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Sign up to our emails for regular updates, bespoke offers, exclusive discounts and great free content. Using OpenCV, Python and Template Matching to play “Where’s Waldo? Take a look at the Where’s Waldo puzzle above. How long does it take you to find Waldo?
Need help with Python Machine Learning? Figure 1: How long does it take you to find Waldo in this puzzle? Waldo is the ultimate game of hide and seek for the human eye. At the core, Waldo is just a visual pattern. And his classic white and red horizontally striped shirt. It might take us a little bit of time to scan up and down and left to right across the page, but our brain is able to pick out this pattern, even amongst all the distraction. The question is, can computers do better?
Using computer vision techniques we can find Waldo in under a second, much faster than any of us could! In this blog post I’ll show you how to use the OpenCV and template matching functions to find that pesky Waldo who is always hiding in plain sight. Using these functions we will be able to find Waldo in our puzzle image. This how-to guide is meant to be hands on and show you how to apply template matching using OpenCV. Don’t have these libraries installed? I created a pre-configured virtual machine with all the necessary computer vision, image processing, and machine learning packages pre-installed. Need help with Machine Learning in Python?
Click to sign-up now and also get a free PDF Ebook version of the course. Start Your FREE Mini-Course Now! So what’s the overall goal of the Python script we are going to create? The goal, given a query image of Waldo and the puzzle image, is to find Waldo in in the puzzle image and highlight his location.
The rest of the code simply handles logic such as argument parsing and displaying the solved puzzle to our screen. We require two images to build our Python script to perform template matching. The first image is the Where’s Waldo puzzle that we are going to solve. Using our Waldo query image we are going to find him in the original puzzle. Unfortunately, here is where the practicality of our approach breaks down. In order to find Waldo in our puzzle image, we first need the image of Waldo himself. And you may be asking, if I already have the image of Waldo, why I am I playing the puzzle?