Fingerprint Detection in Python

Detection of fingerprints has become one of the most popular ways of maintaining security systems in today’s world. So, accurate identification of a person through his fingerprints is quite important. In this tutorial, we shall learn how to carry out fingerprint detection in Python. We shall use a database of a few fingerprints and try to match a particular fingerprint with that so that we can identify the person.

You can download the database from here and the test file from here. So as you might have noticed, all the files are in TIF format and we would like to keep it that way as they are flexible and adaptable. Now, we shall dive into the code and while we do so, we shall also explain the involved concepts along the way.

Importing the necessary libraries and modules


import cv2
import numpy as np
import os


Viewing the test file (fingerprint to be matched)


test_original = cv2.imread("TEST_1.tif")
cv2.imshow("Original", cv2.resize(test_original, None, fx=1, fy=1))



finger print


Matching with the database


We are going to use SIFT (Scale-Invariant Feature Transform) algorithm here. To learn more about this topic, you can visit this site. We use it to extract key-points and detect descriptors for the best-retained features. So, here we shall use it to identify the key-points and descriptors of both the test image and database images.


for file in [file for file in os.listdir("database")]:
    fingerprint_database_image = cv2.imread("./database/"+file)
    sift = cv2.xfeatures2d.SIFT_create()
    keypoints_1, descriptors_1 = sift.detectAndCompute(test_original, None)
    keypoints_2, descriptors_2 = sift.detectAndCompute(fingerprint_database_image, None)


After the detection and the computation are over, we start the matching algorithm. We shall use the FlannBasedMatcher() functionality here about which you can learn from here. So, this interface helps us in performing a quick but efficient matching using the Cluster and Search algorithm. We shall maintain an array of such points that are given as output in the match.


   matches = cv2.FlannBasedMatcher(dict(algorithm=1, trees=10), 
             dict()).knnMatch(descriptors_1, descriptors_2, k=2)

   match_points = []
   for p, q in matches:
      if p.distance < 0.1*q.distance:


Detecting the ID for the fingerprint matched

In the end, we need to define the keypoint detection margin and then visualize the output after drawing the matching keypoints. So here we shall use the cv2.drawMatches() function for this purpose.

   keypoints = 0
   if len(keypoints_1) <= len(keypoints_2):
      keypoints = len(keypoints_1)            
      keypoints = len(keypoints_2)

   if (len(match_points) / keypoints)>0.95:
      print("% match: ", len(match_points) / keypoints * 100)
      print("Figerprint ID: " + str(file)) 
      result = cv2.drawMatches(test_original, keypoints_1, fingerprint_database_image, 
                               keypoints_2, match_points, None) 
      result = cv2.resize(result, None, fx=2.5, fy=2.5)
   cv2.imshow("result", result)



% match:  100.0
Figerprint ID: 1_1.tif

match finger print


Hence, this concludes our tutorial on fingerprint detection in Python. But, your task is not over yet. You can try changing the keypoint detection and matching algorithms and then notice the variations.


For further learning on object detection in Python, you can check out the following:


6 responses to “Fingerprint Detection in Python”

  1. sheharyar kehar says:

    i have found some issues in this algo it’s not accurate and not giving expected results.

  2. Ibrahim says:

    cv2.imshow(“result”, result)
    NameError: name ‘result’ is not defined

    • Ibrahim says:

      this is error how to slove it
      cv2.imshow(“result”, result)
      NameError: name ‘result’ is not defined

  3. George Kumi Kyeremeh says:

    great code.
    I will like to know if there is any backing literature to the code which gives detailed explanation to what exact features are been compared and any other articles that have implemented similar code.

  4. SathGuru says:

    I like Your Program !!
    Can You Do Customisation For my requirement

  5. Rick says:

    In case it’s not obvious (it wasn’t to me), the three bottom windows should be used as one for loop. Also, the indentation for the imshow command is off. It should be flush with the lines above and below.

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