Understanding the OpenCV WarpAffine Error

What will you learn?

In this detailed guide, you will delve into the common issue faced by many while working with OpenCV: encountering the error message “src.cols > 0 && src.rows > 0 in function ‘warpAffine’.” By the end of this tutorial, you will not only understand why this error occurs but also gain insights on how to effectively resolve it.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When manipulating images using OpenCV functions like cv2.warpAffine(), it is not uncommon to come across an error indicating that the source image dimensions (src.cols and src.rows) must be greater than 0. This essentially means that OpenCV is unable to locate or recognize your image data, resulting in unsuccessful transformations. To address this issue, we will focus on ensuring proper image loading and verification before applying any transformations. By confirming the existence of the image at the specified path and validating its dimensions, we can often resolve this problem efficiently. Understanding how cv2.imread() behaves when failing to load an image is also crucial for effective debugging.


import cv2

# Load your image (ensure correct path)
image = cv2.imread('path/to/your/image.jpg')

# Verify successful image loading
if image is None:
    print("Error loading image")
    # Proceed with warpAffine or other operations
    rows, cols = image.shape[:2]
    M = cv2.getRotationMatrix2D((cols / 2, rows / 2), 90, 1) 
    dst = cv2.warpAffine(image, M, (cols, rows))

# Copyright PHD


The solution involves three essential steps: – Loading the Image: Using cv2.imread(), we attempt to load our target image from a specified path. – Verification: Before applying transformations like warpAffine, we validate that the image was loaded successfully by ensuring it’s not None. – Transformation: Once confirmed as correctly loaded (with .cols and .rows greater than zero), we proceed with applying desired transformations�such as rotating the image using a rotation matrix generated by cv2.getRotationMatrix2D().

This sequence guarantees that operations are executed only on valid images, thereby preventing errors related to non-existent dimensions.

    1. How do I ensure my file path is correct? Ensure your file path matches exactly where your intended file resides relative to your script or use absolute paths for clarity.

    2. Can I still encounter this error if my file exists? Yes, if your file isn’t a readable picture format for OpenCV or got corrupted; double-check its integrity.

    3. What does (cols / 2, rows / 2) represent? It specifies the center point around which rotation occurs within our source picture’s bounds.

    4. Is scaling mandatory when using warpAffine? No, scaling (1 in our example) adjusts size during transformation; omitting scale retains original dimensions post-transformation.

    5. Are there alternative methods for transforming images besides warpAffine? Certainly! Scaling (resize()), translation (warpPerspective()), among others offer diverse effects depending on your requirements.


Encountering errors like “src.cols > .0 && src.rows > .0” may seem daunting initially; however, understanding their root cause simplifies much of their complexity. By ensuring proper loading and verification of images before performing operations, you can mitigate such pitfalls and pave the way for smoother development experiences moving forward.

Leave a Comment