MoviePy in Python

In Python, there’s a module for everything, and there’s one for video editing as well. MoviePy is a Python library that is used for video cutting, concatenations, title insertions, video compositing, video processing, and adding a few effects. MoviePy can be used in conjunction with the most common audio and video formats. However, MoviePy cannot be used with webcams or with live videos. Further, it is supported by Windows, MacOS, and Linux. In this tutorial, we’ll be learning about the MoviePy module in Python.


To install MoviePy:

pip install moviepy

Video Cutting

In the first instance, let’s learn to cut a video. First, grab the video using VideoFileClip() (as an argument, give it the name of the video). Then use subclip() to specify the time frame that you want to be cut out. Then we want to save the file we just cut out; for that, we use write_videofile() and give it the name that we want it saved as.

For example:
from moviepy.editor import VideoFileClip

# use subclip() to specify the time frame you want
cut_video_1 = VideoFileClip("video.mp4").subclip(20,30)
cut_video_2 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4").subclip(40,50)
cut_video_3 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4").subclip(60,70)

# use write_videofile() to save the file

The latter will create three videos from the main video file called “video.mp4”. It will take “video.mp4” and cut it up and then save it as cut_video_1.m4, cut_video_2.mp4, and cut_video_3.mp4.

Video Merging

Now, let’s merge the three chunks that we created in the previous section. Here, once again, choose three segments that you’d like to merge with subclip(). Then use concatenate_videoclips() to merge the files together; here, note that the files must be placed in a list! In order to save the merged file, once again, we’ll be using write_videofile(); however, here, you must be careful. If you don’t want to get a value error, then you have to specify the codecs.

The codecs are as follows:

Extension Codec
mp4 libx264
ogv libtheora
webm libvpx
ogg libvorbis
mp3 pcm_s16le
wav libvorbis
m4a libfdk_aac

Please note that when naming the merged file, you have to enter an extension as well (for example, in my case, it was merged_video.mp4).
from moviepy.editor import VideoFileClip, concatenate_videoclips

cut_video_1 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4").subclip(20,30)
cut_video_2 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4").subclip(40,50)
cut_video_3 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4").subclip(70,80)

merged = concatenate_videoclips([cut_video_1, cut_video_2, cut_video_3])
merged.write_videofile("merged_video.mp4", fps=30, threads=1, codec="libx264")

If you’d like to use the existing files and not use the subclips(), then:
from moviepy.editor import VideoFileClip, concatenate_videoclips

# read the video files
cut_video_1 = VideoFileClip("cut_video_1.mp4")
cut_video_2 = VideoFileClip("cut_video_2.mp4")
cut_video_3 = VideoFileClip("cut_video_3.mp4")

# concatenate the files
merged = concatenate_videoclips([cut_video_1, cut_video_2, cut_video_3])

# save the merged file
merged.write_videofile("merged_video_2.mp4", fps=30, threads=1, codec="libx264")

Title Insertions

Next, let’s choose a clip and add a title to it. Here, in order to accomplish this, you’ll need to have ImageMagick installed:

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

In order for this to work, you need to make a few changes:

sudo nano /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml

Comment out the line that reads as follows:

<policy domain=”path” rights=”none” pattern=”@*” />

By changing the latter to the following: 

<!-- policy domain=”path” rights=”none” pattern=”@*” / -->

Here, you read the video file using VideoFileClip(). Then you insert the text you want using TextClip(). Here, I inserted the word “LinuxHint” with a font size of 75 and a color of white. Then you can choose the place where the text is inserted; in my case, I’ve inserted it at the center. Lastly, you can set the duration by using set_duration(). Then merge the video and the text using CompositeVideoClip(), and save it using write_videofile().
from moviepy.editor import *

video = VideoFileClip(“cut_video_1.mp4)
text = TextClip(“LinuxHint”, fontsize=75, color = ‘white’)
text2 = text.set_pos(‘center’).set_duration(3)

video2 = CompositeVideoClip([video, text2])

Change volume

You can also change the volume of the video. First, read the video file using VideoFileClip(), and then change the volume using volumex(). A single argument – the amount to boost or reduce – is passed to volumex(). In my case, I’ve decided to boost the volume by a factor of 1.8.
from moviepy.editor import VideoFileClip

# read a video file
video_1 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4")

# change the volume
video_2 = video_1.volumex(1.8)

# save

Resize Video

To resize the video, you first need to read it using VideoFileClip(), and then use fx(). Fx() takes two arguments; the second argument is the width of the video (which you can define).
from moviepy.editor import *

# read a video file
video_1 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4")

# resize
video_2 = video_1.fx(vfx.resize, width = 880)

# save

However, you can do much, much more!

For example, if you wanted to turn the video into black and white (mind you, here, things are case sensitive):
from moviepy.editor import *
import moviepy

# read a video file
video_1 = VideoFileClip("video.Mp4")

# modify
video_2 =, RGB=None, preserve_luminosity=True)

# save

Many more options can be found at  


You can also create GIFs. In this case, you do what you want to do to the video (ex: cut, black and white, resize, etc…) and then use write_gif() to create a gif.
from moviepy.editor import *
import moviepy

# read a video file
video_1 = VideoFileClip("cut_video_1.mp4")

# modify
video_2 =, RGB=None, preserve_luminosity=True)

# save

Without Audio

Another interesting feature is to remove the audio from the video. To remove the audio, pass the video to without_audio().
from moviepy.editor import *
import moviepy

# read a video file
video_1 = VideoFileClip("cut_video_1.mp4")

# modify
video_2 = video_1.without_audio()

# save


Audio wise, MoviePy offers audio_fadein(), audio_fadeout(), audio_loop(), audio_normalize() and volumex(). More about this can be found at

More information about how to use this module can be found at

MoviePy is a Python library that was designed to edit videos. MoviePy is based on FFMPEG and ImageMagick. And what’s more, it uses FFMPEG and ImageMagick and so it’s very, very powerful! This also means that both need to be installed and working. MoviePy does a fantastic job of editing videos! There were so many things one could do to the video that I was just in awe! MoviePy can cut videos, merge videos, add titles, etc… It’s quite a little package!

Happy Coding!

About the author

Kalyani Rajalingham

I'm a linux and code lover.