Basically streaming videos does not change anything compared to streaming audio: you just have to use video files instead of sound files! For instance, if you want to stream a single file to an icecast server in ogg format (with theora and vorbis as codecs for audio and video) you can simply type:

source = single("video.mp4")

output.icecast(
        %ffmpeg(format="ogg",
          %audio(codec="libvorbis"),
          %video(codec="libtheora")
        ),
        host="localhost",
        port=8000,
        password="hackme",
        mount="/videostream",
        source)

And of course you could have used a playlist instead of single to have multiple files, or used other formats for the stream.

In order to test a video stream, it is often convenient to use the output.sdl operator (or output.graphics) which will open a window and display the video stream inside. These can handle streams with video only, you can use the drop_audio operator to remove the sound part of a stream if needed.

You should be expecting much higher resource needs (in cpu time in particular) for video than for audio. So, be prepared to hear the fan of your computer! The size of videos have a great impact on computations; if your machine cannot handle a stream (i.e. it’s always catching up) you can try to encode to smaller videos for a start.

Encoding with FFmpeg

The %ffmpeg encoder is the recommended encoder when working with video. Not only does it support a wide range of audio and video formats but it can also send and receive data to many different places, using input.ffmpeg. and output.url. On top of that, it also supports all the FFmpeg filters and passing encoded data, if your script does not need re-encoding.

The syntax for the encoder is detailed in the encoders page. Here are some examples:

# AC3 audio and H264 video encapsulated in a MPEG-TS bitstream
%ffmpeg(format="mpegts",
  %audio(codec="ac3",channel_coupling=0),
  %video(codec="libx264",b="2600k",
         "x264-params"="scenecut=0:open_gop=0:min-keyint=150:keyint=150",
         preset="ultrafast"))

# AAC audio and H264 video encapsulated in a mp4 file (to use with
# `output.file` only, mp4 container cannot be streamed!
%ffmpeg(format="mp4",
  %audio(codec="aac"),
  %video(codec="libx264",b="2600k"))

# Ogg opus and theora encappsulated in an ogg bitstream
%ffmpeg(format="ogg",
  %audio(codec="libopus"),
  %video(codec="libtheora"))

# Ogg opus and VP8 video encapsulated in a webm bitstream
%ffmpeg(format="webm",
  %audio(codec="libopus"),
  %video(codec="libvpx"))

Streaming with FFmpeg

The main input to take advantage of FFmpeg is input.ffmpeg. It should be able to decode pretty much any url and file that the ffmpeg command-line can take as input. This is, in particular, how input.rtmp is defined.

For outputting, one can use the regular outputs but some of them have special features when used with %ffmpeg:

  • output.file is able to properly close a file after it is done encoding it. This makes it possible to encode in formats that need a proper header after encoding is done, such as mp4.
  • output.url will only work with the %ffmpeg encoder. It delegates data output to FFmpeg and can support any url that the ffmpeg command-line supports.
  • output.file.hls and output.harbor.hls should only be used with %ffmpeg. The other encoders do work but %ffmpeg is the only encoder able to generate valid MPEG-TS and MP4 data segments for the HLS specifications.

Useful tips & tricks

Video is a really exciting world where there are lots of cool stuff to do.

Transitions

Transitions at the beginning or at the end of video can be achieved using video.fade.in and video.fade.out. For instance, fading at the beginning of videos is done by

source = video.fade.in(transition="fade",duration=3.,source)

You can add a logo (any image) using the video.add_image operator, as follows:

source = video.add_image(
       width=30,height=30,
       x=10,y=10,
       file="logo.jpg",
       source)

Inputting from a webcam

If your computer has a webcam, it can be used as a source thanks to the input.v4l2 operator. For instance:

output.sdl(input.v4l2())

Video in video

Suppose that you have two video sources source and source2 and you want to display a small copy of source2 on top of source. This can be achieved by

source2 = video.scale(scale=0.2,x=10,y=10,source2)
source = add([source,source2])

Scrolling text

Adding scrolling text at the bottom of your video is as easy as

source = video.add_text.sdl(
       font="/usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-dejavu/DejaVuSans.ttf",
       "Hello world!", source)

You might need to change the font parameter so that it matches a font file present on your system.

Effects

There are many of effects that you can use to add some fun to your videos: video.greyscale, video.sepia, video.lomo, etc. Read the documentation to find out about them. If you have compiled Liquidsoap with frei0r support, and have installed frei0r plugins, they will be named video.frei0r.*. You can have a list of those supported on your installation as usual, using liquidsoap --list-plugins.

Presenting weather forecast

You can say that a specific color should be transparent using video.transparent. For instance, you can put yourself in front of a blue screen (whose RGB color should be around 0x0000ff) and replace the blue screen by an image of the weather using

img = single("weather.jpg")
cam = input.v4l2()
cam = video.transparent(color=0x0000ff,precision=0.2,cam)
source = add([img,cam])

Detailed examples

The anonymizer

Let’s design an ``anonymizer’’ effect: I want to blur my face and change my voice so that nobody will recognise me in the street after seeing the youtube video. Here is what we are going to achieve:

This video was produced thanks to the following script:

# Input from webcam
cam = input.v4l2()

# Detect faces (this generates a white disk over faces)
mask = video.frei0r.opencvfacedetect(cam)
# Pixellize the video
censored = video.frei0r.pixeliz0r(blocksizex=0.1,blocksizey=0.1,cam)
# Generate a mask for video without the face
unmask = video.frei0r.invert0r(mask)
# Put the pixellized face over the video
s = video.frei0r.addition(
  video.frei0r.multiply(mask,censored),
  video.frei0r.multiply(unmask,cam))
# We have to bufferize the source because its clock it GStreamer's clock
s = buffer(buffer=0.1,mksafe(s))

# Input audio from microphone
mic = input.pulseaudio(clock_safe=false)
# Transpose sound to generate a funny voice
mic = soundtouch(pitch=1.5,mic)
# Add sound to video
s = mux_audio(audio=mic,s)

# Let's hear the sound
output.pulseaudio(fallible=true,s)
# Let's see the video
output.sdl(fallible=true,drop_audio(s))

s = mksafe(s)
# Output the video/sound into a file in theora/vorbis format
output.file(%ogg(%theora(quality=63),%vorbis), "anonymous.ogv", s)

Controlling with OSC

In this example we are going to use OSC integration in order to modify the parameters in realtime. There are many OSC clients around, for instance I used TouchOSC :

Here is how the video was made:

# Set the OSC port to match TouchOSC's default port
settings.osc.port.set(8000)

# Input from the webcam
s = input.v4l2_with_audio()
s = mksafe(s)

# We get the angle from fader 3
angle = osc.float("/1/fader3", 0.)
# we rescale the position of fader 3 so that it corresponds to a 2π rotation
angle = fun() -> angle() * 3.1416 * 2.
# ...and we rotate the video according to the angle
s = video.rotate(speed=0.,angle=angle,s)
# Change brightness according to fader 1
s = video.frei0r.brightness(brightness=osc.float("/1/fader1",0.5),s)
# Change contrast according to fader 2
s = video.frei0r.contrast0r(contrast=osc.float("/1/fader2",0.5),s)

# We have to buffer here otherwise we get clocks problems
s = buffer(s)

# Output sound and video
output.pulseaudio(fallible=true,s)
output.sdl(fallible=true,drop_audio(s))

Blue screen

You want to show yourself in front of a video of a bunny, as in

The idea is to film yourself in front of a blue screen, make this blue screen transparent and put the resulting video in front of the bunny video (actually, I don’t have a blue screen at home, only a white wall but it still kinda works).

# The video of the bunny
s = single("big_buck_bunny_720p_stereo.ogg")
# Input from the webcam
cam = input.v4l2()
# Flip the video around a vertical axis so that it is easier
# to position yourself
cam = video.frei0r.flippo(x_axis=true,cam)
# Make the white background transparent
# I had to tweak the precision parameter so that I will be seen
# but not the wall
cam = video.transparent(color=0xffffff,precision=0.64,cam)
# Superpose the two videos
s = add([s,cam])
# Output to SDL
output.sdl(fallible=true,drop_audio(s))