Deep Learning Project – Face Recognition with Python & OpenCV

Face Recognition with Python – Identify and recognize a person in the live real-time video.

In this deep learning project, we will learn how to recognize the human faces in live video with Python. We will build this project using python dlib’s facial recognition network. Dlib is a general-purpose software library. Using dlib toolkit, we can make real-world machine learning applications.

In this project, we will first understand the working of face recognizer. Then we will build face recognition with Python.

face recognition project

Face Recognition with Python, OpenCV & Deep Learning

About dlib’s Face Recognition:

Python provides face_recognition API which is built through dlib’s face recognition algorithms. This face_recognition API allows us to implement face detection, real-time face tracking and face recognition applications.

Project Prerequisites:

You need to install the dlib library and face_recognition API from PyPI:

pip3 install dlib 
pip3 install face_recognition

Download the Source Code:

Face Recognition Project

Steps to implement Face Recognition with Python:

We will build this python project in two parts. We will build two different python files for these two parts:

  • In this step, we will take images of the person as input. We will make the face embeddings of these images.
  • Now, we will recognize that particular person from the camera frame.

face recognition project feature extraction matching


First, create a file in your working directory. In this file, we will create face embeddings of a particular human face. We make face embeddings using face_recognition.face_encodings method. These face embeddings are a 128 dimensional vector. In this vector space, different vectors of same person images are near to each other. After making face embedding, we will store them in a pickle file.

Paste the below code in this file.

  • Import necessary libraries:
import sys
import cv2 
import face_recognition
import pickle
  • To identify the person in a pickle file, take its name and a unique id as input:
name=input("enter name")
ref_id=input("enter id")
  • Create a pickle file and dictionary to store face encodings:




  • Open webcam and 5 photos of a person as input and create its embeddings:

face recognition triplet training step

Here, we will store the embeddings of a particular person in the embed_dictt dictionary. We have created embed_dictt in the previous state. In this dictionary, we will use ref_id of that person as the key.

To capture images, press ‘s’ five times. If you want to stop the camera press ‘q’:

for i in range(5):
    key = cv2. waitKey(1)
    webcam = cv2.VideoCapture(0)
    while True:
        check, frame =

        cv2.imshow("Capturing", frame)
        small_frame = cv2.resize(frame, (0, 0), fx=0.25, fy=0.25)
        rgb_small_frame = small_frame[:, :, ::-1]
        key = cv2.waitKey(1)

        if key == ord('s') : 
            face_locations = face_recognition.face_locations(rgb_small_frame)
            if face_locations != []:
                face_encoding = face_recognition.face_encodings(frame)[0]
                if ref_id in embed_dictt:
        elif key == ord('q'):
            print("Turning off camera.")
            print("Camera off.")
            print("Program ended.")
  • Update the pickle file with the face embedding.

Here we store the embed_dictt in a pickle file. Hence, to recognize that person in future we can directly load its embeddings from this file:


Now it’s time to execute the first part of python project.

Run the python file and take five image inputs with the person’s name and its ref_id:


face Embedding

face recognition embedding


Here we will again create person’s embeddings from the camera frame. Then, we will match the new embeddings with stored embeddings from the pickle file. The new embeddings of same person will be close to its embeddings into the vector space. And hence we will be able to recognize the person.

Now, create a new python file and paste below code:

  • Import the libraries:
import face_recognition
import cv2
import numpy as np
import glob
import pickle
  • Load the stored pickle files:

  • Create two lists, one to store ref_id and other for respective embedding:
known_face_encodings = []  
known_face_names = []	

for ref_id , embed_list in embed_dictt.items():
    for my_embed in embed_list:
        known_face_encodings +=[my_embed]
        known_face_names += [ref_id]
  • Start the webcam to recognize the person:
video_capture = cv2.VideoCapture(0)

face_locations = []
face_encodings = []
face_names = []
process_this_frame = True

while True  :
    ret, frame =

    small_frame = cv2.resize(frame, (0, 0), fx=0.25, fy=0.25)
    rgb_small_frame = small_frame[:, :, ::-1]

    if process_this_frame:

        face_locations = face_recognition.face_locations(rgb_small_frame)
        face_encodings = face_recognition.face_encodings(rgb_small_frame, face_locations)

        face_names = []
        for face_encoding in face_encodings:

            matches = face_recognition.compare_faces(known_face_encodings, face_encoding)
            name = "Unknown"

            face_distances = face_recognition.face_distance(known_face_encodings, face_encoding)
            best_match_index = np.argmin(face_distances)
            if matches[best_match_index]:
                name = known_face_names[best_match_index]

    process_this_frame = not process_this_frame

    for (top_s, right, bottom, left), name in zip(face_locations, face_names):
        top_s *= 4
        right *= 4
        bottom *= 4
        left *= 4

        cv2.rectangle(frame, (left, top_s), (right, bottom), (0, 0, 255), 2)

        cv2.rectangle(frame, (left, bottom - 35), (right, bottom), (0, 0, 255), cv2.FILLED)
        font = cv2.FONT_HERSHEY_DUPLEX
        cv2.putText(frame, ref_dictt[name], (left + 6, bottom - 6), font, 1.0, (255, 255, 255), 1)
    font = cv2.FONT_HERSHEY_DUPLEX

    cv2.imshow('Video', frame)

    if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord('q'):


Now run the second part of the project to recognize the person:


face recognition


face recognition project


This deep learning project teaches you how to develop human face recognition project with python libraries dlib and face_recognition APIs (of OpenCV).

It also covers the introduction to face_recognition API. We have implemented this python project in two parts:

  • In the first part, we have seen how to store the information about human face structure, i.e face embedding. Then we learn how to store these embeddings.
  • In the second part, we have seen how to recognize the person by comparing the new face embeddings with the stored one.


2 Responses

  1. Balaji Dharani says:

    Dear Team,
    Thanks for the program, While recognizing i’m receiving the error “f=open(“ref_embed.pkl”,”rb”) FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘ref_embed.pkl’. Can you please check and advise , in the execution path ref_name.pkl file is available.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Balaji Dharani

    • Shivam says:

      Hi Balaji,
      I think you are getting this error because you probably may have saved the “embed_dictt” dictionary in “ref_embed.pkl” pickle file.
      Check the last point in , I think you have not executed the following lines:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *