FFmpeg: Instructions for download and Install

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FFmpeg: Instructions for download and Install

Postby fredo6 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:26 pm

FFmpeg is an open source program of the foundation FFmepg.org providing a comprehensive set of methods to manipulate images and videos.

Animator uses FFmpeg to stitch the set of images generated for each frame of an animation into a video with various format. If you do not install FFmpeg, Animator will only generate the animation as a sequence of images.

This post indicates where to download FFmpeg from and then how to install it so that it can be used by Animator.

Step 1 - Downloading FFmpeg

The first step is to download the FFmpeg static package from the FFmpeg official site (ffmpeg.zeranoe.com). The package is a ZIP file of around 60-70 Mb.

It is advised to take the latest version. Animator uses very few functionality from FFmpeg and therefore is not too sensitive to the version. Unless you have specific reasons, just take the link 'Latest version' below.

For Windows 64bits:
Zip files have the form ffmpeg-<date>-<build>-win64-static.zip
(ex: ffmpeg-20200110-3d894db-win64-static.zip)

For Mac OSX:
Zip files have the form ffmpeg-<date>-<build>-macos64-static.zip
(ex: ffmpeg-20200110-3d894db-macos64-static.zip)

Step 2 - Extracting FFmpeg executable

The second step is to extract the FFmpeg executable from the ZIP archive you just downloaded.

1) Open the Zip file (with 7-Zip program or equivalent). You will find a hierarchy of subfolders in the zip file

FFmpeg Zip Windows folders.png

The only file you need is ffmpeg.exe (on Windows) and ffmpeg (on Mac OSX), which is located in the bin subfolder.

FFmpeg Zip Windows exe.png

On Mac, the FFmpeg executable is just ffmpeg, without any extension.

FFmpeg Zip Mac exe.png

You may need to authorize FFmpeg for your Mac. Go to the Security panel (menu Apple > System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General).

FFmpeg Mac security.png

Depending on your Unzip utility and how you master the process, you may alternatively extract all files in a neutral directory, so that you can later copy ffmpeg.exe elsewhere.

2) Copy the file ffmpeg.exe to a safe place on your computer

Just make sure you remember where you put the file on your computer.

The best is to copy the FFmpeg executable to a location that is independent from the current Sketchup version.

Note: If you put the FFmpeg executable in the following directories, the location will be automatically recognized by Animator, and you can skip Step 3 below:
  • On Windows: C:\FFmpeg\
  • On Mac: ~/Applications

Step 3 - Locating FFmpeg within Animator

If you did not install and locate FFmpeg on your computer and you try to generate a video with Animator, you will get the following flavor of the dialog box for generating videos:

Animator Video NO FFmpeg.png

FFMpeg 2 buttons.png

The button How to get FFmpeg? opens the present post on Sketchucation.

The button Find FFmpeg program? is used to locate the FFmpeg executable on your computer, after you performed Step 1 and Step 2.

Once Animator knows where the FFmpeg program is located, then you will go directly to the normal flavor of the dialog box, allowing you to generate videos files in various formats.

Animator Video WITH FFmpeg.png

Note that you can still change the location of FFMpeg executable with the button FFmpeg on the right of the dialog box.
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