I have a 30fps video that is 234 minutes long and want to shrink it down to 2 minutes. 1-(234-2)/234) gives me 0.0085 which I use

ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -vf setpts=PTS*0.0085,palettegen palette.png

followed by

ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -i palette.png --filter_complex setpts=PTS*0.0085,paletteuse survey.gif

Actually making the gif is excruciatingly slow compared to extracting the desired frames into a massive directory of png's which I can then combine with convert into a gif. Aside from my main question, it doesn't seem like ImageMagick's convert supports user supplied palette files.

I understand that PTS is just adjusting how long a single frame is shown in a video but setpts has felt like the only reliably precise way of cutting the source.mp4 down.

I looked at framestep and it is much better for speed but I couldn't figure out an ideal value for framestep that wouldn't make the resulting gif step from one frame to the next like what I would get from using convert and a delay of 0.5 between frames.

Aside from above, these survey are meant to quickly scan through hours of video for various points of concern in a gif format able to be uploaded privately to imgur or giphy so others on my team could review them remotely and without ftp/dropbox/etc.

  • Do you wish to retain all frames and cycle through them in 2 mins, or pick just enough frames to have a 2 min 30 fps GIF? You mention 0.5 delay in relation to convert - is that 0.5 seconds per frame - which would indicate 240 frames to be selected from the video.
    – Gyan
    Nov 4, 2018 at 18:25
  • I just want to select enough to cover 2.5 minutes. I have made these another way and they are epilepsy inducing but consistent enough to go back to the original minute in question. As for the delay it is a bit confusing as that affects ticks per second and not frames per second.
    – David
    Nov 4, 2018 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Assuming you want a 30 fps 2.5m GIF, use

ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -vf "select='not(mod(n,trunc(234/2.5)))',palettegen" palette.png


ffmpeg -i source.mp4 -i palette.png -filter_complex "[0]select='not(mod(n,trunc(234/2.5)))',setpts=N/30/TB[v];[v][1]paletteuse" survey.gif

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