Lightroom face recognition?

Dear Lazyweb,

Is there some kind of face-recognition plugin for Lightroom? Failing that, some software that will make it easy for me to auto-tag the people in my photos into their EXIF data, which I can then re-import into Lightroom?

Importing everything into iPhoto is not an option, since it copies and/or renames everything, and doesn't write data back to the original files. (Also iPhoto is generally crap.)

I tried "ilovephotos" and it's useless. It does an ok job of spotting faces, but makes no attempt to learn who's face is whose.

Are there any options that don't suck?

Options that involve "upload all your photos" or that do not provide any way to put the data into EXIF tags will not be considered.

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21 Responses:

  1. ben_zine says:

    I'll be paying close attention to the results, if any, that get posted here. Trainable facial recognition is something I would absolutely love to throw some CPU cycles into crunching.

    What I'm getting at here is, "me too!"

  2. argonel says:

    I doubt that it meets your requirements, but have you looked at Picasa? I think they added facial recognition in picasa 3 but I don't know how well it works. It does have the advantage of being free, so if it doesn't work you are only out your time. I think it is windows only though if that makes a major difference.

    • evan says:

      Mac Picasa:
      No comment on its suitability for task at hand.

      • jwz says:

        Picasa appears to only do face recognition on photos that you have uploaded to the web site.

        No thanks, I'd rather not upload half a terabyte of photos just to get them tagged properly.

        • gadlen says:

          With Picasa for the PC you can "select photos with faces" without uploading them anywhere. It's a button just below the name of the folder in the right window pane.

          This does a pretty good job of highlighting photos with people in them but it has no facial recognition capabilities ala "select all photos with Uncle Mort in them and tag them appropriately."

        • gib says:

          this isn't true. the face recognition component works on your local library, without ever requiring you upload a single shot to the web.

  3. bugpowered says:

    Importing everything into iPhoto is not an option, since it copies and/or renames everything,

    Actually, it does not. At least since iPhoto '09. Just uncheck:
    Preferences -> Advanced -> Copy items to iPhoto Library

    and doesn't write data back to the original files.

    I believe that putting together a small perl/python script that reads iPhoto metadata and adds them to the actual files will be much easier than any other solution.

    (Also iPhoto is generally crap.)

    Actually, it is not, given it's target audience of people with family photos and holiday snaps.

    • jwz says:

      "iPhoto is crap" was not a question.

    • xach says:

      The iPhoto face data is stored in sqlite table files. Very easy to query.

      A friend of a friend did a cute hack with the metadata; they made a relationship graph by making edges between any nodes that appeared in the same photo. The more edges, the stronger the connection.

  4. pavel_lishin says:

    If you find an answer to this problem, I hope you'll make another post about it. (Especially since I'm sure that it won't be as easy as running a single app.) I'd love to be able to do this, too.

  5. lrc says:

    I'm facing a lot of the same issues myself.

    Lightroom has a function that it calls keywording, I don't know how long I looked for it under other names like "tagging".

    Once you get keywords set up, it's pretty easy to select a bunch of photos in the grid, then click on the keyword you want to use.

    I have heard rumors that it may even be able to include those tags on the exif when you upload them to flickr or something.

    I am also very interested in learning what you find out on this subject. I've got about 48,000 frames from the past year and a half that I need to go back and tag.

    I shoot a lot of dance events and I've found that the most expedient way to get people tagged in photos is to post them to facebook. The meatware facial recognition seems to work very accurately with the only effort on my part being to confirm the tags people make.

    It's also hella handy if there's a cute girl that I want to find out the name of. I just shoot a picture of her dancing, and one of her friends will tag it for me. :)

  6. wazm says:

    Faint is a Java framework that has some of the detection and facial comparison features you want that's built on top of OpenCV. I don't think the sample application they have does well with large sets of images, nor does it do tagging, unfortunately.

  7. httf says:

    The only mentionable that hasn't been mentioned would be, but it isn't really functional yet, and I'm betting that they're planning to suck too.

    Jonathan might know something though. He works for Adobe and has done facial software research.

  8. violentbloom says:

    this is a creepy notion.
    perhaps someone in the uk can set you up with what they use. :)

  9. I stumbled upon a blog post that seems to give sort of an answer to your problem although it is not perfect. But that's the way I tag faces to use with Lightroom now. The original blogpost was here: