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Reading video file to Matlab?

Asked by srikanth on 18 Jan 2013

Hi friends can any one help me how to read video file(.avi) and process it frame by frame as an image. I tried with


img = getsnapshot(vid1) ;


but its not working. Any suggestions


srikanth on 18 Jan 2013

friends can some one help me on this...... i got stuck because of this

srikanth on 18 Jan 2013

i am getting an error saying

Undefined function or method 'getsnapshot' for input arguments of type 'uint8'

srikanth on 18 Jan 2013

version of matlab i am using is



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1 Answer

Answer by Image Analyst on 18 Jan 2013
Accepted answer

See if this demo helps you any:

% 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.)
% Check that user has the Image Processing Toolbox installed.
hasIPT = license('test', 'image_toolbox');
if ~hasIPT
	% User does not have the toolbox installed.
	message = sprintf('Sorry, but you do not seem to have the Image Processing Toolbox.\nDo you want to try to continue anyway?');
	reply = questdlg(message, 'Toolbox missing', 'Yes', 'No', 'Yes');
	if strcmpi(reply, 'No')
		% User said No, so exit.
% 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);
	videoObject = VideoReader(movieFullFileName)
	% Determine how many frames there are.
	numberOfFrames = videoObject.NumberOfFrames;
	vidHeight = videoObject.Height;
	vidWidth = videoObject.Width;
	numberOfFramesWritten = 0;
	% Prepare a figure to show the images in the upper half of the screen.
	% 	screenSize = get(0, 'ScreenSize');
	% Enlarge figure to full screen.
	set(gcf, 'units','normalized','outerposition',[0 0 1 1]);
	% 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 = read(videoObject, frame);
		% Display it
		hImage = subplot(2, 2, 1);
		caption = sprintf('Frame %4d of %d.', frame, numberOfFrames);
		title(caption, 'FontSize', fontSize);
		drawnow; % Force it to refresh the window.
		% 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(2, 2, 2);
		hold off;
		plot(meanGrayLevels, 'k-', 'LineWidth', 2);
		hold on;
		plot(meanRedLevels, 'r-');
		plot(meanGreenLevels, 'g-');
		plot(meanBlueLevels, 'b-');
		grid on;
		% 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.
		progressIndication = sprintf('Processed frame %4d of %d.', frame, numberOfFrames);
		% Increment frame count (should eventually = numberOfFrames
		% unless an error happens).
		numberOfFramesWritten = numberOfFramesWritten + 1;
		% Now let's do the entropy filter.
		% First get a gray level image
		grayImage = rgb2gray(thisFrame);
		subplot(2, 2, 3);
		caption = sprintf('Gray Scale Image, frame #%d', frame);
		title(caption, 'FontSize', fontSize);
		% Display the filtered image.
		entropyFilteredImage = entropyfilt(grayImage);
		subplot(2, 2, 4);
		imshow(entropyFilteredImage, []);
		caption = sprintf('Entropy Filtered Image, frame #%d', frame);
		title(caption, 'FontSize', fontSize);
	% Alert user that we're done.
	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.
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);


Image Analyst on 20 Jan 2013

OK. But after 4 years it sounds like it's time to upgrade.

rock on 21 May 2013

what about other formats like 3gp,flv,mp4 etc.....................

Image Analyst on 21 May 2013

I don't know. It might depend on what decoders you have on your system, but I haven't tried any of those formats personally.

Image Analyst

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