I am trying to output a screenshot of a video at an specified time and the resulting picture should have a black square with the time that was given initially.

So far I was only able to produce a screenshot using vframes from the example at the documentation on ffmpeg page which is this below:

ffmpeg -i input.flv -ss 00:00:14.435 -vframes 1 out.png

But I would like to add a timestamp in the resulting thumbnail or capture of the video which would show that '00:00:14.435' using arial fontface and a black square as background an yellow as fontcolor. Can this be done?.

  • See here. Skip \:1466507118
    – Gyan
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 6:15
  • I've already tried the method you mentioned but it does generate a sequence of frames and it is not the way how I intend to assess my problem hence i stressed the part of inserting the time in a black frame at the bottom of the screen capture with the specified time. Commented May 31, 2017 at 6:40

1 Answer 1



ffmpeg -start_at_zero -copyts -ss 00:00:14.435 -i input.mp4
    -vf "drawtext=fontfile=/path/to/Arial.ttf:
          text='Time\: %{pts\:hms}'"
    -vframes 1 output.png
  • Can this code be expanded to take a screenshot every X minutes from the video and paste on each one the time elapsed until that point?. I am unable to do this by my own. Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 9:27

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