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Video editing and compositing in Python

Project description

A Python video editor and compositor based on the MLT Multimedia Framework.

VidPy is currently in alpha - there are probably a bunch of bugs, and the api will likely change. If you’re interested in testing it out, please do, and leave comments/suggestions/issues in the issue tracker.

Read the full documentation here:


VidPy requires melt, which can be tricky to properly install on Mac and Windows. The easiest option is to install Shotcut (an open source video editor) which comes with a prebuilt melt binary.


  1. Install Shotcut (on a mac with brew: brew cask install shotcut
  2. Install VidPy with: pip install vidpy


  1. Install melt: sudo apt-get install melt
  2. Install VidPy: pip install vidpy


VidPy will attempt to locate the melt binary, searching first for a Shotcut installation on Mac/Windows. You can also point VidPy to a specific binary like so:

from vidpy import config
config.MELT_BINARY = '/path/to/melt'


Use the Clip class to create and manipulate video clips, and the Composition class to put clips together.

Composition() takes a list of clips as input, and then allows you to save an output video with save(), or to preview with preview().

By default a composition will treat each clip as a separate track, playing them all at the same time.

from vidpy import Clip, Composition

clip1 = Clip('video.mp4')
clip2 = Clip('anothervideo.mp4')

# play videos on top of each other
composition = Composition([clip1, clip2])'output.mp4')

You can tell clips when to start playing with the offset parameter, or with set_offset() after instantiation. All time is in seconds.

# start playing clip one after 1.5 seconds
clip1 = Clip('video.mp4', offset=1.5)

clip2 = Clip('anothervideo.mp4')
clip2.set_offset(5) # start clip2 after 5 seconds

composition = Composition([clip1, clip2])'output.mp4')

Trim clips with start and end parameters, or with the cut method.

# only use the first second of the clip
clip1 = Clip('video.mp4', start=0, end=1)

clip2 = Clip('anothervideo.mp4')
clip2.cut(start=2, end=4) # use clip2 from 2 to 4 seconds

You can also play clips one after the other (instead of all at the same time) by adding singletrack=True as a parameter to your composition.

composition = Composition([clip1, clip2], singletrack=True)'output.mp4')

Composition also allows you to set dimensions, fps, and background color.

# create a 1280x720 composition at 30 fps with a red background
composition = Composition(clips, bgcolor="#ff0000", width=1280, height=720, fps=30)

# preview it

Finally, you can convert compositions to clips to reuse.

comp = Composition([clip1, clip2, clip3], singletrack=True)
clip = Clip(comp)

# do stuff with the entire composition
clip.cut(0, 1)

Filters & Effects

There are a number of effects built into VidPy:

clip.fadein(1)      # fade the clip in over 1 second
clip.fadeout(0.5)   # fade the clip over 0.5 seconds
clip.glow()         # add a glow effect
clip.spin(2)        # make the clip spin around. (Why would you do this? I don't know!)
clip.chroma()       # attempt to automatically remove the background color
clip.volume(0)      # mute a video

# set clip's position
clip.position(x=100, y=20)

# resize a clip
clip.position(w='50%', h='20%'')

# start the clip scaled to 200% at coordinates (0, 0)
# then move it to (200, 200) and scale it to 90% over 5 seconds
clip.zoompan([0, 0, '200%', '200%'], [200, 200, '90%', '90%'], start=0, end=5)

For a full list see the filters documentation: (link to come)

You can also use any filter supported by mlt with the fx method. The first parameter should be the name of the filter, and the second a dictionary of options.

For example, to add a cartoon effect:

# use the full filter name as the first parameter
# and then a dictionary of options, based on the mlt documentation
clip.fx('frei0r.cartoon', {'0': 0.999})

Or, play with colors:

clip.fx('avfilter.colorchannelmixer', {'av.rr': 2, '': 2})

Remember to look at the mlt docs to figure out what parameters to pass in.


Use the Text class to add text clips

from vidpy import Text

text_clip = Text("A spectre is haunting Europe.", font="Comic Sans Ms", size=100, color="#ff0000")

Some optional parameters for text clips are:

font any font name on your system

color color of text

weight between 100 and 1000

style normal or italic

olcolor outline color

outline outline size

halign horizontal alignment (left, center, right)

valign vertical alignment (top, middle, bottom)

bbox a bounding box to put the text in (x, y, width, height)


VidPy is by Sam Lavigne, and draws heavily from MoviePy by Zulko.

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