Real-world Affective Faces Action Unit



How to analyze the action units for complex expressions is still an open question in facial expression analysis area. To address this issue, we develop a Real-world Affective Faces Action Unit (RAF-AU) database that employs a sign-based (i.e., AUs) and judgement-based (i.e., perceived emotion) approach to annotating blended facial expressions in the wild.

RAF-AU is an extended dataset of RAF-ML by providing AU coding on great-diverse facial images downloaded from the Internet with blended emotions and variability in subjects' identity, head poses, lighting conditions and occlusions. During annotation, two experienced coders independently FACS-coded the face images and arbitrated any disagreement. In RAF-AU, we provide 4601 number of real-world images with 26 kinds of AUs been annotated, and baseline detection outputs for action unit detection.

For more details of the dataset, please refer to the paper "RAF-AU Database: In-the-Wild Facial Expressions with Subjective Emotion Judgement and Objective AU Annotations".

Sample Images

Terms & Conditions

  • The RAF-AU is available for non-commercial research purposes only.

  • All images of the RAF-AU are obtained from the Internet which are not property of PRIS, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. The PRIS is not responsible for the content nor the meaning of these images.

  • You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the images and any portion of derived data.

  • You agree not to further copy, publish or distribute any portion of the RAF-AU. Except, for internal use at a single site within the same organization it is allowed to make copies of the dataset.

  • The PRIS reserves the right to terminate your access to the RAF-AU at any time.

How to get the Password

This database is publicly available. It is free for professors and researcher scientists affiliated to a University.
Permission to use but not reproduce or distribute the RAF-AU database is granted to all researchers given that the following steps are properly followed:

Send an e-mail to Shan Li (email1) before downloading the database. You will need a password to access the files of this database. Your Email MUST be set from a valid University account and MUST include the following text:

Subject: (RAF-AU) Application to download the RAF-AU Dataset          
Name: <your first and last name>
Affiliation: <University where you work>
Department: <your department>
Position: <your job title>
Email: <must be the email at the above mentioned institution>
I have read and agree to the terms and conditions specified in the RAF face database webpage. This database will only be used for research purposes. I will not make any part of this database available to a third party. I'll not sell any part of this database or make any profit from its use.


If you use the RAF-AU datatset, please cite the paper below:

    author    = {Wenjing Yan and Shan Li and Chengtao Que and JiQuan Pei and Weihong Deng},
    title     = {RAF-AU Database: In-the-Wild Facial Expressions with Subjective Emotion Judgement and Objective AU Annotations},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Computer Vision (ACCV)},
    month     = {November},
    year      = {2020}
  author    = {Shan Li and Weihong Deng},
  title     = {Blended Emotion in-the-Wild: Multi-label Facial Expression Recognition Using Crowdsourced Annotations and Deep Locality Feature Learning},
  journal   = {International Journal of Computer Vision},
  volume    = {127},
  number    = {6-7},
  pages     = {884--906},
  year      = {2019}


Please contact Shan Li and Weihong Deng for questions about the database.