Installing OpenCV and ffmpeg on Windows

OpenCV and ffmpeg are great tools especially if you're wanting to do any type of image/video analysis or manipulation. But installing these tools isn't exactly the easiest thing to do either. I went through the pain and here's what I discovered.

Installing ffmpeg

Since opening most video files require a codec in OpenCV installing ffmpeg was the first thing that I did.

  1. Download the latest static build for Windows and then extract the files. You may need 7zip to extract.

  2. Create a folder in C:\ called ffmpeg

  3. Copy the contents of the extracted files into C:\ffmpeg

  4. Edit your PATH environment variable to append at the end the following entry:

    C:\ffmpeg\bin;
    
  5. Confirm that everything is working correct by opening a cmd prompt and enter the following (Note you might need to run cmd as administrator):

    ffmpeg -version
    

Installing OpenCV

These steps are similar to installing ffmpeg however the OpenCV download comes with a self-extracting executable.

  1. Download the self-extracting executable from the OpenCV website

  2. Run the Executable which will in turn extract the executable

  3. Create a folder in C:\ called opencv

  4. Copy the contents of the extracted files into opencv

  5. Edit your PATH environment variable. This will be dependent on the version you want installed (i.e. 32 or 64 bit) and also the version of visual studio you have installed (express editions are fine).

    | <OS Version> | Definition |
    -----------------------------
    |     x86      | 32 bit     |
    |     x64      | 64 bit     |
    
    | <vs version> | Definition |
    -----------------------------
    |  vc10        | VS 2010    |
    |  vc11        | VS 2012    |
    |  vc12        | VS 2013    |
    
    C:\opencv\build\<OS Version>\<vs version\bin
    

After installing both OpenCV and ffmpeg you'll need to restart your computer to add the paths to the system path.

Installing OpenCV Python

Installing the binding for OpenCV in python simply requires copying over cv2.pyd from opencv/build/python/2.7/<OS Version> in to the site-packages folder. Note: that currently OpenCV is ONLY supported on Python 2.7.

OpenCV also requires that numpy be installed as well. matplolib is also recommended to be installed.

To test it out open a python console and enter the following:

    import cv2
    print(cv2.__version__)

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