[Home]Filter Plugins/Filter Ascii


Video Audio RGB YUV YUV422 multiple instances processing type frames needed
yes no yes yes no yes POST 1


This filter renders a video in colored ascii-art !

Unkike current 'aalib' output drivers (that you will find in most players), the output of this filter is not display-dependent. This means that your ascii-art rendered video will be playable with any other player !

This filter is a video, post-process only filter. You can use it in both mono or multi-threaded mode. Please notice it supports RGB and YUV color spaces.


This filter needs the 'aart' package as runtime dependency. You can download this package at http://aart.sourceforge.net/ (see INSTALL file for more details).

'aart' comes with a few data stuff. In particular, you will be provided a color pallete (colors.pal). This file is a matching index between your input video colors and your output ascii-art video colors. Please notice that you can define your own color pallete, but this is not a trivial task. In most of cases, the provided pallete will work properly.

'aart' also comes with some default fonts but you are free to use your own ones (ie installed on your system).


In version 0.5 (version documented here), this filter uses the aart package, which provides a very slow process. This means rendering a video in colored ascii-art will take a very long time. The 'libcaca' team has been contacted for a feature add. Therefore, filter_ascii should be ported to 'libcaca' pretty soon (which will decrease dramaticly process time). So, please only consider short video samples for the moment.


Default values are shown in [green] in square brackets.

help Display a short help
Display a short description of the filter and its arguments.

font PSF font file [default8x9.psf]
A valid font file (*.psf). Font files that come with the aart package work well.

pallete PAL palette file [colors.pal]
A valid color pallete file (*.pal). The color pallete files that comes with the aart package works well.

threads Use multiple-threaded routine (0-oo) [0]
Use multiple-threaded routine for frame-processing. Recommended value for this option is 1, so don't use this option unless you know what you are doing.

buffer Use `aart` internal buffer for output
Use 'aart' internal buffer for ouput. Recommended value for this option is 'off', so don't use this option unless you know what you are doing.

Usage Examples

 $ transcode ... -J ascii=font:~/default8x9.psf:pallete:~/colors.pal

Original cartoon Ascii-art cartoon

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Last edited January 1, 2005 3:06 pm by Monroe (diff)