I want to know how to capture webcam video and dump the raw as well as an encoded version using ffmpeg. I want only the video stream. I'm on Windows xp.

  • Are you partial to ffmpeg or are you looking for any command line tool? – heavyd Feb 9 '10 at 18:18
  • any cmd line tool will do..i think most use ffmpeg somehow..please correct me – iceman Feb 10 '10 at 2:40

From here, you can see a list of DirectShow devices with

ffmpeg -list_devices true -f dshow -i dummy

If you have a built-in webcam on a laptop, it should be called something like `"Integrated Camera", and you can capture from it using the following (obviously, substitute the name of your webcam device, and note that the quotes are required):

ffmpeg -f dshow -i video="Integrated Camera" -c copy raw.avi \
-c:v libx264 -preset veryfast -crf 25 encoded.mp4

You may be better off using huffyuv instead of raw video - it'll halve your filesize, but be completely lossless. Use -c:v huffyuv instead of -c copy.

  • Just used this to get headshots of someone who stole a number of PCs. Thank you, as this will surely result in an arrest at this point. – Beems Jan 18 at 21:31

Looks like you can do that using VLC, i.e.

vlc --dshow-vdev="Monitor Webcam" --dshow-size=640x480 -V dummy 
--intf=dummy --dummy-quiet --video-filter=scene --no-audio 
--scene-path=D:\temp --scene-format=jpeg --scene-prefix=snap 
--scene-replace --run-time=1 --scene-ratio=24 "dshow://" vlc://quit

With mplayer/mencoder binary for windows.

Show output from web:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\MPlayer for Windows\mplayer.exe" -tv driver=dshow:device=0:adevice=0:audioid=1:input=2 tv://

Write output:

mencoder.exe -tv driver=dshow:device=0:adevice=0:audioid=1:input=2 tv:// -oac copy -ovc copy -o t.avi

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