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I'm developing an augmented reality sort of app for the Pi, but I need access to the video data (pixel data) to tweak things programmatically from a C program, then display the modified frames.

How does one go about accessing the video data from the Pi's CSI camera?

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You should look at the source code for raspivid. It sets up a pipeline to the H.264 encoder. If you want the raw frames, you should be able to remove the pipeline and supply a callback for the camera hardware to pass the buffers into.

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