PySceneDetect Python Interface

In addition to being used from the command line, or through the GUI, PySceneDetect can be used in Python directly - allowing easy integration into other applications/scripts, or interactive use through a Python REPL/notebook.

The complete Python API Reference for the scenedetect module can be found in the PySceneDetect Manual, located at


In the code example below, we create a function find_scenes() which will load a video, detect the scenes, and return a list of tuples containing the (start, end) timecodes of each detected scene. Note that you can modify the threshold argument to modify the sensitivity of the ContentDetector.

# Standard PySceneDetect imports:
from scenedetect import VideoManager
from scenedetect import SceneManager

# For content-aware scene detection:
from scenedetect.detectors import ContentDetector

def find_scenes(video_path, threshold=30.0):
    # Create our video & scene managers, then add the detector.
    video_manager = VideoManager([video_path])
    scene_manager = SceneManager()

    # Base timestamp at frame 0 (required to obtain the scene list).
    base_timecode = video_manager.get_base_timecode()

    # Improve processing speed by downscaling before processing.

    # Start the video manager and perform the scene detection.

    # Each returned scene is a tuple of the (start, end) timecode.
    return scene_manager.get_scene_list(base_timecode)

To get started, try printing the return value of find_scenes on a small video clip:

scenes = find_scenes('video.mp4')

A more advanced usage example can be found in the API reference manual.

Scene Detection in a Python REPL

PySceneDetect can be used interactively as well. One way to get familiar with this is to type the above example into a Python REPL line by line, viewing the output as you run through the code and making sure you understand the output/results. In the future, functions may be added to preview the scene boundaries graphically using OpenCV's GUI functionality, to allow interactive use of PySceneDetect from the command-line without launching the full GUI.