I have a lot of images (>11.000) and I want to create a video with avconv as timelaps. With ffmpeg i did the trick with:

ffmpeg -r 25 -i "/mnt/stora/dahopi/Pictures/Gartencam/%*.jpg" \
       -vf scale=800:600 -c:v mpeg4 -vtag xvid -qscale:v \
       10 gartencam.avi

But with avconv this does not work. I think the problem is the file selector %*.jpg and I wonder if I have a chance to create the video without filename modification.

If not - do you know another tool to do the trick?

  • Why not just use ffmpeg?
    – llogan
    Sep 2, 2016 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid your are right about the error being due to the file selector. Quoting the manual:

      For creating a video from many images:

              avconv -f image2 -i foo-%03d.jpeg -r 12 -s WxH foo.avi

      The syntax "foo-%03d.jpeg" specifies to use a decimal number composed of
      three digits padded with zeroes to express the sequence number. It is the
      same syntax supported by the C printf function, but only formats accepting a
      normal integer are suitable.

If you want you can start at an integer greater than 0:

  -start_number start
  Specify the first number in the sequence

You do not need to really rename: you can create symbolic links with the ln command, which would take really little space on your disk.

I advise you to make a backup of your pictures before trying scripts

You can try to use this bash script:

#! /bin/bash

SORTEDLIST="$(cd "$INPUTDIR" && ls -1 | sort -n)"

COUNT="$(echo -e "$SORTEDLIST"|wc -l)"
echo "Found $COUNT files"

ZEROES="$(echo -e "$COUNT"|wc -c)" # (will count \n)
echo "Using $ZEROES characters to display integers"

for file in $SORTEDLIST; do
    ID="$(printf "%0${ZEROES}d" "$COUNTER")"

    echo "ln -s $INPUTDIR/$file $OUPUTDIR/$ID.jpg"
    ln -s "$INPUTDIR/$file" "$OUPUTDIR/$ID.jpg"

    COUNTER=$((COUNTER + 1))

This script assumes that all all your images are located inside a directory containing only the images that you want to include in your video. To use it:

  • create an output directory that will contain your links: mkdir output
  • execute it ./script.sh nameofthefoldercontainingyourimages output

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