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Playing around with selenium and openCV!

Pablo Calvo
Software developer with a passion for software testing. | Open source contributor
・3 min read

Selenium library is frequently used for UI test automation, and was probably designed for it, but selenium itself is not a testing library and people quite often forget about it

Selenium is basically a set of tools that allow your code to interact with a browser and the html elements on it.

The selenium WebDriver architecture consists in four main parts:

  • The language bindings (libraries for each language).
  • The selenium server.
  • The browser drivers.
  • Finally, the drivers.

Playing around with selenium

Selenium is not a super fast processing tool, maybe because of the many components that need to get involved. I made a fun experiment to see how slow is really selenium by reducing the external dependencies at its minimum.

For the experiment I will basically be executing clicks against a system in which no internet call is executed on each click and also there is no html rendering happening (or this does not matter that much).

Python and open CV

I used python along with openCV to open an image and generate a list of pixel points for each black pixel on the given image.

def generate_coordenates():
    print('Generating coordinates based on image')
    black_coordinates = [] #initial position

    for i in range(image.shape[0]):
        for j in range(image.shape[1]):
            # find the black pixels
            if image[i,j,0]==0 and image[i,j,1]==0 and image[i,j,2]==0: 

    print('Writing coordinates to file')
    # generate a coordinates file
    with open(COORDINATES_FILE, 'a') as out:
        for x, y in black_coordinates:

    print('Finish generating coordinates file')

Selenium and a website like MS Paint

Then I use selenium to go to a website like MSPaint ( and generate an image based on the black pixels.

driver = webdriver.Chrome(DRIVER_LOCATION)
        with open(COORDINATES_FILE) as file:

            # move to starting point
            actions = ActionChains(driver)
            actions.move_by_offset(STARTING_COORDINATES.get('x'), STARTING_COORDINATES.get('y'))
            # start painting
            for line in map(lambda line: line.rstrip('\n'), file):
                print('Creating move actions')
                xy = line.split(',') # split the x and y
                current = {'x': int(xy[0]), 'y': int(xy[1])} 
                move_to = {'x': current.get('x') - before.get('x'), 
                           'y': current.get('y') - before.get('y')}

                actions.move_by_offset(move_to.get('x'), move_to.get('y'))
                before = current.copy()

            # finish painting

The process

A couple of minutes:
a couple of minutes

20 minutes:
15 minutes

50 minutes:
50 minutes

The results

The coordinates file ended up with 3777 rows. Because for each row selenium executes 2 actions: move_by_offset and click it means 7554 selenium actions were be executed.

The test took 54.67 minute to complete which means around 3280 seconds.

And if we do the math: 7554 / 3280 = ~2.30. It means that 2.30 selenium actions were executed per second.

Quite fun...


cheers :) and remember to keep using selenium

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