Automatic human face location in a complex background is one of the difficult problems in developing a fully automatic face recognition system and is still a relatively unexplored problem. In this paper, we propose an effective automatic face location system that can locate the face region in a complex background when the system is used as a pre-processor of a practical face recognition system for security. We use two natural visual cues, the motion and the color, to locate face regions in a real scene. In the first stage of the proposed system, we extract a velocity vector field of the face, and by thresholding this velocity held to detect the region showing a dear motion, the face region is separated from the background. In the next stage, the method based on the thresholding in hue space and knowledge-based location process is used to find the eye, eyebrow, and mouth regions of the face. According to our experiment, the proposed system shows fast and robust location results. Copyright (C) 1996 Pattern Recognition Society.