Playing clips backwards?

I’m just wondering if there is any way to play clips backwards. Not just like playing the movie backwards, but editing a clip so that it plays backwards when you’re playing forwards… If this feature doesn’t already exist, it would be great to put it in the properties tab:

Woops… Just discovered this is already on the roadmap… My bad :smile:

Until this is available, the workaround is to use ffmpeg to reverse the video file:

ffmpeg -i normal.mp4 -vf reverse -af areverse -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 22 reverse.mp4

Video tutorial:


Just don’t do like I did. I tried the command with a big video (about 600 MB, 5 min) and only after the fourth computer crash I understood I was doing something wrong. Trimmed a video to a manageable size and worked like a charm.


I can’t go down to -1… any copy/paste I can use?

I use Video Time Reversal.

I give an other option :
avisynth + VirtuaDub

Hey guys! Any updates on the reverse clip playback?

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Okay, hope it could be implemented soon!

Key frames are top priority, only a few uses for playback reversal…
If you need it now, try VTR, it’s free.

Thanks for the link Steve. I’ve downloaded and used the software and it is easy to use.

The reason this does not exist as a simple negative value for the speed property is because reversed clips do not play and seek reliably. Why? Because of many challenging, temporally compressed formats that have long GOPs and/or B frames. Therefore, this feature needs to be put into a special place like the Properties overflow menu where it will generate a new file that you can then use. It is doable after deciding on a particular format or giving a choice of formats. I lean towards some lossless format like FFV1, but I just know someone is going to put a 2 hour video through it and complain about how big the new file is. Also, do I need to ensure every audio, text track, and bit of metadata of the input file is preserved through that process? When you face decisions like this, there is a plethora of other things to do and such little time; delays are inevitable.

Found this website for reversing videos. Worked great.

Personally speaking, I prefer not uploading to someone else to perform this task when a simple app on my PC can do it.

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Just so people who find this know: Shotcut can reverse files now. Not clips yet. But hey.

It was on the news:

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Keep in mind that one could trim a clip in the Source player, export it using one of the intermediate or lossless presets, and then reverse that. And to get a Timeline clip into the Source player, choose Copy from the clip’s context menu (or select it and press Ctrl+C or use Copy on Timeline toolbar).

P.S. I just watched your video, and it is not necessary to use the Timeline for this! I don’t get why people get so hung up on having to use the Timeline for everything. My Getting Started video is very clear about this. You can edit video in Shotcut without having to use the Timeline or Playlist (if all you need to do is to trim a shot and possibly filter it, which is all that some mobile video editing apps offer).

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I guess that explains why the timeline is not enabled by default :smiley:

I read and see screenshots of people using the clip monitor to cut clips and think to myself that they know exactly what their source clips are and what they want out of them. Me, I need a timeline to navigate. When editing, I’m mostly thinking in terms of the material between the playhead and the last cut (keep or make another cut to later make another cut and delete).

In the video in particular I (think I) need the timeline so I have the right spot where I can insert the reversed clip back in.

Or maybe there’s a mental barrier I have yet to understand and cross. I bet some people have a similar situation with the step needed to be taken to start using command line tools for media processing.

By the way, from the looks of the video, it looks like reverse might cause one frame to be white (or perhaps this is because I rendered the clip from the timeline first…).

Reversing a clip is very much a “your mileage may vary” proposition. Sometimes, it just does not work and you need to make an edit-friendly intermediate file. It (qmelt) needs to seek each frame backwards from last to first. If you read about how to do this with ffmpeg and its reverse filter you learn that it needs to read the entire file into memory at once. Imagine people trying to use any somewhat long video with that! The MLT engine can do it without reading in the entire file, but results depends on formats and encoding features used. I chose not to always create an intermediate because that could result in some very large files. In your case, you used export defaults to make the intermediate, which is not edit-friendly. You were on the right track except you could have skipped creating a project by copying the Timeline clip to the Source player and exporting that in intermediate format. I should make a video for this.

18.07.02 can do clips and it does them well.