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. Along with the conversion, you will also have to activate the corresponding filters. It is accessible from the settings of a profile under the Video Codec > Filters tab. 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 file, select it and click Open.
    Browse and Add Video
  • Click on Convert/Save.
  • Edit the conversion profile first.
    Profile Settings
  • Navigate to Video codec > Filters tab and then, check an appropriate codec for the effect
    Video Transformation Filter
  • Choose a destination file as you Browse, give a File name and hit Save.
  • Press the Start button to begin the process.
    Conversion Settings
  • Click Play in the player controls to apply the effect.

Sometimes 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. If it is not moving, press on play. You can pause by the same logic. 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.

Choosing the Filter during Conversion

A crucial step to complete the conversion process with success is to choose the right filter in the Profile edition screen. There are a lot of filters available both for video and audio.

List of Video Filters

Profile Edition in Filter

  • Alpha mask video filter
  • antiflicker video filter
  • Audio Bar Graph Video sub source
  • Ball video filter
  • Blending benchmark filter
  • Canvas video filter
  • Color threshold filter
  • Convert 3D picture to anaglyph image video filter
  • Deinterlacing video filter
  • Direct3D11 adjust filter
  • Direct3D11 deinterlace filter
  • Direct3D9 adjust filter
  • Direct3D9 deinterlace filter
  • Edge detection video filter
  • Erase video filter
  • Extract RGB component video filter
  • FPS conversion video filter
  • Freezing, interactive video filter
  • Gaussian blue video filter
  • Gradfun video filter
  • Gradient video filter
  • Grain video filter
  • High Quality 3D Denoiser filter
  • Image properties filter
  • Invert video filter
  • Logo video filter
  • Magnify/Zoom interactive video filter
  • Mirror video filter
  • Motion blur filter
  • Motion detect video filter
  • Old movie effect video filter
  • Posterize video filter
  • Psychedelic video filter
  • Puzzle interactive game video filter
  • Ripple video filter
  • Rotate video filter- For rotating videos at an angle like 57 degrees and not at even angles like 90, 180, 270 degrees. (Tools > Effects > Video Effects > Geometry > ☑ Rotate)
  • Scene video filter
  • Sepia video filter
  • Sharpen video filter
  • VHC movie effect video filter
  • Video cropping filter
  • Video filtering using a chain of video filter modules
  • Video post processing filter
  • Video transformation filter- For transforming videos (Tools > Effects > Video Effects > Geometry > ☑ Transform).
  • Wave video filter

List of Audio filters

Audio Filters in VLC Conversion

  • Ambisonics renderer and binauralizer
  • Audio channel remapper
  • Audio part of the BarGraph function
  • Audio Spatializer
  • Audio tempo scale synched with rate
  • Dynamic range compressor
  • Equalizer with 10 bands
  • Gain control filter
  • Headphone virtual spatialization effect
  • Parametric Equalizer
  • Pitch Shifter
  • Simple Karaoke filter
  • Simple stereo widening effect
  • Sound Delay
  • Stereo to mono downmixer
  • Volume normalizer

The list is huge and they all have a specific function. It is not possible to know what they do by name only. But their name closely resembles the function that they have. If you hover your mouse over them, an explanation of the filter will be shown on the screen. However, all the filters don’t have an explanation.

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

    1. January 2019 – I’ve tried applying this tutorial and others and nothing works consistently. When testing, I did manage to save a Sepia video and also one that was flipped 90 degrees. But nothing else works so far.

  1. I have gotten some effects to save to new a new video file before. Look up “Hahk O Ni (Mad Hearted Wolf)” on youtube for proof. You may want to turn your volume down first though. Ha. It seems though that not all the desired effects work though as people have said as I too have trouble often trying to save as I did before. Either that or a recent update broke some stuff. The real confusion for me is there is no readily available information I can find anywhere giving an in depth explanation of what each available effect filter option even does that elaborates in enough detail to be helpful let alone clear and concise. Most importantly each filter should at least have detailed which effect it is tied to back on the adjustments and effects settings page. It seems madness to me someone would code all this and leave something as basic as directions out. It is almost like they don’t want you to change or create videos with this tool. Like some illusive coder inside joke or even a quest for nerds to puzzle over like that damn Cicada rainman moth 3301 crap. Oi! Makes my damn head hurt honestly. Me too dumb to solve! Just give me answer! tell me. Tell Me! TELL ME!!! Well that’s how I feel about it all anyways.

  2. Hi, sorry still not working. As very well described by key on 10/24/2017. Still excellent program and great effort from developers, hopefully they will figure out this issue in near future

  3. Cannot permanently save flipped video. As others have said, the flipping part works, but only as a display setting (the software either plays all videos normally or plays them all flipped), but I am not able to save the file in it’s flipped condition. I followed the steps, but it’s just not working. Are there any other settings that need to be made for this to work? This would be a great feature, please help!

  4. It does appear that none of the changes applied to the video you see in VLC are applied to the file where it is saved, and thereby made permanent. But how could so much effort be put into providing the multitude of alterations that can be applied to a video in VLC without providing a way to save the result!?! It’s like a text editor that doesn’t allow you to save what you’ve written. What’s the point? I can only guess we’re missing something here.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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