A real time output containing data relating to states of facial parts is generated. A facial area detection unit (11) has monitoring (51-57) and determining (59-61) processing circuits operating in a pipelining manner to determine position of the facial area. The monitoring circuits (51-57) monitor pixel value frequency using 3D histogram and backprojection processing. The generating facial area signal has masks applied by a unit (12) which supplies data to mouth area and eye area detection units (14,15). Each of these operate on similar principles to the facial area detection unit (11).