API Reference

The complete Python API Reference for the scenedetect module can be found in the PySceneDetect Manual, located at pyscenedetect-manual.readthedocs.io/.

API Overview

See the API Overview page of the manual for an overview of PySceneDetect's module & class layout. There are three main modules:

  • scenedetect - main functionality, has imports for commonly used classes and detection algorithms
  • scenedetect.detectors - scene detection algorithms
  • scenedetect.cli - command-line specific functionality

Classes from main scenedetect module:

  • FrameTimecode - used to store timecodes as well as perform arithmetic on timecode values (addition/subtraction/comparison) with frame-accurate precision
  • SceneManager - high-level manager to coordinate SceneDetector, VideoManager, and optionally, StatsManager objects
  • VideoManager - used to load video(s) and provide seeking
  • StatsManager - used to store/cache frame metrics to speed up subsequent scene detection runs on the same video, and optionally, save/load to/from a CSV file
  • SceneDetector - base class used to implement detection algorithms (e.g. ContentDetector, ThresholdDetector)

SceneDetector objects available in the scenedetect.detectors module:

  • ThresholdDetector - detects fade-outs/fade-ins to/from black by looking at the intensity/brightness of the video
  • ContentDetector - detects scene cuts/content changes by converting the video to the HSV colourspace

All functions are well documented with complete docstrs, and documentation can be found by calling help() from a Python REPL or browsing the complete PySceneDetect v0.5 API Reference below. Also note that auto-generated documentation (via the pydoc command/module) can be generated.

The complete PySceneDetect Python API reference can be found here (link)..

Using PySceneDetect from Python

PySceneDetect can also be used from within other Python programs, or even the Python REPL itself. PySceneDetect allows you to perform scene detection on a video file, yielding a list of scene cuts/breaks at the exact frame number where the scene boundaries occur.

The general usage workflow is to determine which detection method and threshold to use (this can even be done iteratively), using these values to create a SceneDetector object, the type of which depends on the detection method you want to use (e.g. ThresholdDetector, ContentDetector). A list of SceneDetector objects is then passed with an open VideoCapture object and an empty list to the scenedetect.detect_scenes() function, which appends the frame numbers of any detected scene boundaries to the list (the function itself returns the number of frames read from the video file).


In the code example below, we create a function find_scenes() which will load a video, detect the scenes, and return a list of tuples containing the (start, end) timecodes of each detected scene. Note that you can modify the threshold argument to modify the sensitivity of the scene detection.

# Standard PySceneDetect imports:
from scenedetect import VideoManager
from scenedetect import SceneManager

# For content-aware scene detection:
from scenedetect.detectors import ContentDetector

def find_scenes(video_path, threshold=30.0):
    # Create our video & scene managers, then add the detector.
    video_manager = VideoManager([video_path])
    scene_manager = SceneManager()

    # Base timestamp at frame 0 (required to obtain the scene list).
    base_timecode = video_manager.get_base_timecode()

    # Improve processing speed by downscaling before processing.

    # Start the video manager and perform the scene detection.

    # Each returned scene is a tuple of the (start, end) timecode.
    return scene_manager.get_scene_list(base_timecode)

The scene list returned by the SceneManager.get_scene_list(...) method consists of the start and (one past) the end frame of each scene, in the form of a FrameTimecode object. Each FrameTimecode can be converted to the appropriate working/output format via the get_timecode(), get_frames(), or get_sceonds() methods as shown above; see the API documentation for FrameTimecode objects for details.

For a more advanced example, see the api_test.py file in the tests folder which illustrates the general workflow and usage of the scenedetect module to perform scene detection programmatically. It provides a good example as to the general usage of the PySceneDetect Python API for detecting the scenes on an input video and printing the scenes to the terminal/console.