I changed the color level of an video ("ORIGINAL_VIDEO1.MP4") that had previously played well in Apple Quicktime. After brightening,

ffmpeg -i ORIGINAL_VIDEO1.MP4 -vf colorlevels=romin=0.4:gomin=0.4:bomin=0.4 -c:a copy BRIGHTER_VIDEO_1.MP4

BRIGHTER_VIDEO_1.MP4 can no longer be played in Quicktime and it says something about the video missing elements. All the while, VLC plays it perfectly. Is there something I am doing wrong?


Pixel data in videos is typically stored as YUV, whereas colorlevels works upon RGB format pixels, so it tells ffmpeg to convert it beforehand. After the filtering, the reverse conversion to YUV before re-encoding uses a YUV format not compatible with basic players, so one has to force conversion to a compatible format.

ffmpeg -i ORIGINAL_VIDEO1.MP4 -vf colorlevels=romin=0.4:gomin=0.4:bomin=0.4 -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a copy BRIGHTER_VIDEO_1.MP4
  • Thank you! Would you be aware of any built in or other features that can increase brightness without oversaturation? colorlevels seems to be a very linear effect.
    – user321627
    Aug 2 '20 at 7:01
  • See the eq filter
    – Gyan
    Aug 2 '20 at 7:18

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