How to use cv2.videocapture in open CV

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by gayathrimohan dot icon Updated: Sep 25, 2023

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OpenCV2 is a popular open-source computer vision and image processing library. We know image analysis. 

You can also use it for video processing, including video capture. This module helps you use and control video streams. You can use it with webcams, video files, or network streams.  

Here are some common use cases for VideoCapture:  

  • Webcam Access: You can use VideoCapture to access and capture video frames from a webcam.   
  • Video File Processing: This allows you to read video files. It also allows you to process individual frames or analyze the video content. You can read various video file formats like AVI, MP4, and more.  
  • Real-time Video Analysis: OpenCV2's VideoCapture module is essential for real-time video analysis tasks.   

Here are some of the main types of OpenCV used in video capture:  

  • cv::VideoCapture Class: This is the most common way to capture video using OpenCV. It provides a simple and intuitive interface. Different sources can use it to watch videos, like video files, cameras, or image sequences. You can create an instance of cv::VideoCapture. Next, you can use it to open video sources and read frames. You can get other details about the video, like its size and frame rate.  
  • cv::VideoWriter Class: After processing video frames, you may want to save the result as a new video file. This is useful for tasks like video editing and computer vision applications.  
  • cv::VideoCaptureAPIs: OpenCV can capture videos using V4L2, DirectShow, Media Foundation, and GStreamer. These APIs enable you to access video streams from different sources. Also, provide platform-specific features and optimizations.  
  • cv::cuda::VideoCapture: If you have a compatible NVIDIA GPU and want to speed up video processing. You can use the CUDA-enabled version of VideoCapture. This class leverages GPU capabilities to perform video capture and processing tasks more.  
  • cv::cv2.: It helps VideoCapture in Python. OpenCV also provides a Python interface that mirrors the C++ VideoCapture class. It allows developers to work with video streams in Python. This makes it a popular choice for rapid prototyping and computer vision applications.  
  • cv::dnn::Net: It helps Deep Learning Models. You can also integrate OpenCV with deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow and PyTorch.   

Benefits of OpenCV:  

  • Versatility: It supports a wide range of programming languages and platforms. That makes it versatile and accessible to developers.  
  • Comprehensive Functionality: It offers a vast collection of optimized algorithms. We use computer technology to change images and identify people's faces.  
  • Community Support: This ensures ongoing updates and bug fixes. It also ensures the availability of new features.  
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Developers can create apps that work on many platforms. That performs without significant code modification.  
  • Real-Time Processing: Optimized for real-time image and video processing. This process makes it ideal for apps. They are like surveillance, augmented reality, and robotics.  
  • Machine Learning Integration: It integrates with popular machine learning frameworks. Those frameworks are like TensorFlow and PyTorch. Enabling the development of advanced computer vision models achieves that.  
  • Hardware Acceleration: OpenCV supports hardware acceleration through platforms like CUDA and OpenCL. This can speed up image processing tasks on compatible GPUs.  
  • Open Source and Free: It is open-source and free to use. Making it cost-effective for both hobbyists and commercial projects does that.  
  • Rich Documentation and Tutorials: It provides extensive documentation. It also provides a wealth of online tutorials and resources. Developers of all levels can make it accessible.  
  • Wide Industry Adoption: Various industries have adopted it widely. Those industries include healthcare, automotive, entertainment, and manufacturing. Jobseekers and businesses make this a valuable skill.  
  • Cross-Domain Applications: Many different programs can use it. They can edit images and videos, analyze medical images, and drive autonomous vehicles. We do this to make it suitable for a wide range of projects.  

In conclusion, OpenCV plays a pivotal role in video capture apps. Powerful tools and libraries provide this. People use those for image processing, computer vision, and video analysis. Its versatility and ease of use make it indispensable in various fields. From surveillance and robotics to healthcare and entertainment, people do this. OpenCV empowers developers to create innovative solutions. Those solutions will rely on accurate and real-time video data. Countless apps in today's digital age make it a cornerstone technology.  

Fig: Preview of the output that you will get on running this code from your IDE.


In this solution we are using Python Open CV library.


Follow the steps carefully to get the output easily.

  1. Download and Install the PyCharm Community Edition on your computer.
  2. Open the terminal and install the required libraries with the following commands.
  3. Create a new Python file on your IDE.
  4. Copy the snippet using the 'copy' button and paste it into your python file.
  5. Add functional brackets"()" in all these lines no : 21,38,41 and 45 for all print statements.
  6. Run the current file to generate the output.

I hope you found this useful.

I found this code snippet by searching for 'How to use cv2.videocapture in open CV' in Kandi. You can try any such use case!

Environment Tested

I tested this solution in the following versions. Be mindful of changes when working with other versions.

  1. PyCharm Community Edition 2023.1
  2. The solution is created in Python 3.11.1 Version
  3. numpy v1.25.0rcl Version
  4. q 2.7 Version

Using this solution, we can able to use cv2.videocapture in open CV with simple steps. This process also facilities an easy way to use, hassle-free method to create a hands-on working version of code which would help us to use cv2.videocapture in open CV.

Dependent Library

numpyby numpy

Python doticonstar image 23755 doticonVersion:v1.25.0rc1doticon
License: Permissive (BSD-3-Clause)

The fundamental package for scientific computing with Python.


            numpyby numpy

            Python doticon star image 23755 doticonVersion:v1.25.0rc1doticon License: Permissive (BSD-3-Clause)

            The fundamental package for scientific computing with Python.

                      qby zestyping

                      Python doticonstar image 1239 doticonVersion:Currentdoticon
                      License: Permissive (Apache-2.0)

                      Quick and dirty debugging output for tired programmers. ⛺


                                qby zestyping

                                Python doticon star image 1239 doticonVersion:Currentdoticon License: Permissive (Apache-2.0)

                                Quick and dirty debugging output for tired programmers. ⛺

                                          You can search for any dependent library on kandi like 'numpy' and 'q'.


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                                          2. For further learning resources, visit the Open Weaver Community learning page


                                          1. What is the OpenCV Python Tutorial, and how does it relate to cv2.videocapture?  

                                          The OpenCV Python Tutorial is a set of educational resources. It is a documentation provided by the OpenCV library for Python. OpenCV is a popular open-source computer vision. The library helps developers work with images and videos by processing them.  

                                          cv2.VideoCapture is a specific function or class within OpenCV. You can use video streams to capture footage from webcams or video files. It's a fundamental component for working with video data in OpenCV.  

                                          2. How can I create a video stream with cv2.VideoCapture?   

                                          To create a video stream using cv2.VideoCapture in OpenCV (Python), you can follow these steps:  

                                          • Import the OpenCV library:  

                                          import cv2  

                                          • Create a VideoCapture object and specify the video source (e.g., a file path or camera index). For a file, you can do:  

                                          video_capture = cv2.VideoCapture('video_file.mp4')  

                                          • For a camera, specify the camera index (usually 0 for the default camera):  

                                          video_capture = cv2.VideoCapture(0)  

                                          • Check if you opened the video capture object. 

                                          If not video_capture.isOpened():   

                                          print ("Error: Couldn't open video source.")  

                                          • Loop to read frames from the video source and display them or perform operations. You can use a while loop to read frames:  

                                          while True:   

                                          ret, frame = # Read a frame   

                                          if not ret:   

                                          break # Break the loop if there are no more frames  

                                          # Perform operations on the frame here (e.g., display, process, etc.) cv2.imshow('Video', frame)  

                                          # Check for key press to exit (e.g., press 'q' to quit)   

                                          if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord('q'):   


                                          • Release the video capture object and close any open windows when done:  



                                          This code will create a video stream from the specified source. Also, display frames until you press the 'q' key to exit.  

                                          3. What is a video capture object, and how do I use it?   

                                          A video capture object is a component. Programmers use it to interact with video input devices such as webcams or video files. It lets you capture video frames in real time or from a stored video source. To use it, you follow these steps in a programming language like Python with libraries such as OpenCV:  

                                          • Import Libraries: Import the necessary libraries, usually OpenCV.  
                                          • Initialize the Video Capture Object: Create an instance of the video capture object. Also, specify the video source, a webcam, or a video file.  

                                          import cv2   

                                          cap = cv2.VideoCapture(0) # Use the default camera (webcam)   

                                          # or   

                                          cap = cv2.VideoCapture("video.mp4") # Load a video file  

                                          • Capture Frames: Use a loop to capture frames from the video source.  

                                          while True:   

                                          ret, frame = # Read a frame from the video source   

                                          if not ret:   

                                          break # Break the loop if there are no more frames  

                                          # Process and display the frame here   

                                          cv2.imshow("Video", frame)  

                                          if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord('q'):   

                                          break # Break the loop when 'q' is pressed  

                                          cap.release() # Release the video capture object   

                                          cv2.destroyAllWindows() # Close all OpenCV windows  

                                          • Release Resources: It's important to release the video capture object. When you finish, close any open windows to free up system resources.  

                                          4. Can I use VideoCapture to capture frames from videos or live streams?   

                                          Computer vision libraries like OpenCV use VideoCapture. Users can use it to capture frames from videos or live streams. It provides an interface for accessing video input from various sources. Those sources are such as video files or webcams. This allows you to process individual frames for various tasks. Those tasks are object detection, image processing, or computer vision applications.  

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