Using OpenCV on Windows

Hi! I've put together a few short articles that will get you started with your first step in using OpenCV on Windows! By the end of this tutorial, you'll be proficient at:

  • Setting up a project for OpenCV
  • Loading images
  • Manipulate images (increase contrast, some funky effects, etc)
  • Capture images from your camera (and apply the above effects too)
  • Create simple user interfaces with HighGUI

That's a lot of stuff! So lets get started right now!

The tutorials

This is a series of tutorials. Here's the entire list of tutorials:

Lesson 01 Why OpenCV? This article talks about why to choose OpenCV over Matlab. Update: I found a comparison of OpenCV against other vision libraries.

Installing and getting OpenCV running Here you'll learn how to setup your IDE to recognize OpenCV.

Hello, World! with images Your very first OpenCV project! You'll load an image and display it on screen.

Filtering images Do some weird effects on your images! This is a fun lesson!

Capturing images Using OpenCV's inbuilt capabilities to get live video from your camera. Update: Feeling adventerous? Try capturing with DirectX (works on any camera).

HighGUI: Creating Interfaces Learn the basics of creating an interface and detecting events from trackbars and windows.

What exactly is OpenCV?

This might sound obvious, but just to be clear, OpenCV is a library of functions. OpenCV is NOT a piece of software that you run and process images. You need to write code.

You can download Microsoft's Visual Studio Express Edition (for free). It is one superb IDE. Go get Visual Studio Express here! You need to download the Visual C++ 2010 Express.

Also, OpenCV is not some executable file that you double click and it'll start working. It is pure code, library files and DLL files. When you write your own code, you "link" to these library files to access the OpenCV functions.

Again, this might sound obvious, but just to be sure I put this up.


After you've been through this tutorial, you'll know how to go about using OpenCV on a Windows box! Enjoy!

OpenCV 3 Blueprints

Learn how to identify face expressions, fingerprints, setup automated camera traps, stabilize mobile video with gyroscopes and use the Android NDK

The book is packed with the fundamentals of computer vision and will get you started on just the right track.

Learn more about the book

Utkarsh Sinha created AI Shack in 2010 and has since been working on computer vision and related fields. He is currently at Carnegie Mellon University studying computer vision.