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How to extract frames of a video

Asked by Beenish Mazhar on 22 Sep 2012
Latest activity Commented on by John on 14 Aug 2014 at 18:48

Hi everyone! How can I extract frames of a video in matlab if I have used mmreader to read the video.I have used frame2im command but its not working.

1 Comment

msp on 28 Apr 2013

how to extract only key frames from the video ??

Beenish Mazhar



3 Answers

Answer by Walter Roberson on 22 Sep 2012
Accepted answer
obj = mmreader(FileName);
video =;

Then, frame #K is video(:,:,:,K)


Beenish Mazhar on 22 Sep 2012

I was doing exactly the same which you have told me but I want to extract each and every frame separately( I want to view each frame in a separate figure).When I run the above mentioned code then it runs all the frames in a single figure which is not my requirement.

Walter Roberson on 22 Sep 2012
obj = mmreader(FileName);
for k = 1 : NumberOfFrames  %fill in the appropriate number
  this_frame = read(obj, k);
  thisfig = figure();
  thisax = axes('Parent', thisfig);
  image(this_frame, 'Parent', thisax);
  title(thisax, sprintf('Frame #%d', k));

You might notice here that the frame extraction code has not changed at all, that I have simply added some display code.

Beenish Mazhar on 22 Sep 2012

Thankyou now its working.Is there any command for mmreader for evaluating total number of frames of a video just like as we have for aviread command which is :



nFrames=file.NumFrames; %for evaluating total number of frames of video

secondly I have to crop the certain area of the frame which I have done with imcrop command and then display it with imshow() command but again its not working.I am using the command as:

I = imcrop(this_frame, [0 352 288 94]);

Walter Roberson
Answer by Image Analyst on 22 Sep 2012

See my demo for extracting and measuring an AVI file (the standard MATLAB rhinos.avi movie):

% Demo macro to extract frames and get frame means from an avi movie
% and save individual frames to separate image files.
% Also computes the mean gray value of the color channels.
clc;    % Clear the command window.
close all;  % Close all figures (except those of imtool.)
imtool close all;  % Close all imtool figures.
clear;  % Erase all existing variables.
workspace;  % Make sure the workspace panel is showing.
fontSize = 14;
% Change the current folder to the folder of this m-file.
% (The line of code below is from Brett Shoelson of The Mathworks.)
% Open the rhino.avi demo movie that ships with MATLAB.
folder = fullfile(matlabroot, '\toolbox\images\imdemos');
movieFullFileName = fullfile(folder, 'rhinos.avi');
% Check to see that it exists.
if ~exist(movieFullFileName, 'file')
	strErrorMessage = sprintf('File not found:\n%s\nYou can choose a new one, or cancel', movieFullFileName);
	response = questdlg(strErrorMessage, 'File not found', 'OK - choose a new movie.', 'Cancel', 'OK - choose a new movie.');
	if strcmpi(response, 'OK - choose a new movie.')
		[baseFileName, folderName, FilterIndex] = uigetfile('*.avi');
		if ~isequal(baseFileName, 0)
			movieFullFileName = fullfile(folderName, baseFileName);
	movieInfo = aviinfo(movieFullFileName)
	mov = aviread(movieFullFileName);
	% movie(mov);
	% Determine how many frames there are.
	numberOfFrames = size(mov, 2);
	numberOfFramesWritten = 0;
	% Prepare a figure to show the images in the upper half of the screen.
	screenSize = get(0, 'ScreenSize');
	newWindowPosition = [1 screenSize(4)/2 - 70 screenSize(3) screenSize(4)/2];
	set(gcf, 'Position', newWindowPosition); % Maximize figure.
% 	set(gcf, 'Position', get(0,'Screensize')); % Maximize figure.
    % Ask user if they want to write the individual frames out to disk.
    promptMessage = sprintf('Do you want to save the individual frames out to individual disk files?');
    button = questdlg(promptMessage, 'Save individual frames?', 'Yes', 'No', 'Yes');
    if strcmp(button, 'Yes')
        writeToDisk = true;
          % Extract out the various parts of the filename.
          [folder, baseFileName, extentions] = fileparts(movieFullFileName);
          % Make up a special new output subfolder for all the separate
          % movie frames that we're going to extract and save to disk.
          % (Don't worry - windows can handle forward slashes in the folder name.)
          folder = pwd;   % Make it a subfolder of the folder where this m-file lives.
          outputFolder = sprintf('%s/Movie Frames from %s', folder, baseFileName);
          % Create the folder if it doesn't exist already.
          if ~exist(outputFolder, 'dir')
          writeToDisk = false;        
      % Loop through the movie, writing all frames out.
  	% Each frame will be in a separate file with unique name.
  	meanGrayLevels = zeros(numberOfFrames, 1);
  	meanRedLevels = zeros(numberOfFrames, 1);
  	meanGreenLevels = zeros(numberOfFrames, 1);
  	meanBlueLevels = zeros(numberOfFrames, 1);
      for frame = 1 : numberOfFrames
  		% Extract the frame from the movie structure.
  		thisFrame = mov(frame).cdata;
          % Display it
          hImage = subplot(1,2,1);
          axis square;
          caption = sprintf('Frame %4d of %d.', frame, numberOfFrames);
          title(caption, 'FontSize', fontSize);
          drawnow; % Force it to refresh the window.		
		% Write the image array to the output file, if requested.
        if writeToDisk
             % Construct an output image file name.
            outputBaseFileName = sprintf('Frame %4.4d.png', frame);
            outputFullFileName = fullfile(outputFolder, outputBaseFileName);
              % Stamp the name and frame number onto the image.
              % At this point it's just going into the overlay, 
              % not actually getting written into the pixel values.
              text(5, 15, outputBaseFileName, 'FontSize', 20);
              % Extract the image with the text "burned into" it.
              frameWithText = getframe(gca);
              % frameWithText.cdata is the image with the text
              % actually written into the pixel values.
              % Write it out to disk.
              imwrite(frameWithText.cdata, outputFullFileName, 'png');
		% Calculate the mean gray level.
		grayImage = rgb2gray(thisFrame);
		meanGrayLevels(frame) = mean(grayImage(:));
		% Calculate the mean R, G, and B levels.
		meanRedLevels(frame) = mean(mean(thisFrame(:, :, 1)));
		meanGreenLevels(frame) = mean(mean(thisFrame(:, :, 2)));
		meanBlueLevels(frame) = mean(mean(thisFrame(:, :, 3)));
		% Plot the mean gray levels.
		hPlot = subplot(1,2,2);
        hold off;
		plot(meanGrayLevels, 'k-', 'LineWidth', 2);
        hold on;
        plot(meanRedLevels, 'r-');
        plot(meanGreenLevels, 'g-');
        plot(meanBlueLevels, 'b-');
          % Put title back because plot() erases the existing title.
  		title('Mean Gray Levels', 'FontSize', fontSize);
          if frame == 1
  			xlabel('Frame Number');
  			yLabel('Gray Level');
              % Get size data later for preallocation if we read
              % the movie back in from disk.
              [rows columns numberOfColorChannels] = size(thisFrame);
          % Update user with the progress.  Display in the command window.
          if writeToDisk
      		progressIndication = sprintf('Wrote frame %4d of %d.', frame, numberOfFrames);
      		progressIndication = sprintf('Processed frame %4d of %d.', frame, numberOfFrames);
  		% Increment frame count (should eventually = numberOfFrames
  		% unless an error happens).
  		numberOfFramesWritten = numberOfFramesWritten + 1;
      % Alert user that we're done.
      if writeToDisk
          finishedMessage = sprintf('Done!  It wrote %d frames to folder\n"%s"', numberOfFramesWritten, outputFolder);
          finishedMessage = sprintf('Done!  It processed %d frames of\n"%s"', numberOfFramesWritten, movieFullFileName);
      disp(finishedMessage); % Write to command window.
      uiwait(msgbox(finishedMessage)); % Also pop up a message box.
      % Exit if they didn't write any individual frames out to disk.
      if ~writeToDisk
      % Ask user if they want to read the individual frames from the disk,
      % that they just wrote out, back into a movie and display it.
      promptMessage = sprintf('Do you want to recall the individual frames\nback from disk into a movie?\n(This will take several seconds.)');
      button = questdlg(promptMessage, 'Recall Movie?', 'Yes', 'No', 'Yes');
      if strcmp(button, 'No')
      % Read the frames back in, and convert them to a movie.
      % I don't know of any way to preallocate recalledMovie.
      for frame = 1 : numberOfFrames
          % Construct an output image file name.
          outputBaseFileName = sprintf('Frame %4.4d.png', frame);
          outputFullFileName = fullfile(outputFolder, outputBaseFileName);
          % Read the image in from disk.
          thisFrame = imread(outputFullFileName);
          % Convert the image into a "movie frame" structure.
          recalledMovie(frame) = im2frame(thisFrame);
      % Get rid of old image and plot.
      % Create new axes for our movie.
      subPlot(1, 3, 2);
      axis off;  % Turn off axes numbers.
      title('Movie recalled from disk', 'FontSize', fontSize);
      % Play the movie in the axes.
      % Note: if you want to display graphics or text in the overlay
      % as the movie plays back then you need to do it like I did at first
      % (at the top of this file where you extract and imshow a frame at a time.)
      msgbox('Done with this demo!');
catch ME
	% Some error happened if you get here.
	stError = lasterror;
	strErrorMessage = sprintf('Error extracting movie frames from:\n\n%s\n\nError: %s\n\n)', movieFullFileName, stError.message);


John on 14 Aug 2014 at 18:14

The code will not find any movie files with the ".mp4" extention. Seems to be catered to ones with the ".avi" extension.

Image Analyst on 14 Aug 2014 at 18:30

So change it John. The filename is hard coded in there to be one of the standard video demos that ship with MATLAB:

movieFullFileName = fullfile(folder, 'traffic.avi');

Just change it to whatever you want. It can be an mp4 file or whatever.

John on 14 Aug 2014 at 18:48

My mistake... The drop down that shows up when searching for the file was not set to "all files" but was set to "avi" and I didn't realize it.

But, I did change the code to adapt to the location of the file. I may be a little slow sometimes, but that's one thing I did catch when looking through the code. :)

Image Analyst
Answer by msp on 28 Apr 2013

how to extract only key frames from the video ??



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