Friday, December 14, 2012

VideoLAN (VLC) Player - Saving A Transformed Video / Video with Effects Filters

Have you come across or simply want to re-edit/transform a video with video effects/filters such to have negated colors (inverted colors), rotate the video/change geometry of video, add in a gradient to make videos look like cartoon, add in an overlay, or any other effect or filter? 

You can do all of this and more with the VLC player!! There is plenty of online help and support for simply viewing the video with these filters, but often times it is more practical to save the video WITH the filters effects applied (i.e. you may want to put it on a DVD and play it on your TV!).

My issue was that I had come across a video with inverted (negated) colors that I wanted to change back, but also to save it in normal colors. 
Thus, I had to play around and found some tips and support online that eventually led me to my solution. 
I hope that my solution works for you and that, more importantly, it is clear and that you can follow along. Please let me know if you get stuck on anything. 



(this of course also works for changing colors back from an inversion or negation of colors)


So obviously you may not CS degree or masters of any type of computing programming language.
All their help guidelines are basically for advanced gurus to input command lines.
There needs to be help using and showing GUI (e.g. a visual walkthrough/actual instructions (click here/go there).

Although the command lines can and do give you quick access towards changing the settings, like 99%+ of the people don't know how to even use such language.
Let's just get right to it:
Okay first, I am using VLC version 2.0.4 (that is the most current as of this writing (12/13/2012))
Make sure the original video plays via VLC. Generally, AVI files don't play. I asked Jean (one of the VLC support team) and he told me that VLC just doesn't support it.
Now if you know the original video works with VLC, you can proceed.

  1. Open VLC and go to the menu bar and select the Tools tab.
  2. Click on Preferences (it's at the very bottom of Tools)
  3. In the Preferences box, go to the very bottom left corner and you'll see a "Show Settings" box. There are two options: Simple and All. Select "All".
  4. At the left side you'll see that there are many preference options. Scroll down with the left scroll to where it says "Stream Output". Beneath that are sub-options for Access output, Muxers, Packetizers, SAP, and then Sout Stream (you may need to click the little sideways triangle next to Stream Output (just to the left)). I want you now to click on the little sideways triangle next to Sout Stream. 
  5. You will now see a select of options for Sout Stream (Delay, Display, ES....). At the very end of this list is the option for Transcode. Click on that!! -->YES!!--I think you know where this is leading to now!                                
  6. The title "Transcode Stream Output" should display. If you scroll down using the main scroll (the scroll bar to the right) just a little bit, you see options for various video filters. Select the ones that you want to edit your film/video with. This might not be obvious. For me, the "negate colors" function is the "Invert Video Filter". Likewise, beneath the "Video" selection is the Audio selection and you can edit your video with audio filters as well. I also recommend "De-Interlacing" the video. It is at the very top when you first enter Transcode section. I don't know if it'll help, but I selected it (seems to help).            
  7. HIT SAVE!! Surely, you don't want to have to remember where to head back to and re-do everything (unless of course you might have done something improper or suspect something is wrong or accident).

I have this offset because this might all you need to know and the rest you may already know.
Anyhow, the next several steps will guide you through properly using the Stream function to save the video you wanted edited/transformed.

  1. Now that all the settings are good, get out of that preferences window and back to the main menu. Go to the Menu bar and click on the Media tab. 
  2. On the Media tab, select the Stream option (it has a little wireless icon to the left of it). 
  3. The "Open Media" box will now appear. Go ahead and browse for the file you wish to edit/alter by selecting "Add" under the "File" tab. 
  4. Once you've completed that, click "Stream" at the bottom right. 
  5. This should bring up the "Stream Output" box. From there select the option "Next". This is right above two options for "Stream" and "Cancel". 
  6. This is the part that might be most important for most of you. VLC will now request you for the "Destinations" you wish to select. There are several but I only recognize File and HTTP. You probably just want the file so select "File" from the menu selection across from "New Destination" and click "Add". This will bring up the File tab you have just requested. Click "Browse" and look for a location you want to save your video to. You will need to enter the name of the video and add the file extension you want to have (.flv, .mp4, .mov, .wav, etc...). Now it is ready! -- If you want to upload to the internet, just select HTTP and enter the Port and Path. 
  7. After this is completed, you may very well need to change some of the transcoding options under "Transcoding options". In fact, you might need to check the settings. You should select the video profile you want your video in (MP4, WMV-WMA (ASF), etc....). Next to that, there is a tool function (screwdriver/wrench). Click on that. 
  8. You should bring up a box called "Form". It will contain 4 tabs (Encapsulation, Video Codec, Audio Codec, Subtitles). Go to "Video Codec" and make sure the box for "Keep original video track" is unselected. Otherwise, you transformation will not work. I suggest here that you enter the bitrate and framerate that you had on the original video so that you can mitigate any potential losses in quality. 
  9. Be sure to hit SAVE so you don't lose this settings. 
  10. You may select "Next" to view the "Options Setup" window, but there isn't anything to do there. IN FACT, I believe that is where you would have entered the codes that they gave you!!! 
  11. Now you are all done. Just select "Stream" at the bottom right of the box and it will stream the video for you. 
  12. After the video is done streaming, it will show up in the location you selected for the destination, but you will not be able to play it until you close the VLC player. After you close the VLC player, the video icon should display and your video is ready for viewing.


That worked for me anyhow and should work for you.
...........and YESSSS!! that was lengthy (sorry) but I wanted to put it in more detail as I have not seen it as such elsewhere; Thus, I believe it should clarify the process and help you out. 
If any problems, you betcha I can probably help ya out. 

Please  Google + me and feel free to recommend me!!
In fact, your endorsement/reference is about as good as money for me right now. 

You may also head to the VideoLAN forums and they may be able to help you out, too.

VLC - VideoLAN Forums

Good luck and happy viewing!!


  1. Very many thanks, hugely helped me out, indieberlin is in your debt! Any time you're in Berlin let me buy you a beer!

  2. Great! You've just made this kid very happy.
    Works perfectly with VLC 2.0.5
    Thank you very much

  3. Replies
    1. Likely because of VLC software upgrades in the past 5 years. If somebody can provide a revised solution, I would be more than grateful to revise this blog to reflect the correct/revised method.

  4. You are godsend, thanks a lot!

  5. I set the video filters, colour; sharpness and contrast on an mp4 file to enhance it, in VLC Media Player. I then Converted / Saved the the file in mp4 format. I turned vlc player off, then reloaded to watch the video and was delighted to see all the enhancements were present on the playback! Then came the bad news: I found the mp4 file would ONLY play on the vlc media player and NO OTHER media player!
    Why should this be? It is obviously not a legitimate mp4 file in it's make-up. Vlc player can cope with it, whereas other media players cannot. I can only think something must make a radical alteration to the files make-up when enhancement filters are applied(?)
    Clearly this is not good. I wanted to burn the file to a dvd in it's newly enhanced form. Where am I going wrong? What do I need to do to make the mp4 legitimately?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I obviously lost track of this being 5 some years old now. Duh! Moreover, unfortunately for you (but luckily for me) I haven't needed to do any converting in the past few years. Nonetheless, it sounds like you only have the filters applied in VLC but you never made the conversion application to the file; However, you indicated that the file doesn't even play on other players. Right? If that file can play else where in plain format, my suspicion is probably correct. If you are saying that the file doesn't even run, there is some serious technical issue with that file (like it is corrupted). VLC player can play fragmented/corrupted files for whatever reason whereas Windows Media player and others can't.

  6. Unfortunately it doesn't work. I applied the "Essential" video filters and they are not saved to the video when I stream it as described above. I mainly need the gamma correction.. I tried all different of settings with exporting the stream. Sad. :(

    1. As I indicated in another reply, it not has been 5 years since I posted this, but haven't really practiced video formatting in that time. I honestly really could with some videos I watch as it would actually save time for me. However, I am out of practice. Nonetheless, VLC has obviously upgraded their player since then; thus, I would have to go back through and see where they made changes and adjust the steps accordingly. Since I don't have need for conversion and my time is limited, I abdicate this duty to another for the time being. If you can find a solution, please share here for everybody else to know. Moreover, I would be more than happy to revise the original blog to feature the correct/revised information since it is evidently still being referenced to in late 2017 as a guide/solution for people's video editing problems.