Video Contact Sheet *NIX


Projects index


  1. Details (and download)
  2. Updates / WiP
  3. Description
  4. Default behaviour
  5. Documentation
  6. Some samples
  7. Known issues
  8. Next version futures
  9. Similar tools
  10. ChangeLog


Updates / WiP

Updates are posted at my main site, see


This is a bash script meant to create video contact sheets (previews) of videos. Any video supported by mplayer and ffmpeg can be used.
A note of warning: Unlike most similar tools it, by default, makes screenshots the same size as the video, see below for details on how to change this.

Take a look at the documentation and/or use the --help and --fullhelp options to learn how to use it.


Default behaviour

By using configuration files and/or command line options the default behaviour can be tweaked to your needs, this are the defaults, followed by a link with the explanation on how to change it:


The full package includes also manpages for the script (vcs(1)) and configuration (vcs.conf(5)).

Documentation has been moved to a separate set of pages.

Some samples

Samples with varied options:

5x4 grid Black contact sheet 5x4 grid, no padding Complete contact sheet Slightly complex sample Complex sample Filmstrip-mode sample White contact sheet

More samples can be found in the documentation site, e.g. in: Samples, Example configurations, Setting colours

Known Issues

Getting stuck on first frame
This happening is a sign that the decoder (FFmpeg or MPlayer) has problems dealing with the input file. Interrupt with CTRL+C and re-run with -O stderr=/dev/stderr to display decoder errors. It might be due to unsupported codecs or broken files, there's little more you can do, except trying with the other decoder (-M to use MPlayer, -F to use FFmpeg, which is the default).
Getting gray frames
This is a decoder error (either due to a broken file or some codec bug). Again little to be done other than switching decoders.

Remember this is a (neverending) work in progress, please report any bugs you encounter, either through e-mail or the bug tracker.

Next version features

See roadmap.

Similar tools

Other similar tools available for POSIX/UNIX-like systems:


These are the changes since the last full version of some interest to end users.
Also available is a selection of changes of all versions at the wiki; and the full changelog is in a separate file (CHANGELOG or CHANGELOG.gz). (Contributors are listed there too.)

1.13.3 (Published May 26th 2017)

Announcement post

1.13.2 (Published May 18th 2014)

Announcement post

1.13.1 (Published February 26th 2014)

Announcement post

1.13 (Published March 8th 2013)

Announcement post