SMIC - Spontaneous Micro-expression Database

Micro-expressions are important clues for analyzing people's deceitful behaviors. So far the lack of training source has been hindering research about automatic micro-expression recognition, and SMIC was developed to fill this gap. SMIC database includes spontaneous micro-expressions elicited by emotional movie clips. Emotional movie clips that can induce strong emotion reactions were shown to subjects, and subjects were asked to HIDE their true feelings while watching movie clips. If they failed to do so they will have to fill in a long boring questionnaire as punishment. This kind of setting is to create a high-stake lie situation so that micro-expressions can be induced.

In our ICCV2011 paper we released a first version of SMIC (referred as SMIC-sub), which only includes 6 subjects data recorded by a high speed camera of 100 fps.

Later in our FG2013 paper we released the full version of SMIC (referred as SMIC). For the full version of SMIC, 20 subjects were recorded and all together 164 spontaneous micro-expressions were found from 16 subjects. All data are recorded by a high speed (HS) camera of 100 fps. Also normal speed cameras with 25 fps of both visual (VIS) and near inferred (NIR) light range were added in the recording of the latter 10 subjects. So three datasets are included in SMIC database, which are SMIC-HS, SMIC-VIS and SMIC-NIR.


We now release an extended version of SMIC (referred as SMIC-E), which includes long video clips that contains some extra non-micro frames before and after the labelled out micro frames. SMIC-E also has three datasets according to their counterparts in SMIC, which are SMIC-E-HS, SMIC-E-VIS and SMIC-E-NIR. The SMIC-E-VIS and SMIC-E-NIR dataset both include 71 long clips of average duration of 5.9 seconds. The SMIC-E-HS dataset contains 157 long clips of an average length of 5.9 seconds. Three samples from the original SMIC-HS dataset are not included in the SMIC-E-HS due to data loss of the original videos. SMIC-E database could be used for purpose of micro-expression spotting.

For more details about the database please see the description file.


Xiaobai Li; Pfister, T.; Xiaohua Huang; Guoying Zhao; Pietikainen, M., "A Spontaneous Micro-expression Database: Inducement, collection and baseline," in Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG), 2013 10th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on , vol., no., pp.1-6, 22-26 April 2013 Download

Pfister, T.; Xiaobai Li; Guoying Zhao; Pietikainen, M., "Recognising spontaneous facial micro-expressions," in Computer Vision (ICCV), 2011 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.1449-1456, 6-13 Nov. 2011 Download


Contact information

To request a copy of SMIC database (please indicate which version/subset you need), please send email to :

Last updated: 20.6.2018