Programmable Media

React video transformations

Last updated: May-14-2024


After uploading videos to Cloudinary, they can be transformed in many ways.

The syntax for transforming and delivering videos is generally similar to that for images, and you can apply the majority of available image transformations to video as well. For example, you can resize, crop, rotate, set video quality and format or use auto quality and/or auto format, add text or image overlays to your videos, and more.

There are also a number of special options you can use for transforming and delivering video content. For example, you can adjust their speed, duration, sound, and appearance. There are also some features that are specific to audio.

This section introduces you to the basics of video transformations using the @cloudinary/url-gen package. For complete details on all video transformation functionality, see Video transformations and the Transformation URL API reference.

If you haven't yet installed the React SDK, you might want to jump to the quick start first.

See also: React image transformations

Video transformation functionality

In addition to transformation features that are equally relevant for images and video, such as resizing, cropping, rotating, adding text or image overlays, and setting video quality or format, there are a variety of special transformations you can use for video. For example, you can:

You can optionally specify all of the above transformations to videos using methods that generate image tags or via direct URL-building directives.

Video transformations with React

To transform a video asset, use the @cloudinary/url-gen package to create the transformation, then pass the transformed video object to the cldVid attribute in your AdvancedVideo component to render the video on your site. For example:

In the above example, the walking_talking video is cropped to a 150 x 150 pixel video with rounded corners, focusing on the faces, resulting in this video element:

The @cloudinary/url-gen package installs an additional transformation-builder-sdk library as a dependency, which handles the transformation generation part of the URL.

You can use the Transformation Builder reference to find all available transformations, syntax and examples.

Alternative ways to apply transformations

There are a couple of other ways to apply transformations to your videos that you may prefer to use, for example if a new transformation is not yet supported by the SDK, or if you're more familiar with other SDKs. Note, however, that you won't benefit from your IDE's code completion feature for building the transformations in these ways.

See also: Shortcuts and aliases for other ways to simplify the syntax.

URL syntax

You can add any transformation in URL syntax using the addTransformation method.

For example:

This can be used together with other actions and qualifiers in the usual way. It's useful if a new transformation is added but not yet available in the SDK, or if you're just more familiar with the URL syntax.

Object syntax

If you prefer the more concise syntax used for transformations in the Node.js SDK, you can use the transformationStringFromObject method to build the transformation, and add it to your video using addTransformation, importing only transformationStringFromObject instead of all the individual actions and qualifiers.

For example:

The JavaScript required for this syntax is likely to be heavier than importing the actions and qualifiers separately.

AdvancedVideo properties

The AdvancedVideo component accepts the following properties:

The cldVid property

The cldVid property accepts a CloudinaryVideo object.

The cldPoster property

The cldPoster property accepts a CloudinaryImage object, or a CloudinaryVideo transformed to an image format.

For example:

This takes the center frame of the video as the poster:

You can also set cldPoster to "auto" to select the best frame of the video to use as the poster (so_auto), and apply automatic quality (q_auto) to the image:

HTML video attributes

The AdvancedVideo component accepts the following properties, which result in standard HTML video attributes:

AdvancedVideo property HTML video attribute
autoPlay autoplay
controls controls
loop loop
muted muted
playsInline playsinline
poster poster
preload preload

For example, this video would play inline, with controls, loop and start with the specified poster image:

The cldPoster property takes precedence over the poster property if both are specified.

HTML media events

The AdvancedVideo component accepts the following properties, which result in standard HTML media event attributes:

AdvancedVideo event HTML media event
onEnded onended
onError onerror
onLoadStart onloadstart
onPlay onplay
onPlaying onplaying

For example, this video would call the playFunction function when played and the endFunction function when it ends:


You can lazy load your videos, in the same way as you can for images, using the lazyload plugin.

For example, this video would only load when it comes into the viewport, then play automatically:


You can optionally specify sources in the sources property, such as:

For example, this video would have a choice of two sources:

It results in the following video element:

Direct URL building

You can build a video URL by:

  1. Configuring your Cloudinary instance.
  2. Instantiating a CloudinaryVideo object for the video you want to deliver, using
  3. Calling the toURL() method of the CloudinaryVideo class to return the delivery URL:

The resulting URL, myURL, is:

Specifying a version of your video to deliver

You can specify a particular version of your video to deliver by using the setVersion method. The version is added to the delivery URL as explained in Asset versions.

For example, to specify version 1510668637 of the elephants video from the example above:

The resulting URL is now:

Transforming your video

Videos are transformed by adding serialized transformation instructions to the video delivery URL. For example, to scale your video to a width of 400 pixels, add c_scale,w_400.,w_400/elephants.mp4

Using the @cloudinary/url-gen package, you transform a video by performing one or more transformation actions on the CloudinaryVideo object (see the syntax overview). Remember to import the actions that you are using:

The resulting URL is:

Discover alternative ways to apply transformations to your videos.

Code explorer: React video transformations

In this React app, you can see all the transformations that are used throughout this guide. Each transformation example has its own JavaScript file showing the imports and syntax required. (Use the hamburger menu to see all the files.)

Videos.jsx imports all the functions and uses AdvancedVideo components to display the transformed videos on a simple web page.

This code is also available in GitHub.

Video transformation examples

This section provides examples of using the @cloudinary/url-gen package to apply some of the video transformation features mentioned in the previous section.

Example 1:

The following example resizes the elephants video to 20% of its original size and rotates it by 20 degrees. It also adds a semi-transparent Cloudinary logo in the bottom right corner, using a southeast gravity with adjusted x and y coordinates to reach the corner of the rotated video.

The resulting URL is:

Example 2:

The following example adjusts the brightness of the video, and sets its radius to max in order to give a telescope-like effect. It then appends a copy of the video in reverse, and then plays forward again, but in slow motion.

The resulting URL is:

Video tutorial: Optimizing videos in React

Watch this video tutorial to learn how to optimize the delivery of your videos:

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