A system and method to automatically detect, track and count individual moving objects in a high density group without regard to background content, embodiments performing better than a trained human observer. Select embodiments employ thermal videography to detect and track even those moving objects having thermal signatures that are similar to a complex stationary background pattern. The method allows tracking an object that need not be identified every frame of the video, that may change polarity in the imagery with respect to background, e.g., switching from relatively light to dark or relatively hot to cold and vice versa, or both. The methodology further provides a permanent record of an “episode” of objects in motion, permitting reprocessing with different parameters any number of times. Post-processing of the recorded tracks allows easy enumeration of the number of objects tracked with the FOV of the imager.
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