I have a video which is a bit dark that I'd like to re-encode and brighten up with ffmpeg.

As a smarter/faster alternative to running ffmpeg in trial/error mode, is there a way to simply use ffplay to find how much to brighten things up, before running ffmpeg with the same settings?

"ffplay -h" returns so much infos that it's hard for newbies :-/

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


You can use simple filtergraphs easily with ffplay.

Example using colorlevels filter in ffplay:

ffplay -vf colorlevels=rimax=0.902:gimax=0.902:bimax=0.902 input.mp4

Then you can use the same filter in ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf colorlevels=rimax=0.902:gimax=0.902:bimax=0.902 -c:a copy output.mp4

This example will stream copy the audio.

  • 1
    Thanks for the help. "colorlevels" as used above or even raised to 1 made no difference, but did the job: "-vf lutyuv=y=val*1.5"
    – Gulbahar
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 23:44
  • @Gulbahar The values used in my example were probably too subtle (I was lazy and just copied an example from the documentation); you would have needed to lower the values for a greater effect. However, it's good you found an alternative: there are several filters that can brighten the video.
    – llogan
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 23:46

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