opencv VideoWriter under OSX producing no output


I am trying to create a video from the python wrapper for OpenCV under OSX. I am using python 2.7.1, opencv 2.3.1a, and the python wrappers from willowgarage that come with that version of opencv. I have:

import cv,cv2
w = cv2.VideoWriter('foo.avi', cv.FOURCC('M','J','P','G'), 25, (100,100))
for i in range(100):
    w.write(np.ones((100,100,3), np.uint8))

OpenCV says

WARNING: Could not create empty movie file container.
Didn't successfully update movie file.
... [ 100 repetitions]

I'm not sure what to try next

6/7/2013 10:56:44 AM

Accepted Answer

There are many outdated and incorrect online guides on this topic-- I think I tried almost every one. After looking at the source QTKit-based implementation of VideoWriter on Mac OSX, I was finally able to get VideoWriter to output valid video files using the following code:

fps = 15
capSize = (1028,720) # this is the size of my source video
fourcc ='m', 'p', '4', 'v') # note the lower case
self.vout = cv2.VideoWriter()
success ='',fourcc,fps,capSize,True) 

To write an image frame (note that the imgFrame must be the same size as capSize above or updates will fail):


When done be sure to:

self.vout = None

This works for me on Mac OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion): No guarantees about other platforms. I hope this snippet saves someone else hours of experimentation!

10/6/2013 6:27:29 PM

I am on macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, Python 3.6.5, OpenCV 3.4.1.

The below code (source: opens the camera, closes the window successfully upon pressing 'q', and saves the video in .avi format.

Note that you need to run this as a .py file. If you run it in Jupyter Notebook, the window hangs when closing and you need to force quit Python to close the window.

import cv2
import numpy as np

# Create a VideoCapture object
cap = cv2.VideoCapture(0)

# Check if camera opened successfully
if (cap.isOpened() == False): 
  print("Unable to read camera feed")

# Default resolutions of the frame are obtained.The default resolutions are system dependent.
# We convert the resolutions from float to integer.
frame_width = int(cap.get(3))
frame_height = int(cap.get(4))

# Define the codec and create VideoWriter object.The output is stored in 'outpy.avi' file.
out = cv2.VideoWriter('outpy.avi',cv2.VideoWriter_fourcc('M','J','P','G'), 10, (frame_width,frame_height))

  ret, frame =

  if ret == True: 

    # Write the frame into the file 'output.avi'

    # Display the resulting frame    

    # Press Q on keyboard to stop recording
    if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord('q'):

  # Break the loop

# When everything done, release the video capture and video write objects

# Closes all the frames

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