Tutorial on 𝗦𝗗𝙛𝙭

Hello! We’re excited to introduce 𝗦𝗗𝙛𝙭, a new app specifically designed to transform videos into animated films, to make your videos look just like A Scanner Darkly!


In this article we describe how is the whole procedure of processing a video. There are 5 steps:

  1. Create a new project, and extract frames from a video
  2. Process the frames
  3. Post-process the frames
  4. Encode the video

If you’ve any questions/comments, please get in touch with us at contact@sdfx.app. As example, we’re going to process the famous “here’s johnny” scene from The Shning:

Input source video

The result is here:

Result processed video

Before we start, make sure you have all the required dependencies installed. Ready? Let’s get started!

1. Create new project

Creating a new project is easy. Once you launch 𝗦𝗗𝙛𝙭, click on “New project”, or pulse Cmd-N, you’ll see a new dialog popup:

New 𝗦𝗗𝙛𝙭 project

Click on “Choose directory” and select (or create a new) directory where your project will reside. Next, select your input source video. 𝗦𝗗𝙛𝙭 accepts both MP4 and MOV files. Next, choose the desired FPS (frames per second). The FPS can differ from the original FPS of the video. For example, the source video can be 30 or 25fps, and you can choose to extract at 15 fps. The idea is that for animations, a lower FPS will make it look more realistic, akin to an animation, as they were originally made in lower fps since they were hand-drawn. Also, lower FPS means the processing will be faster and the project size will be smaller overall. But of course you’re free to choose any value. Once ready, hit “Create” and the frames will be extracted from the video. The extraction process (which uses 3rd party tool ffmpeg) will be logged and displayed to you:

Extracting frames

Once done, you’ll be shown the first frame of the video:

Ready to start!

At this point you’re ready to start working! But first let’s look at the different interface tools.

UI elements and tools

First off, on the top-left you can see the different views of your project:


When Source is selected, you get to see the original, unprocessed frames from the source video (like the one above with Jack Nicholson). On the left, you see info related to your project:

Project information

Project directory basically shows the project name and location; clicking on the little folder icon will open the project location, where you can see the actual files (for advanced usages!). The source video records the original video used, and you can play it with the play icon. Then you get to see the extracted FPS (15 in this case), and then the number of frames extracted (2427). 2427 / 15 gives 161.8 seconds, or 2.69 minutes. Source is 2427 / 2427 since you’ve already extracted all the frames from the source video :). Then you can see 0 / 2427 for processed and post-processed, meaning you haven’t so far processed nor post-processed any frames.

Next, look at the bottom pane, that’s the timeline view:

Timeline tool view

When you move the bottom triangle selector, you’ll see the different frames, along with the frame number on the right. Go ahead, try it! You can also use the right and left arrows (the buttons on the left of the frame number), or the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the frames. You can also play the frames by clicking on the Play button, or hitting the spacebar to play/pause.

Next up, the real fun begins! Click here to continue with Processing.