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Create, Annotate & Remix Interactive Videos

FrameTrail Screenshot

FrameTrail is an open source software that lets you experience, manage and edit interactive video directly in your web browser.

It enables you to hyperlink filmic contents, include additional multimedia documents (e.g. text overlays, images or interactive maps) and to add supplementing materials (annotations) at specific points.


Timebased Documents

Use any video file or even an empty video with a defined length as a basis for synchronization.

Linked Video Fragments

Create non-linear networks of video fragments (Hypervideos) which can be freely navigated by the user.

Interactive Overlays

Place documents on top of the video (e.g. text, images, web pages or interactive maps) and decide how and when they should be displayed.

Multimedia Annotations

Add supplementing materials at certain points of time and compare those with the annotation timelines of other users.


  • Use any HTML5 Video or even an empty video with a custom length as source
  • Add any resource as timebased Overlay or Annotation
  • Configure Overlay-Display (Opacity, etc.)
  • Synchronize Video Overlays with the main Video / Time Container (optional)
  • Add timebased Video Links to other (internal or external) Hypervideo Documents
  • View, compare and re-use Annotations of other users


  • Manage users (Access Rights, Activation)
  • Manage resources (Add / Upload, Edit, Delete)
  • Manage any number of Hypervideo Documents

Data Policy

  • All data is kept in files using a structured JSON format, there is no database. Yes, that means you can just copy and paste your entire FrameTrail instance (including all user data etc.) to another server and it will instantly work.

Browser Support

  • Latest Versions of Chrome and Firefox
  • Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge if you're lucky (not tested)
  • Internet Explorer is not and won't be supported
  • Editing Features are disabled on mobile platforms, touch support is yet to be integrated.

Use Cases


  • Fact Checking Formats
  • Investigative Reportages
  • Citizen Journalism
  • Parliamentary Debates

Online Learning

  • Annotated Lecture Videos
  • Online Courses / MOOCs
  • Flipped Classroom Scenarios
  • Open Courseware Platforms

Scientific Publishing

  • Self-contained Timebased Publications
  • Directly accessible sources / accompanying materials
  • Citation of Video Fragments

Interactive Storytelling

  • Non-linear Film Formats
  • Web Documentaries
  • Adaptive Narratives
  • Participatory Storytelling


Film shall be "programmed" with Open Web Technologies, rather than rendered out of an editing interface

Openness & Fragmentation

By "rendering" a film, we permanently seal it and "burn" all its fragments into it. FrameTrail is about preserving the openness of film that it has in production environments, so raw videos, cuts, text overlays, effects and included documents can be explicitly referenced, changed and remixed forever (and live!) beyond the frontiers of proprietary editing software and platforms.

Film as Architecture

We want to re-imagine the organizational concept of hypertext for a film environment. Think of a World-Wide-Web, where all the interconnected text fragments are replaced by film. Instead of a scrollbar, a timeline becomes the controlling instance and spatio-temporal links the basis for document access. In other words: we want to include the web into hyperlinked film and not vice versa.


In order to allow everyone to freely install, adjust and extend FrameTrail, we decided to use intentionally simple technology and self-contained formats. Everything is filebased (no database) and there are no complex build environments or media transcoding frameworks included. The drawback of this approach is that some things might not always work as easy as on a fully-fledged media platform.

Dynamic Design

The way you use, arrange and display the different components of FrameTrail is up to you and the affordances of your project. From just using FrameTrail as a full-site video player up to using it as a highly interactive hypervideo solution, everything is dynamically configurable (see also: Getting Started > Layout Areas).


To help you get started we've put together several step-by-step tutorials on all aspects of FrameTrail. Just choose one of the links:


Join us on Github

Are you a developer and want to remix / improve / extend this software? Please head over to the Contributors Guide and the API Documentation.


Joscha J├Ąger, Michael J. Zeder, Michael Morgenstern, Olivier Aubert, Jacob Friedman


Twitter: @FrameTrail
Mail: joscha.jaeger | at | filmicweb | dot | org


FrameTrail is dual licensed under MIT and GPL v3 Licenses.

For more info check out the License Details.