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PHP Classes

How to Use a Webcam to take Pictures in PHP Application

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Updated on: 2017-04-29

Posted on:

Categories: PHP Tutorials

If you want to take a picture of a user to be used in a PHP Web site, you can do it with a little help of a JavaScript and a Flash library.

This article is a tutorial that explains how to take picture snapshots using a Webcam to be uploaded to a PHP application.



Capturing Pictures from the Webcam

Create the Uploads Database

Saving the Image to the Database

Download the Complete Package


The first thing you need is your PHP editor or IDE, a Webcam, MySQL and a cup of coffee. The PHP editor is of course for coding your PHP scripts, Webcam to take the image, MySQL for saving it in a database and Coffee is for your refreshment. :-)

In this article we will discuss how to capture the webcam image from our PHP and jQuery and save it to the database. It will use the Flash for the webcam screen. So you need JavaScript and Flash files that you can download and install as explained at the end of this article.

Capturing Pictures from the Webcam

To create our capturing applications we need to use three files:

  1. Web page for showing the webcam image
  2. Script to handle the image upload request
  3. A PHP class script to take to the actual handling of the image and store it in a database

1. Web Page for Showing the Webcam

With this file we will show our Webcam screen on our PHP page.


Here we will use the webcam.js file for the webcam functions to take the snap and save it.

<script type="text/javascript" src="webcam.js"></script>

Below the form we will put our webcam window to show the webcam screen.

<script type="text/javascript"><!--
    document.write( webcam.get_html(320, 240) );
// --></script>

Now below the webcam screen we will use the buttons for configure webcam and take snapshot.

 <input type="button" value="Configure..." onClick = "webcam.configure()">
 <input type="button" value="Take Snapshot" onClick="take_snapshot()">

In the code above we show the screen and get the image from webcam. But still we have to save it somewhere, so lets save this image in a server folder.

2. Script to Handle the Image Upload

After showing the Webcam screen in PHP page we take the snap from clicking the button. Then it the image needs to be saved to a server directory of our project.

For this we can use a PHP class that I wrote in a script named webcamClass.php to save the snapshot image and return success. The action.php script is used to call the class.

The function getNameWithPath() defines the image path and name for the uploaded image in the images directory.

The $file variable inside the showImage() function is set to the success of the image saving operation. If there is any error, the condition code will show the error. Otherwise the script will return the success message.

Now it's time to process the image snap. Add this code to index.php.

<script type="text/javascript"><!--

    webcam.set_api_url( 'action.php' );
    webcam.set_quality( 100 ); // JPEG quality (1 - 100)
    webcam.set_shutter_sound( true ); // play shutter click sound
    webcam.set_hook( 'onComplete', 'my_completion_handler' );
    function take_snapshot() {
    function configure(){
    function my_completion_handler(msg) {
        // msg will give you the url of the saved image using webcamClass
        $('#showresult').html("<img src='"+msg+"'> <br>"+msg+"");
        return false;

// --></script>

Now we have the success message and we will show it in div.

<div id="showresult"></div>

Create the Uploads Database

So now we have the code for taking the snapshot image and saving it to our images directory, but it is still not in database. Now we need to save the image to a database table record.

First create a database table with the name snapshot with an entry with three fields:
  1. id with auto-increment
  2. Image data

The table may be created in a MySQL database with SQL statement like this:

  `Image` varchar(20000) NOT NULL,

The database access is done using a class in the connectionClass.php script. In this class we create a connection string with the database.

Saving the Image to the Database

Now lets back to our save image class script: webcamClass.php .

In this class we have a function for saving to the database the image after saving it to our local system folder. This function will take the image URL as parameter. It will save the image to the database.


In the class we have a function for saving the image in our database named changeImagetoBase64 to save the image in your database using base64 encoding to store it in text field.

Download the Complete Package

We created the index.php script file to show the webcam screen to save the image in our project directory.

When the user clicks in the button to take a snapshot image it will upload it to the action.php script that calls a class in the webcamClass.php script to save the image in the images directory.

When the image name is saved to the database the connectionClass.php script establishes the database connection. A database table record is created with the image name using the function saveImageToDatabase.

In this tutorial we use the JpegCam Library. The whole list of used files consists of: action.php, webcam.js, webcam.swf, webcamClass.php, action.php, index.php and connectionClass.php.

You can download the whole list of files for this package in a ZIP archive or install it with the PHP composer tool following instructions from the same page.

If you liked this article or have questions, please post a comment here so it encourages me to write more useful articles.

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12. THis error arises when i use this code - Amman (2016-01-05 16:10)
please tell the reason... - 2 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

12. web came - Sher Khan (2015-02-27 09:29)
web cam not workin... - 2 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

11. Not working - akber.khowaja (2015-02-27 09:28)
this code is not working... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

3. Use html5; forget about flash - Jeffrey Kurtock (2015-02-06 08:46)
jpegcam not supported since 2010... - 2 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

10. Webcam plugin - Arial (2014-10-18 07:54)
Google Chrome Not Support with webcam plugin... - 1 reply
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9. How to make it work - Rajesh S (2014-06-14 04:37)
help me... - 1 reply
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8. Get Image and its details taken from web cam using PHP - Sai Varadula (2014-05-19 06:57)
How to get Image details taken from Web Cam Using PHP... - 1 reply
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6. only 1 screen needed. - vishesh kaul (2014-04-15 07:17)
help required urgently !!!... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

7. How to Use a webcam using PHP - Sunil Meshram (2014-04-14 19:14)
Must Test... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

4. thanks - missprogrammer (2014-02-28 05:38)
good... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

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