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Video Scene Cut Detection and Analysis Tool

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Latest Release: v0.5.4 (September 14, 2020)

Main Webpage:


Installation and Dependencies:

Quick Install: To install PySceneDetect via pip with all dependencies:

pip install scenedetect[opencv]

To enable video splitting support, you will also need to have mkvmerge or ffmpeg installed on your system. See the documentation on Video Splitting Support after installation for details.

Requires Python modules numpy, OpenCV cv2, and (optional) tqdm for displaying progress.

Quick Start (Command Line):

Split the input video wherever a new scene is detected:

scenedetect -i video.mp4 detect-content split-video

Skip the first 10 seconds of the input video, and output a list of scenes to the terminal:

scenedetect -i video.mp4 time -s 10s detect-content list-scenes

To show a summary of all other options and commands:

scenedetect help

You can find more examples on the website or in the manual.

Quick Start (Python API):

In the code example below, we create a function find_scenes() which will load a video, detect the scenes, and return a list of tuples containing the (start, end) timecodes of each detected scene. Note that you can modify the threshold argument to modify the sensitivity of the scene detection.

# Standard PySceneDetect imports:
from scenedetect import VideoManager
from scenedetect import SceneManager

# For content-aware scene detection:
from scenedetect.detectors import ContentDetector

def find_scenes(video_path, threshold=30.0):
    # Create our video & scene managers, then add the detector.
    video_manager = VideoManager([video_path])
    scene_manager = SceneManager()

    # Base timestamp at frame 0 (required to obtain the scene list).
    base_timecode = video_manager.get_base_timecode()

    # Improve processing speed by downscaling before processing.

    # Start the video manager and perform the scene detection.

    # Each returned scene is a tuple of the (start, end) timecode.
    return scene_manager.get_scene_list(base_timecode)

To get started, try printing the result from calling find_scenes on a small video clip:

    scenes = find_scenes('video.mp4')

See the manual for the full PySceneDetect API documentation.

PySceneDetect is a command-line tool and Python library, which uses OpenCV to analyze a video to find scene changes or cuts. If ffmpeg or mkvmerge is installed, the video can also be split into scenes automatically. A frame-by-frame analysis can also be generated for a video, to help with determining optimal threshold values or detecting patterns/other analysis methods for a particular video. See the Usage documentation for details.

There are two main detection methods PySceneDetect uses: detect-threshold (comparing each frame to a set black level, useful for detecting cuts and fades to/from black), and detect-content (compares each frame sequentially looking for changes in content, useful for detecting fast cuts between video scenes, although slower to process). Each mode has slightly different parameters, and is described in detail below.

In general, use detect-threshold mode if you want to detect scene boundaries using fades/cuts in/out to black. If the video uses a lot of fast cuts between content, and has no well-defined scene boundaries, you should use the detect-content mode. Once you know what detection mode to use, you can try the parameters recommended below, or generate a statistics file (using the -s / --statsfile flag) in order to determine the correct paramters - specifically, the proper threshold value.

Note that PySceneDetect is currently in beta; see Current Features & Roadmap below for details. For help or other issues, you can contact me on my website, or we can chat in #pyscenedetect on Freenode. Feel free to submit any bugs or feature requests to the Issue Tracker here on Github.


Current Features & Roadmap

You can view the latest features and version roadmap on Readthedocs. See docs/ for a list of changes in each version, or visit the Releases page to download a specific version. Feel free to submit any bugs/issues or feature requests to the Issue Tracker.

Additional features being planned or in development can be found here (tagged as feature) in the issue tracker. You can also find additional information about PySceneDetect at

Licensed under BSD 3-Clause (see the LICENSE file for details).

Copyright (C) 2014-2020 Brandon Castellano. All rights reserved.

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