I'm trying to create a basic 5 second zoompan to the center of an image (from the example on the ffmpeg.org website). The command below works, but jitters more than my hands after 5 cups of coffee:

ffmpeg -framerate 25 -loop 1 -i island.jpg -filter_complex "[0:v]scale=-2:480,zoompan=z='min(zoom+0.0015,1.5)':x='iw/2-(iw/zoom/2)':y='ih/2-(ih/zoom/2)':d=125,trim=duration=5[v]" -map "[v]" -y out.mp4

Input jpg. Output mp4.

I'm aware of the ffmpeg bug #4298. The posted suggested workaround is to use the scale filter prior to zoompan. But as shown in my example, this still seems to have no effect.

It seems any arbitrary x or y values cause the jiggle/jerky/shaky effect.

Can anyone offer any kind of effective workaround? Thanks!

Version info:

ffmpeg version 3.1.2-static http://johnvansickle.com/ffmpeg/  Copyright (c) 2000-2016 the FFmpeg developers
  built with gcc 5.4.0 (Debian 5.4.0-6) 20160609

1 Answer 1


Avoid downscaling beforehand. Either apply a trunc function to the x and y expressions. Or upscale it before. Preferably the latter. This gets rid of most of the jitter for me.

ffmpeg -framerate 25 -loop 1 -i island.jpg -filter_complex "[0:v]scale=8000x4000,zoompan=z='min(zoom+0.0015,1.5)':x='iw/2-(iw/zoom/2)':y='ih/2-(ih/zoom/2)':d=125,trim=duration=5[v]" -map "[v]" -y out.mp4

Basically, the filter is rounding the values from the x and y expressions, which may be either rounded up or down. That's creating an uneven motion due to changes in direction of pan. Increasing the resolution beforehand allows the rounding to be smaller.

  • 1
    Awesome, thank you! I was also able to the downscale after the zoompan filter to get the desired 480p and the zoom remained smooth: ffmpeg -framerate 25 -loop 1 -i island.jpg -filter_complex "[0:v]scale=8000x4000,zoompan=z='min(zoom+0.0015,1.5)':x='iw/2-(iw/zoom/2)':y='ih/2-(ih/zoom/2)':d=125,trim=duration=5[v1];[v1]scale=-2:480[v]" -map "[v]" -y out.mp4 Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 8:24
  • You can scale the output from within zoompan e..g :d=125:s=hd480 or d=125:s=640x360
    – Gyan
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:24
  • OK so s is zoompan's output image size. But it doesn't seem like there's a way to get zoompan's scale to preserve the aspect ratio of the original image automatically. So in order to get the result to a height of 480 with aspect ratio preserved for this 4000x2000 example, you'd have manually set zoompan to s=960x480 (can't use -2x480 trick). Otherwise zoompan uses s=hd720 (1280x720) by default, which skews the aspect ratio. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:57
  • @Mulvya, can you expand on "apply a trunc function to the x and y expressions" upscaling can cause a decrease in performance, maybe there is an alternative work around.
    – Eric
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 4:08
  • 1
    It's been almost two years since the answer but the problem is still there, ffmpeg team did nothing in this part. If you want to do zoompan over 4k video and use this upscaling then you get a huge memory overhead and performance downgrade about 16x times on my machine. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 21:13

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