Convert Video to ASCII in Python and Tkinter

video to ascii python

Today I will be showing you how to convert video to ASCII text in Python and Tkinter. This uses the PIL module, cv2 module, and Tkinter module and allows you to convert video to ASCII and play it in a Tkinter window, it uses a Tkinter textbox to show the ASCII text version. The code is fairly simple and easy to use. Since I couldn’t find a better tutorial on doing this I decided to make a tutorial myself! Enjoy!

Code is below (with comments) for you to view and copy.

#Created by Flynn's Forge 2021, from
import sys
import PIL.Image
from tkinter import *
import cv2
root = Tk()
root.option_add('*Font', 'Times 1') #setting font to small so the video fits into the screen
text = Text(root)
text.pack(expand='true', fill=BOTH)
detail = 83
def update_detail(event): #changes video detail
    global detail
    detail = w.get()
w = Scale(root, from_=30, to=200, orient=HORIZONTAL, command=update_detail) #create slider to change detail
def generate_from_video():
    # get image and read it
    video_path = "yourvideo.mp4" #add path to your mp4 file here
    cap = cv2.VideoCapture(video_path)
    if cap.isOpened():
        framerate = cap.get(cv2.CAP_PROP_FPS)
        framecount = 0
            # capture frame-by-frame
            success, image =
            img = PIL.Image.fromarray(cv2.cvtColor(image, cv2.COLOR_BGR2GRAY))
            # resize the image
            width, height = img.size
            aspect_ratio = height/width
            new_width = width
            new_height = aspect_ratio * new_width * 0.55
            img = img.resize((new_width, int(new_height)))           

            # convert image to greyscale format
            img = img.convert('L')
            pixels = img.getdata()
            #convert to ASCII
            chars = ["B","S","#","&","@","$","%","*","!",":","."] #values taken from
            new_pixels = [chars[pixel//detail] for pixel in pixels]
            new_pixels = ''.join(new_pixels)
            new_pixels_count = len(new_pixels)
            ascii_image = [new_pixels[index:index + new_width] for index in range(0, new_pixels_count, new_width)]
            ascii_image = "\n".join(ascii_image)
            #show in Tkinter
            text.delete('1.0', END)
            text.insert(1.0, ascii_image)
        print("Not Opened!")
python image to ascii video to ascii

The code displaying a clip from one of my Youtube Videos

So how does this work? Well, we simply use cv2 to grab each frame from the video, convert it to ASCII and then insert it into the Tkinter text box! You can change the detail with the slider to see what works best. NOTE: Not all videos will work with this, certain formats may not work and things like 4K video will most likely lag, certain video sizes may be too big to appear on the screen. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please check out my youtube channel for more tutorials! Also, check out my other tutorials here.