this article shows an impressive implementation of how to programmatically personalize video.

"Everybody received their ‘own’ version of the video."

How would I realize a similar solution? Which programming language would I use, which libraries, services are available to achieve a similar application on a web server?

Curious to see you answers!


You can use ffmpeg to do something like this programmatically. It has the capability to composite and edit footage as well as adding effects and text. It is a command line app, so works in the shell of your choice on Linux/Mac/Windows. Youtube reputedly uses ffmpeg to process their videos, so it's safe to say that it's very widely adopted. FFMPEG is free and open source. This is probably your best bet.

Adobe After Effects can also be controlled programmatically using the Extendscript language. After Effects is an industry stanard video effects tool. While it has more capabilities than ffmpeg it is mainly designed as a GUI app, and the API really needs a good understanding of the app to use, meaning that developers are probably fairly hard to find. It is available from Adobe through Creative Cloud membership.

Processing is another option, it's a programming language designed for creative use, based on Java. Although it's less focussed on video it does have the capability to process video, and could add text and effects to video content. Also free and open source.

  • I would have suggested ffmpeg but the linked video has man places where the name is stylized and has effects/perspective/blending modes applied. Would be a real chore to do it with ffmpeg. – Gyan Nov 17 '16 at 11:50
  • True. But probably do-able. – stib Nov 18 '16 at 10:01

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