Configure an ffmpeg Camera

The ffmpeg camera model uses a camera device, a video file, or a stream as a camera.

When used with a streaming camera, the ffmpeg camera model supports any streaming camera format that is supported by the ffmpeg program, including MJPEG, H264, and MP4.

Navigate to the CONFIGURE tab of your machine’s page in the Viam app. Click the + icon next to your machine part in the left-hand menu and select Component. Select the camera type, then select the ffmpeg model. Enter a name or use the suggested name for your camera and click Create.

Configuration of a ffmpeg camera in the Viam app config builder.

Edit the attributes as applicable to your camera, according to the table below.

  "name": "<your-camera-name>",
  "model": "ffmpeg",
  "type": "camera",
  "namespace": "rdk",
  "attributes": {
    "intrinsic_parameters": {
      "width_px": <int>,
      "height_px": <int>,
      "fx": <float>,
      "fy": <float>,
      "ppx": <float>,
      "ppy": <float>
    "distortion_parameters": {
      "rk1": <float>,
      "rk2": <float>,
      "rk3": <float>,
      "tp1": <float>,
      "tp2": <float>
    "debug": <boolean>,
    "video_path": "<your-video-path>",
    "input_kw_args": { ... },
    "filters": [
        "name": <string>,
        "args": [ "<first>", "<second>", ... ],
        "kw_args": { ... }
    "output_kw_args": { ... },

The following attributes are available for ffmpeg cameras:

video_pathstringRequiredThe file path to the camera device, color image file, or streaming camera. If you are using a camera with an RTSP stream, provide the RTSP address to this attribute.
intrinsic_parametersobjectOptionalThe intrinsic parameters of the camera used to do 2D <-> 3D projections:
  • width_px: The expected width of the aligned image in pixels.
  • height_px: The expected height of the aligned image in pixels.
  • fx: The image center x point.
  • fy: The image center y point.
  • ppx: The image focal x.
  • ppy: The image focal y.
distortion_parametersobjectOptionalModified Brown-Conrady parameters used to correct for distortions caused by the shape of the camera lens:
  • rk1: The radial distortion x.
  • rk2: The radial distortion y.
  • rk3: The radial distortion z.
  • tp1: The tangential distortion x.
  • tp2: The tangential distortion y.
debugbooleanOptionalEnables the debug outputs from the camera if true.
Default: false
input_kw_argsobjectOptionalThe input keyword arguments.
filtersarrayOptionalThe file path to the depth image. Array of filter objects that specify:
  • name: The name of the filter.
  • args: The arguments for the filter.
  • kw_args: Any keyword arguments for the filter.
output_kw_argsobjectOptionalThe output keyword arguments.

View the camera stream

Once your camera is configured and connected, go to the CONTROL tab, and click on the camera’s dropdown menu. Then toggle the camera or the Point Cloud Data view to ON. If everything is configured correctly, you will see the live video feed from your camera. You can change the refresh frequency as needed to change bandwidth.

Example Camera view inside Viam app

Next steps

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