user2232305 user2232305 - 1 month ago 9x
Swift Question

Accesing Individual Frames using AV Player

In a recent project, I have to access all frames of my video individually using AV Foundation. Also, if possible to acess them randomly (like an array)

I tried to research the question but I didn't get anything useful.

Note: Is there any useful documentation to get familiar with the AV Foundation ?


You can enumerate the frames of your video serially using AVAssetReader, like this:

let asset = AVAsset(URL: inputUrl)
let reader = try! AVAssetReader(asset: asset)

let videoTrack = asset.tracksWithMediaType(AVMediaTypeVideo)[0]

// read video frames as BGRA
let trackReaderOutput = AVAssetReaderTrackOutput(track: videoTrack, outputSettings:[String(kCVPixelBufferPixelFormatTypeKey): NSNumber(unsignedInt: kCVPixelFormatType_32BGRA)])


while let sampleBuffer = trackReaderOutput.copyNextSampleBuffer() {
    print("sample at time \(CMSampleBufferGetPresentationTimeStamp(sampleBuffer))")
    if let imageBuffer = CMSampleBufferGetImageBuffer(sampleBuffer) {
        // process each CVImageBuffer here

Random access is more complicated. You could use an AVPlayer + AVPlayerItemVideoOutput to get frames from any time t, using copyPixelBufferForItemTime, as described in this answer, but the subtlety lies in how you choose that t.

If you want to sample the video at uniform intervals, then that's easy, but if you want to land on the same frames/presentation time stamps that the serial AVAssetReader code sees, then you will probably have to preprocess the file with AVAssetReader, to build a frame number -> presentation timestamp map. This can be fast if you skip decoding by using nil output settings in AVAssetReaderTrackOutput.