Convert videos with VLC player

Website: media creation

For this website, I have been converting media files a lot. You know, the photos I shoot are really big which leads to long page load times and screen-filling images. While it is quite easy to reduce their size, and increase JPEG compression, it is a lot harder to do so with videos.

The problem

VLC's preview Effects and filters window WTF, VLC?! I’m using the popular vlc player and somehow I didn’t seem to get it right. Either my video doesn’t turn out in greyscale as I planned, the output file is empty (Use H.264, instead of H.265 to fix), the aspect ratio seems distorted, or the video suddenly has rotated which I neither wanted nor expected to happen.

Items to cover

This series of steps help me (and maybe you, too) how to make simple video conversions like

How does the filter stuff work?

VLC's preview Effects and filters window

Preview filters

VLC has a quick-preview feature for the most common filters in the Tools -> Effects and filters menu. This directly affects the video you’re viewing, but won’t affect your saved file. It’s just meant for you previewing and controlling the effect properties these filters will have on your video. View this VideoProc blog entry for in-depth guides - and - more importantly - many images stepping you through. For the impatient fraction: continue reading 😉

Save filtered video to file

VLC's conversion profile window for saving To save a filter that you selected for your preview, you must add them to the conversion profile. As long as they remain ticked, any save with this profile will modify your video, eventually even although you unticked all changes you made to the preview filters in the past!

How to change colors in my video?

  1. Open the video file you want to modify.
  2. Click Tools -> Effects and filters (or press Ctrl+E)
  3. A dialog with three tabs opens. Select the Video Effects tab.
  4. Under Essentials, tick Image Adjust.
  5. Make your changes and hit Save, then Close. A preview of the effect is shown in the main window.
  6. Open the playlist view by pressing Toggle Playlist (Ctrl+L)
  7. Right-click your video, select Save... in the context menu.
  8. Press the wrench symbol Edit selected Profile and in the Video codec tab, select the Filters sub-tab.
  9. Tick the Image properties filter. This will make your change permanent once you save your file.
  10. Enter a destination file and hit start.
  11. Don’t forget to untick the Image properties filter in your profile. Also rewind the changes you made in the Video Effects tab (step 4).

How to rotate my video?

  1. Open the video file you want to modify.
  2. Click Tools -> Effects and filters (or press Ctrl+E)
  3. A dialog with three tabs opens. Select the Video Effects tab.
  4. Under Geometry, tick Transform.
  5. Make your changes and hit Save, then Close. A preview of the effect is shown in the main window.
  6. Open the playlist view by pressing Toggle Playlist (Ctrl+L)
  7. Right-click your video, select Save... in the context menu.
  8. Press the wrench symbol Edit selected Profile and in the Video codec tab, select the Filters sub-tab.
  9. Tick the Video transformation filter. This will make your change permanent once you save your file.
  10. Enter a destination file and hit start.
  11. Don’t forget to untick the Image properties filter in your profile. Also rewind the changes you made in the Video Effects tab.

How to crop my video?

  1. Open the video file you want to modify.
  2. Click Tools -> Effects and filters (or press Ctrl+E)
  3. A dialog with three tabs opens. Select the Video Effects tab.
  4. Under Crop, play around with the pixel values and watch the preview window carefully until you’re happy with the crop. Note or memorize the settings you’d like to apply. Close the dialogue.
  5. Click Tools -> Preferences (or press Ctrl+P)
  6. On the Interface (start) Tab, select the radioButton Show Settings - All.
  7. Scroll down to the Video element and open Filters.
  8. Select the Video cropping filter.
  9. find the Cropadd element within the filters list on the left. Enter the values you memorized/ noted down in the preview. Hit Save.
  10. Open the playlist view by pressing Toggle Playlist (Ctrl+L). Then Right-click your video, select Save... in the context menu.
  11. Press the wrench symbol Edit selected Profile and in the Video codec tab, select the Filters sub-tab.
  12. Tick the Video crop filter. This will make your change permanent once you save your file.
  13. Enter a destination file and hit start.
  14. Don’t forget to untick the Video crop filter in your profile. Also rewind the changes you made in the Filters preferences item.

How to trim my video?

Note: A more detailed version of this can be found in this post.

  1. Open the video file you want to modify.
  2. Show Record button in VLC Player (tick View->Advanced Controls)
  3. Jump to where you want the trimmed video to begin.
  4. Press the red record button
  5. Play the video sequence. Stop where you want to end your trim.
  6. VLC’s standard location for video output: C:\Users\Username\Video

How to change video resolution?

  1. Open the video file you want to modify.
  2. Open the playlist view by pressing Toggle Playlist (Ctrl+L). Then Right-click your video, select Save... in the context menu.
  3. Press the wrench symbol Edit selected Profile and in the Video codec tab, select the Resolution sub-tab.
  4. Enter the video size you’d like to convert to and hit Save.

Hope this helps!

2022

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2021

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