Commands

The following commands are available when using scenedetect. Several commands can be combined together (the order does not matter) to control various input/output options.

The following is a list of the available commands along with a brief description of the command’s function and an example.

Help/information commands:

  • help - Prints help and usage information for commands

    help or help split-video or help all

  • about - Prints license and copyright information about PySceneDetect

  • version - Print PySceneDetect version Number

Input/output commands (applies to input videos and detected scenes):

  • time - Set start time/end time/duration of input video

    time --start 00:01:00 --end 00:02:00

  • list-scenes - Save start/end/duration of each scene in .CSV format

    list-scenes or list-scenes --no-output-file

  • save-images - Extract frames from every detected scene as images

    save-images or save-images --num-images 5

  • split-video - Automatically split video with ffmpeg/mkvmerge

    split-video or split-video --copy

  • export-html - Export scene list to HTML file

    export-html or export-html --no-images

Note

When using multiple commands, make sure to not specify the same command twice. The order of commands does not matter, but each command should only be specified once.

help, version, and about

The help command prints PySceneDetect options and help information. Usage:

  • help

    Shows the main scenedetect program options and a list of commands.

  • help [command]

    Shows options for a specific command/detector (help list-scenes, help detect-threshold).

  • help all

    Shows the options and help information for all commands.

The version command command prints the version of PySceneDetect that is installed.

The about command prints PySceneDetect copyright, licensing, and redistribution information. This includes a list of all third-party software components that PySceneDetect uses or interacts with, as well as a reference to the license and copyright information for each component.

Usage Examples

help command (show help for global options/command):

scenedetect help

scenedetect help detect-adaptive

scenedetect help all

about command (show license/copyright info):

scenedetect about

version command (show software or system version info):

scenedetect version

scenedetect version --all

System Dependencies

You can use the version command with -a / --all to check installed software dependencies:

scenedetect version --all

Please include this information when submitting bug reports.

time

The time command is used for seeking the input video source, allowing you to set the start time, end time, and duration.

Timecode Formats

Timecodes can be specified in the following formats:

  • Timestamp of hours/minutes/seconds in format HH:MM:SS or HH:MM:SS.nnn (00:01:40 indicates 1 minute and 40 seconds). The HH, MM, and SS fields are all required; .nnn is optional.

  • Exact number of frames NNNN (100 indicates frame 100)

  • Time in seconds SSSS.SSSs followed by lowercase s (100s indicates 100 seconds)

Command Options

-s, --start TIMECODE

Time in video to begin detecting scenes. TIMECODE can be specified as exact number of frames (-s 100 to start at frame 100), time in seconds followed by s (-s 100s to start at 100 seconds), or a timecode in the format HH:MM:SS or HH:MM:SS.nnn (-s 00:01:40 to start at 1m40s).

-d, --duration TIMECODE

Maximum time in video to process. TIMECODE format is the same as other arguments. Mutually exclusive with –end / -e.

-e, --end TIMECODE

Time in video to end detecting scenes. TIMECODE format is the same as other arguments. Mutually exclusive with –duration / -d.

Usage Examples

Using the detect-content detector, we start at 1 minute in and parse 30.5 seconds of video.mp4:

scenedetect --input video.mp4 time --start 00:01:00 --duration 30.5s detect-content

Same as above, but setting the end time instead of duration:

scenedetect --input video.mp4 time --start 00:01:00 --end 00:01:30.500 detect-content

Process the first 1000 frames only:

scenedetect --input video.mp4 time --duration 1000 detect-content

list-scenes

The list-scenes command is used to print out and write to a CSV file a table of all scenes, their start/end timecodes, and frame numbers. The file also includes the cut list, which is a list of timecodes of each scene boundary.

Command Options

-o, --output DIR

Output directory to save videos to. Overrides global option -o/–output if set.

-f, --filename NAME

Filename format to use for the scene list CSV file. You can use the $VIDEO_NAME macro in the file name. Note that you may have to wrap the name using single quotes. [default: $VIDEO_NAME-Scenes.csv]

-n, --no-output-file

Disable writing scene list CSV file to disk. If set, -o/–output and -f/–filename are ignored.

-q, --quiet

Suppresses output of the table printed by the list- scenes command.

-s, --skip-cuts

Skips outputting the cut list as the first row in the CSV file. Set this option if compliance with RFC 4180 is required.

Usage Examples

Print table of detected scenes for video.mp4 and save to CSV file video-Scenes.csv:

scenedetect --input video.mp4 detect-content list-scenes

Same as above, but don’t create output file:

scenedetect --input video.mp4 detect-content list-scenes -n

save-images

The save-images command creates images for each detected scene. It saves a set number of images for each detected scene, always including the first and last frames.

Command Options

-o, --output DIR

Output directory to save images to. Overrides global option -o/–output if set.

-f, --filename NAME

Filename format, without extension, to use when saving image files. You can use the $VIDEO_NAME, $SCENE_NUMBER, $IMAGE_NUMBER, and $FRAME_NUMBER macros in the file name. Note that you may have to wrap the format in single quotes. [default: $VIDEO_NAME- Scene-$SCENE_NUMBER-$IMAGE_NUMBER]

-n, --num-images N

Number of images to generate. Will always include start/end frame, unless N = 1, in which case the image will be the frame at the mid-point in the scene. [default: 3]

-j, --jpeg

Set output format to JPEG (default).

-w, --webp

Set output format to WebP

-q, --quality Q

JPEG/WebP encoding quality, from 0-100 (higher indicates better quality). For WebP, 100 indicates lossless. [default: JPEG: 95, WebP: 100]

-p, --png

Set output format to PNG.

-c, --compression C

PNG compression rate, from 0-9. Higher values produce smaller files but result in longer compression time. This setting does not affect image quality, only file size. [default: 3]

-m, --frame-margin N

Number of frames to ignore at the beginning and end of scenes when saving images. [default: 3]

-s, --scale S

Optional factor by which saved images are rescaled. A scaling factor of 1 would not result in rescaling. A value <1 results in a smaller saved image, while a value >1 results in an image larger than the original. This value is ignored if either the height, -h, or width, -w, values are specified.

-h, --height H

Optional value for the height of the saved images. Specifying both the height and width, -w, will resize images to an exact size, regardless of aspect ratio. Specifying only height will rescale the image to that number of pixels in height while preserving the aspect ratio.

-w, --width W

Optional value for the width of the saved images. Specifying both the width and height, -h, will resize images to an exact size, regardless of aspect ratio. Specifying only width will rescale the image to that number of pixels wide while preserving the aspect ratio.

split-video

The split-video command splits the input video into individual clips, by creating a new video clip for each detected scene.

Command Options

-o, --output DIR

Output directory to save videos to. Overrides global option -o/–output if set.

-f, --filename NAME

File name format to use when saving videos (with or without extension). You can use the $VIDEO_NAME or $SCENE_NUMBER macros. Additional macros that are available only with the ffmpeg backend include $START_TIME, $END_TIME, $START_FRAME, and $END_FRAME. A potential formatting pitfall is that macros cannot be followed by an underscore character

in order to be replaced correctly. For example, the value Scene-$SCENE_NUMBER-Frame-$FRAME_NUMBER will

properly replace both macro values. However, using Scene_$SCENE_NUMBER_Frame_$FRAME_NUMBER will not. Note that you may have to wrap the format in single quotes to avoid variable expansion. [default: $VIDEO_NAME-Scene-$SCENE_NUMBER]

-q, --quiet

Hides any output from the external video splitting tool. [setting: off]

-c, --copy

Copy instead of re-encode. Much faster, but less precise. Equivalent to specifying -a “-map 0 -c:v copy -c:a copy “.

-hq, --high-quality

Encode video with higher quality, overrides -f option if present. Equivalent to specifying –rate-factor 17 and –preset slow.

-crf, --rate-factor RATE

Video encoding quality (x264 constant rate factor), from 0-100, where lower values represent better quality, with 0 indicating lossless. [setting: 20]

-p, --preset LEVEL

Video compression quality preset (x264 preset). Can be one of: ultrafast, superfast, veryfast, faster, fast, medium, slow, slower, and veryslow. Faster modes take less time to run, but the output files may be larger. [default: veryfast]

-a, --args ARGS

Override codec arguments/options passed to FFmpeg when splitting and re-encoding scenes. Use double quotes (”) around specified arguments. Must specify at least audio/video codec to use (e.g. -a “-c:v […] -c:a […]”). [default: -map 0 -c:v libx264 -preset veryfast -crf 22 -c:a aac]

-m, --mkvmerge

Split the video using mkvmerge. Faster than re- encoding, but less precise. The output will be named $VIDEO_NAME-$SCENE_NUMBER.mkv. If set, all options other than -f/–filename, -q/–quiet and -o/–output will be ignored. Note that mkvmerge automatically appends asuffix of “-$SCENE_NUMBER”.

export-html

The export-html command generates an HTML file containing all detected scenes in tabular format, including thumbnails by default. This requires the save-images command to also be specified. If images are not required, specify the –no-images option.

Command Options

-f, --filename NAME

Filename format to use for the scene list HTML file. You can use the $VIDEO_NAME macro in the file name. Note that you may have to wrap the format name using single quotes. [default: $VIDEO_NAME-Scenes.html]

—no-images Export the scene list including or excluding the saved images.

-w, --image-width pixels

Width in pixels of the images in the resulting HTML table.

-h, --image-height pixels

Height in pixels of the images in the resulting HTML table.