The scene: Ubuntu 16.04, newly upgraded from 14.04 where things perked along happily with avconv

The props: a directory full of stills, motor_animate_000.gif, motor_animate_001.gif, etc.

The players: Me, a mostly-newbie ffmpeg user, and ffmpeg.

The drama:

Based on a suggestion I had to solve another problem, I execute the command line:

ffmpeg -f image2 -framerate 30 -i motor_animate_%03d.gif motor.mpg

After the usual excrutiating detailed list of stuff from ffmpeg, I get the following error message (in more than one color, ooh, ooh).

[image2 @ 0x14f8420] Could not find codec parameters for stream 0 (Video: none, none): unknown codec Consider increasing the value for the 'analyzeduration' and 'probesize' options motor_animate_%03d.gif: could not find codec parameters Input #0, image2, from 'motor_animate_%03d.gif': Duration: 00:00:04.03, start: 0.000000, bitrate: N/A Stream #0:0: Video: none, none, 30 fps, 30 tbr, 30 tbn, 30 tbc File 'motor.mpg' already exists. Overwrite ? [y/N] y No decoder for stream #0:0, filtering impossible Error opening filters!

Can anyone tell me what's going on and how to fix it? All I want to do is make an mpeg clip out of a bunch of one-frame gifs.


  • How were the GIFs created? And have you tried with a recent binary?
    – Gyan
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:12
  • GIFs were created using Scilab. It works for one frame if I specify a fully qualified file name. I'd really rather not step outside of Ubuntu's package maintenance protocol on this -- I'm using other things (kdenlive) that work Just Fine using the Ubuntu version of ffmpeg, and don't want to throw myself into Dependency Hell.
    – TimWescott
    Jan 6, 2017 at 21:01
  • And I spot-checked some of the GIFs -- they look just fine, at least to Ristretto.
    – TimWescott
    Jan 6, 2017 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


It's worth a try using the concat demuxer.

First, create a text file like this:

file 'motor_animate_000.gif'
file 'motor_animate_001.gif'
file 'motor_animate_002.gif'
file 'motor_animate_003.gif'

Then run

ffmpeg -f concat -i list.txt motor.mpg

Do note that by just specifying a .MPG filename as output parameter, ffmpeg will encode to MPEG-1 at a bitrate of 200 kb/s. If MP4 is not acceptable and .mpg is needed, then add -c:v mpeg2video -b:v 1000k after list.txt to set codec and avg. bitrate. For MP4, just change extension; the defaults are decent.

  • That gives me a buttload of warnings of the ilk "DTS -922328613750886, next:100000 st:0 invalid dropping // PTS -922328613750886, next:100000 invalid dropping st:0 // Past duration 1.999992 too large". But it works. Thanks.
    – TimWescott
    Jan 7, 2017 at 17:57
  • Yeah, you can ignore those. The concat demuxer usually works with video files which contain valid PTS values, not a relic like GIF.
    – Gyan
    Jan 7, 2017 at 17:59

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