Parse individual pam images from an ffmpeg pipe when output video codec(-c:v) is set to pam and format(-f) is set to image2pipe.

Downloads in past


500.7.17 months ago7 years agoMinified + gzip package size for pipe2pam in KB


Buy me a coffee Donate via PayPal build Build status GitHub issues GitHub license npm
Parse individual pam images from an ffmpeg pipe when the output video codec (-c:v) is set to pam and the format (-f) is set to image2pipe. The supported pixel formats (-pixfmt) are rgb24, rgba, gray, and monob. Pam is an image type similar to ppm, pbm, and pgm. It has a small header that is followed by an uncompressed array of pixel data. This can be used as an alternate way to get pixel data instead of generating jpegs and using canvas. It is currently being used for a video motion detection project.


npm install pipe2pam --save


The following example
uses ffmpeg's testsrc to simulate a video input and generates 100 downscaled grayscale pam images at a rate of 1 per second. The pam images are piped in from ffmpeg's stdout and output a pam image object. Pipe2Pam dispatches a "data" event, which contains a pam image object. The object contains the entire pam image, plus additional data such as width, height, depth, maxval, tupltype, and an array of pixels. It can also pipe the object to a pipe reader for further use, such as pixel comparison between 2 pam images:
const Pipe2Pam = require('pipe2pam');

const { spawn } = require('child_process');

let counter = 0;

const params = [

const pipe2pam = new Pipe2Pam();

pipe2pam.on('data', (data) => {
    console.log('received pam', ++counter);

const ffmpeg = spawn('ffmpeg', params);

ffmpeg.on('error', (error) => {

ffmpeg.on('exit', (code, signal) => {
    console.log('exit', code, signal);



Clone the repository
git clone https://github.com/kevinGodell/pipe2pam.git
Change into the directory
cd pipe2pam
Initialize with npm
npm install
Start the tests
npm test