How to Flip Video Frames

Learn how to flip video frames horizontally and vertically using OpenCV, the most popular computer vision library. Follow our step-by-step guide with code examples to start exploring the world of image and video processing today.

Updated March 20, 2023


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Welcome to this tutorial on how to flip video frames in OpenCV. Flipping frames is a common operation in computer vision that involves flipping the image horizontally or vertically. The ability to flip frames is useful in many applications such as image and video processing, object detection, and tracking.

In this tutorial, we will explore how to flip video frames in OpenCV, one of the most widely used computer vision libraries. We will discuss the theory behind flipping frames and provide multiple code examples to illustrate the concept.

Theory

Flipping frames is a simple operation that involves changing the orientation of an image. OpenCV provides the cv2.flip() function to flip an image along a specified axis. The function takes two arguments: the input image and the flip code.

The flip code is an integer that determines the axis along which the image will be flipped. A flip code of 0 flips the image vertically, a flip code of 1 flips the image horizontally, and a flip code of -1 flips the image both horizontally and vertically.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the theory, let’s move on to the code examples.

Code Examples

We will use Python for our examples, but the concept applies to other programming languages supported by OpenCV.

First, let’s start by importing the necessary libraries:

import cv2
import numpy as np

Next, let’s load a sample video file and read the first frame:

cap = cv2.VideoCapture('sample_video.mp4')
ret, frame = cap.read()

To flip the image horizontally, we can use the following code:

flip_horizontal = cv2.flip(frame, 1)

To flip the image vertically, we can use the following code:

flip_vertical = cv2.flip(frame, 0)

To flip the image both horizontally and vertically, we can use the following code:

flip_both = cv2.flip(frame, -1)

Once we have flipped the frames, we can display them using the following code:

cv2.imshow('Original Frame', frame)
cv2.imshow('Flipped Horizontally', flip_horizontal)
cv2.imshow('Flipped Vertically', flip_vertical)
cv2.imshow('Flipped Both', flip_both)
cv2.waitKey(0)
cv2.destroyAllWindows()

The cv2.imshow() function displays the image on the screen. The cv2.waitKey() function waits for a keyboard event, and the cv2.destroyAllWindows() function closes all the windows.

Conclusion

In conclusion, flipping video frames is a common operation in computer vision that can be performed easily using OpenCV. We discussed the theory behind flipping frames and provided multiple code examples to illustrate the concept.

Flipping frames can be useful in many applications such as image and video processing, object detection, and tracking. It allows us to change the orientation of an image and extract information that might not be visible in the original image.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Feel free to explore the OpenCV documentation for more information on image processing and computer vision.