This article shows how to easily create thumbnails from a video.

To do this, the free FFMpeg package is installed in the C# project and then the ffmpeg .exe program is executed as a process.

The application takes place in Asp Core . Net5, MVC and can run on Windows servers or Linux as a cross platform.

Create a thumbnail image from a video


Create files from the video

The video files must be located on the web server. Here .mp4 files in the user directory

Create a thumbnail image from a video


Code Asp Core

 .Net5 MVC in _classes public shared

using System.Diagnostics;   //ProcessStartInfo


public static class Video_Methods


    public static void Video_create_Thumbnail(string Video_Path, string output_Image_Path, int new_Width, string sPath_FFMpeg)


        //---------------< Video_create_Thumbnail() >---------------

        string sPath_FFMpegDir = @"D:\xx\bin\FFMpeg\";


        string sInputFile = @"D:\xx\Videos\Video_2618_0.mp4";

        string sOutputFile = @"D:\xx\Images\thumb_2618_0.jpg";

        var startInfo = new ProcessStartInfo


            FileName = sPath_FFMpegDir + $"ffmpeg.exe",

            Arguments = $"-i " + sInputFile + " -an -vf scale=200x112 " + sOutputFile + " -ss 00:00:00 -vframes 1",






        using (var process=new Process { StartInfo=startInfo})





        //---------------</ Video_create_Thumbnail() >---------------





The command line parameters:

  • For video files,
    • -ss 5 means “seek to the position five seconds into the media file”.
    • -an prevents audio streams from being handled in any way
  • -i specifies the input file
  • -vframes 1 gets one frame from the input file
  • -s specifies the output size
  • -y to confirm overwriting an existing file
  • The last parameter is the output file; the extension of the thumbnail file tells FFmpeg that we want the file in PNG format.


Alternativ System.Diagnostics.Process p = new System.Diagnostics.Process ( );

p.StartInfo.FileName = "ffmpeg.exe";

p.StartInfo.Arguments = "-i input.avi -b 64k output.flv";

p.Start ( );


Installing FFMpeg

In both processes you have to download FFMpeg and use it as dll and exe in asp core. Net5 or MVC:


Latest FFMpeg Files

Download and install in Server

Create a thumbnail image from a video



Save FFMpeg to Asp Core

I put the FFMpeg files in the output /bin path next to Debug und Public

Create a thumbnail image from a video


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