comprehensive guide, you can use FFmpeg to add padding to videos, bringing creative possibilities to your video projects.

Leave a Comment