How to Edit Video, Apply Effects & Filters and Save Them Permanently in VLC

If you take a look at VLC Media Player’s video effects and filters, you will find a couple of basic ones that allows you to fine tune your media file. To access those features, you go to Tools > Effects and Filters or hit the hotkey CTRL + E. Under the Video Effects tab in the Adjustment and Effects window, you will get to access many options which are sorted and presented in tabs. The most basic or essential video editing settings is none other than changing the visuals like Brightness, Hue, Contract, Saturation etc. They come under the first tab and are grouped as Essential.

There are several more video filters and editing options that this player offers and they are put together in other tabs. You must have notice those in the Video Effects options. You will find the Crop setting, Colors adjustment tab, Geometry tab which is for rotating and transforming, Overlay tab to add and remove logos, texts and watermarks and others such as Atmolight and Advanced which are neat if you know how to use them.

But the thing with these effects is that they are applied directly to the video that you are playing but once you close the player, you will find that the media file remains unchanged. Until some time back, I thought that these effects were for playing the videos in VLC only. But recently, I discovered that it is possible to keep these video effects, filters, and edits permanently. You just have to use the Convert / Save feature that also comes with the player and is accessible from Media > Convert / Save or using the shortcut key combination CTRL + R. When the player is done with the conversion, you can find the changes being permanently kept in the output file. So, VLC works great as a video editor if you are looking to do some basic edits.

It is agreeable that these video effects aren’t of topmost quality when compared to the video editing software out there but for the basic user like you and me, they are adequate. So, like all of the other posts, here are the detailed steps on how you can not only edit and apply video filters and effects but also you can make the changes permanent to your file:

First: Adding the Effects and Filters

Video Effects in VLC

  • Open the video of your choice.
  • Go to Tools > Effects and Filters. [CTRL + E]
  • In the Adjustment and Effects pop up, switch to the Video Effects
  • Apply one or more of the effects sorted under the sub-tabs.
  • Click on Close and you will see your video with the filter applied.

Now: Making the Effects and Filters Permanent

  • Click on Media > Convert / Save. [CTRL + R]
  • In the Open Media popup, click on Add.
  • Browse and locate your present file, select it and click Open.
    Choosing Media for Converstion
  • Click on Convert/Save.
  • Choose a destination file as you Browse, give a File name and hit Save.
  • Press the Start button to begin the process.Conversion Settings

You will notice that the player minimizes. You can bring it back up and you will see that the player’s media position indicator is moving. That means that the conversion process is going on. Now, instead of the media file’s position, the timeline will display how much of your file is converted. If it is a lengthy video, it will take some time.

Once the conversion completes, locate your file. It’s the destination file that you named in the conversion steps above. Open it and you will see that the changes like cropping, color and brightness adjustments, aspect ratio settings, rotations etc are all kept permanently. It means that you can play the file using any other player or give it to anyone else and the new edits are always there. You can reverse some of the edits if you know what you are doing. But for now, enjoy a free video editor that has always been installed on your computer.

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7 thoughts to “How to Edit Video, Apply Effects & Filters and Save Them Permanently in VLC”

  1. Sorry but this does not work. If you don’t turn off the effects after going through your procedure then any video you play next will also have those effects on them – this includes the video you have just supposedly edited. But if you do turn off the effects then even the video you thought you added effects to will not have them. This can only mean that the effects only work in real time via the VLC player and are not actually imbedded into the video. My guess is that VLC cannot add effects permanently to a video file.

  2. Mine converts, at least the video effects do, though, the video orientation doesn’t change as desired. However, the biggest issue is that without fail, the video freezes about 20 seconds in, even though the audio continues.

  3. Sorry, but this doesn’t work. When I play my converted video in another media player, or in VLC with the filter settings back to default, it looks exactly the same as the original.

    1. Same here. I play the converted video and it’s the same as the original. Not a single change. Very frustrating.

  4. Thank you so much!
    GREAT, articulate and concise information.
    You gave us a SOLID workflow for us to easily emulate.
    Thanks for the Screen Shots.

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