I am currently working with the drawtext filter. So far I have only been successful with drawtext option configurations to use the right font and place the text horizontally centered. How could i get drawtext to display text on a video as shown below?


ffmpeg -i "/media/test/test.mp4" -vf drawtext="fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/truetype/open-sans/OpenSans-Regular.ttf:text='Title of this Video':x=(w-tw)/2:y=(h-th)/2"  /media/test_edited.mp4"

2 Answers 2


Use drawbox for the box, and drawtext for the text.

Red beetle

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf \
"format=yuv444p, \
 drawbox=y=ih/PHI:[email protected]:width=iw:height=48:t=fill, \
 drawtext=fontfile=OpenSans-Regular.ttf:text='Title of this Video':fontcolor=white:fontsize=24:x=(w-tw)/2:y=(h/PHI)+th, \
 format=yuv420p" \
-c:v libx264 -c:a copy -movflags +faststart output.mp4
  • drawtext has a box option, but as far as I can tell it can't be an arbitrary width and is relative to the text size, so that is why drawbox is used instead.

  • The format filter is used to improve the color of the drawbox area; otherwise, depending on your input and output formats, the area could look de-saturated or monochrome. The format filter is then used again to ensure that the pixel format of the output file is compatible with all players.

  • The audio is being stream copied in this example because you may not want to needlessly re-encode it.

  • Old ffmpeg users will have to use t=max instead of t=fill.

  • Perfect, this is out of scope of the current question and I may need to create a new question. Any suggestions of how to add the snapchat timer. For example, I did some testing and ffmpeg contains a testsrc video source that contains a timer: ffplay -f lavfi -i testsrc. The digit 0 of the initial timer has a 29x52 pixels size and its postion from the top -left corner is 256 pixels horizontally and 94 pixels vertical. I can crop the area of one digit like this ffmpeg -f lavfi -i testsrc -vf crop=29:52:256:94 -t 10 timer1.mp4 May 16, 2015 at 7:43
  • I added an image with a timer to the question. The timer is a count down based on the video's duration . May 16, 2015 at 7:54
  • Yes, I will create a new question for it. You are correct. 30. 29, 28... etc. May 16, 2015 at 7:57
  • 1
    Great and you are right it did affect the box May 16, 2015 at 18:17

ffmpeg -i C:\Users\Developer_2\Videos\2.mkv -vf drawtext="fontfile=C\:/Regular.ttf: text='apcis.tmou.org': fontcolor=white: fontsize=24: box=1: bo[email protected]: x=w-tw:y=h-th" C:\inetpub\wwwroot\videos\1.mp4


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