Webcam face detection in C# using Emgu CV

Posted on | | 40 Comments on Webcam face detection in C# using Emgu CV

Some time ago I wrote a post on how to do face detection in C# using OpenCV. I’ve since begun using the Emgu CV wrapper instead of opencvdotnet. Emgu CV is much better, in active development and it even runs on Mono. Two gotchas:

  1. You don’t have to install OpenCV, but instead have to copy the relevant dlls (included with the Emgu CV download) to the folder where you code executes.
  2. Open CV and X64 are not friends. If you’re running X64 Windows (and unless you are up to recompiling OpenCV) you have to make sure your app is compiled to X86, instead of the usual “Any CPU”.
  3. Remember to add PictureBox as per the original tutorial.

Here’s sample code:

using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Drawing;
using Emgu.CV;
using Emgu.Util;
using Emgu.CV.Structure;
using Emgu.CV.CvEnum;

namespace opencvtut
    public partial class Form1 : Form
		private Capture cap;
		private HaarCascade haar;

        public Form1()

        private void timer1_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e)
		using (Image<Bgr, byte> nextFrame = cap.QueryFrame())
			if (nextFrame != null)
				// there's only one channel (greyscale), hence the zero index
				//var faces = nextFrame.DetectHaarCascade(haar)[0];
				Image<Gray, byte> grayframe = nextFrame.Convert<Gray, byte>();
				var faces =
						haar, 1.4, 4,
						new Size(nextFrame.Width/8, nextFrame.Height/8)

				foreach (var face in faces)
					nextFrame.Draw(face.rect, new Bgr(0,double.MaxValue,0), 3);
				pictureBox1.Image = nextFrame.ToBitmap();

        private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
            // passing 0 gets zeroth webcam
			cap = new Capture(0);
            // adjust path to find your xml
			haar = new HaarCascade(