Convert Video to Grayscale

By  on  

I'm a JavaScript fanatic but I've always been fascinated with media manipulation. Maybe it's because I've secretly always wanted to be a designer, but I'm fine with being able to manipulate art with software instead of create the art myself. One type of art I've always enjoyed was black and white (/grayscale) video.

To convert a video to black and white, you can utilize ffmpeg with a few simple arguments:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf hue=s=0 output.mp4

The preceding command turns this color video:

... to the following grayscale video:

If you were to search ffmpeg on this blog, you'd find dozens of tutorials about how amazing the tool is. Play around with ffmpeg and let me know what awesomeness you come up with!

Recent Features

  • By
    Interview with a Pornhub Web Developer

    Regardless of your stance on pornography, it would be impossible to deny the massive impact the adult website industry has had on pushing the web forward. From pushing the browser's video limits to pushing ads through WebSocket so ad blockers don't detect them, you have...

  • By
    9 Mind-Blowing Canvas Demos

    The <canvas> element has been a revelation for the visual experts among our ranks.  Canvas provides the means for incredible and efficient animations with the added bonus of no Flash; these developers can flash their awesome JavaScript skills instead.  Here are nine unbelievable canvas demos that...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

  1. Nice, ffmpeg seems to be quite handy!

    Btw the same effect may be achieved on the client using CSS grayscale-filter, which is nowadays supported by any major browser (but IE). E.g. https://codepen.io/MattDiMu/pen/pBqQqR

    Doing this on the client-side, however, will probably result in much larger file sizes than necessary, as grayscale videos offer much better compression. In your example the difference is 399kB vs 270kB.

  2. Tom Gallagher

    I noticed the file size difference as well.

    David, could you confirm that just adding -vf hue=s=0 reduced the file size by 129KB, there were no other transformations?

    Thanks

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!