Creates thumbnail sprite images and a WebVTT metadata file from a video.
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Creates thumbnail sprite images and a WebVTT metadata file that can be used within several HTML5 video players to show preview thumbnails when hovering over the video time rail.

The initial version video-sprites was written during an AMIA hack day by Ashley Blewer, Jay Brown, Jason Ronallo, and Nicholas Zoss. This version improves on the CLI and allows it to be used as a module in other projects.


  • ffmpeg
  • Imagemagick (convert and montage)


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'video_sprites'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install video_sprites


See usage with: videosprites help process

Try it out with the defaults on one of the test videos in this repository under test/videos: videosprites process test/videos/GibraltarVotesToRemainBritish1967-51sec.mp4 tmp/gibraltar

Or create sprites that better match your use case: videosprites process test/videos/GibraltarVotesToRemainBritish1967-51sec.mp4 tmp/gibraltar2 --seconds=5 --width=150 --columns=3 --group=6

You can also make an animated GIF from all the selected frames using the same size as the thumbnails by adding the --gif option.

To use the project as a module in your own video processing workflow you can use it like this:

input_file = '/path/to/video.mp4'
output_directory = '/path/to/tmp/gibraltar2'
options = {
  seconds: 10,
  width: 160,
  columns: 4,
  group: 20,
  gif: false,
  keep_images: false
processor =, output_directory, options)


The following players provide a way to use WebVTT files and images sprites. Note that the WebVTT and thumbnails provided by VideoSprites may not have been tested in all players. Please file an issue if you find an incompatibility with any player.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at[USERNAME]/video_sprites.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.