Someone on Reddit made a gif.
I decided to try remaking the gif.
My gif is not the same color as their gif.

I opened the video source of the gif in VLC and MPC-HC, took snapshots using the program menus, took screenshots using PrtSc, and exported the frame (from both the gif and the video) using ffmpeg: https://i.stack.imgur.com/p9Xj6.jpg

The ffmpeg image from the video matches VLC's snapshot, but does not match the screenshot of VLC (unless "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions" is disabled). The screenshot of VLC seems to be the closest match to the frame from the gif. MPC's snapshot and screenshot are nearly identical, but they don't match the other images (though they are closer to the gif than to VLC's snapshot).

I would tends towards trusting ffmpeg over the video players, except neither of them are close - except VLC with "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions" disabled. I believe VLC uses ffmpeg, so that would explain why VLC's snapshot matches ffmpeg's frame export. I would guess that MPC also uses "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions", though I can't find a setting to change this.

Is ffmpeg extracting the frame wrong, or is "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions" at fault? Or is it something else?



(The video is Monogatari: Second Season ep 13 at 22:57)

  • Your images all look the same to me :/
    – DavidPostill
    Feb 12, 2015 at 12:04
  • Really? The first two look the same to me, but the rest are different. The greatest difference I see is in the eyes if that helps.
    – Yay295
    Feb 12, 2015 at 19:02
  • OK. Very minor diffs then having 'eyed' them again ;)
    – DavidPostill
    Feb 12, 2015 at 19:30
  • Ask yourself if you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream more, then ask yourself which image looks the best. A guess for one of the differences might be accounted for by the implementers' preference in different filters and slightly tweaked parameters. If you want to examine this further then first find the difference between snapshot and screenshot, then examine the difference between the implementation in MPC and VLC.
    – dstob
    Feb 18, 2015 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


This is an old question, but I think I can offer a satisfactory answer:

I suspect neither image is "correct" because there's actually no objectively "correct" image. After all, the GIF format only allows up to 256 different colors, so different converters may choose to preserve and combine different colors. I assume the source video uses more than 256 colors.

I can't absolutely verify this because I don't have the original file, but one way to verify this is to take a snapshot in VLC (the default hotkey on Windows is Shift+S), and compare how the colors differ from the matching frame of the GIF.

  • ... I did that? That's what the album of images I linked contains?
    – Yay295
    Apr 7, 2019 at 2:59

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