OpenCV is an open source computer vision and machine learning software library. It is available for several common programming languages, most notably C++, Python and Javascript. The main documentation is available at

You’ll quickly come across the term cascades. Cascades are pre-trained functions that programmers can use to detect commonly sought after features such as faces, eyes, ears, full bodies etc.

To find a cascade that suits your project, try the following github repo’s:


To help beginner programmers get up and running even quicker, I’ve created a Python library called VisionMadeEasy that is available for install from the Python package repository. Either use PyCharm or pip to install as follows.

pip install visionmadeeasy

To successfully run the demo, you will also have to…

The demo code follows:

import visionmadeeasy

def i_see_a_face( location, img ):
    print(f"I see a face!!! It is at {location['x']},{location['y']}")
    return True # must return True to keep the loop alive

def i_recognise_a_face( location, person_name, confidence, img ):
    print(f"Hello {person_name}! I am {confidence}% sure it is you :-)")
    return True # must return True to keep the loop alive

if __name__ == "__main__":
    vme = visionmadeeasy.VisionMadeEasy(0, "dataset")
    quit = False
    while not quit:
        print("Demonstration time! Menu of options...")
        print("1. Detect faces")
        print("2. Record faces")
        print("3. Train for faces recorded")
        print("4. Recognise faces (must do training first)")
        print("5. Exit")
        choice = int(input("Enter your option (1 to 5):"))

        if choice == 1:
            print("[face_vision] Task: Searching for faces.\nLook at the camera! (press ESC to quit)")
            # Demo of detecting faces

        elif choice == 2:
            print("About to save 50 images of different angles etc of a person, saving to folder ./dataset")
            id = int(input("Enter unique person number: "))
            n = input("Enter person name: ")
            print("Smile! :-)")
            # Demo of recording faces
            vme.record_face_dataset(images_to_record=50, interval=1, person_identifier=id, person_name=n)

        elif choice == 3:
            print("[face_vision] Task: Training... please wait...")
            # Demo of training faces

        elif choice == 4:
            print("[face_vision] Task: Searching for faces I recognise.\nLook at the camera! (press ESC to quit)")
            # Demo of recognising faces

        elif choice == 5:
            quit = True


Automated photo booth

Those who attended the February 2019 middle school disco would be aware I had my laptop running an automated photo booth that was taking photos when it detected at least 3 people standing in front of it. I thought I might share the code for those who are interested to see how I did it.