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OCR and Facial Recognition for Sports Photography

New Here ,
Apr 18, 2019

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Greetings, as its my first time on Adobe forums Ill give a run down of who I am, if this doesn't matter skip the next paragraph.

My name is Ian, I work as a college sports photographer mainly with two Universities (UMBC and Towson in Baltimore) as well as a few professional and club teams.  Thus I have photographed the same teams for years and have a lot of images of each player.  I shoot Nikon (doesn't really matter) but shoot almost everything in RAW if possible and then cull in PhotoMechanic and edit and organize in Lightroom sorting and flagging using a combination of ratings and color labels to sort my best photos and highlights for each event.  Thus I can quickly find my best photos and through metadata sorting the best photos or my exported highlights for each event or date.

An issue Ive been trying to work around is finding all of my photos of a specific player or player number.  I get asked weekly by our Sports department or players or parents themselves for photos of a specific player and I have to go through manually and find them if its even worth the effort.  I ave messed around with Lightroom's and even Google Photo's facial recognition but in the end it takes a lot of time to manually enter player names and isn't the most accurate, facial recognition also doesn't identify the back of someone's head or their face under a helmet and some of my best shots are of that variety where they simply don't have an identifiable face in them.  My idea for this is a plugin for Lightroom or a completely separate application that uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to find Numbers instead of faces in photos and tag them with those numbers by embedding it in their metadata.  I have no idea if this already exists in some form but I haven't been able to find it.  I know that I genuinely need something like this for the future because once my catalogs get big enough I simply wont be able to find ALL of my pictures of a player.  This is definitely an application for OCR that's limited to sports photography where players are required to have a text character prominently displayed but I can imagine marathon photographers use similar technology to identify based on the number on a bib (unless they're doing that by hand for thousands of people).  I'm interested in any solutions other photographers have made use of and/or if you think this technology could work.  Thanks for reading this.

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OCR and Facial Recognition for Sports Photography

New Here ,
Apr 18, 2019

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Greetings, as its my first time on Adobe forums Ill give a run down of who I am, if this doesn't matter skip the next paragraph.

My name is Ian, I work as a college sports photographer mainly with two Universities (UMBC and Towson in Baltimore) as well as a few professional and club teams.  Thus I have photographed the same teams for years and have a lot of images of each player.  I shoot Nikon (doesn't really matter) but shoot almost everything in RAW if possible and then cull in PhotoMechanic and edit and organize in Lightroom sorting and flagging using a combination of ratings and color labels to sort my best photos and highlights for each event.  Thus I can quickly find my best photos and through metadata sorting the best photos or my exported highlights for each event or date.

An issue Ive been trying to work around is finding all of my photos of a specific player or player number.  I get asked weekly by our Sports department or players or parents themselves for photos of a specific player and I have to go through manually and find them if its even worth the effort.  I ave messed around with Lightroom's and even Google Photo's facial recognition but in the end it takes a lot of time to manually enter player names and isn't the most accurate, facial recognition also doesn't identify the back of someone's head or their face under a helmet and some of my best shots are of that variety where they simply don't have an identifiable face in them.  My idea for this is a plugin for Lightroom or a completely separate application that uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to find Numbers instead of faces in photos and tag them with those numbers by embedding it in their metadata.  I have no idea if this already exists in some form but I haven't been able to find it.  I know that I genuinely need something like this for the future because once my catalogs get big enough I simply wont be able to find ALL of my pictures of a player.  This is definitely an application for OCR that's limited to sports photography where players are required to have a text character prominently displayed but I can imagine marathon photographers use similar technology to identify based on the number on a bib (unless they're doing that by hand for thousands of people).  I'm interested in any solutions other photographers have made use of and/or if you think this technology could work.  Thanks for reading this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2019

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Clever and well described. I wish I were a plugin developer as this type of  intelligence in the app would be useful. If artificial intelligence can find a dolphin in an image it would be great if it could also find a number 47 on a helmet or shirt...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 18, 2019

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The Any Vision plugin uses Google’s Cloud Vision to recognize objects, places, logos, and text. The OCR isn’t perfect but a number of sports-event photographers find it useful for extracting bib and jersey numbers. See in particular the documentation on the Advanced tab for extracting numbers.

Any Vision Lightroom Plugin

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2019

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Thanks for posting that info/link John!

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Explorer ,
Jul 14, 2020

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Hey there! I am a motorsports photographer. I'm focusing on MotoGP and Formula 1 in particular and have been fighting the same issue for a few years now.

 

I kinda developed an app that pulls data from a database and can actually structure captions based on the selected drivers, circuit, date and so on, but it's very focused on motorsports and it's still not very user friendly. I mean, you have to generate your own gallery through git hub, and then fire off the whole project with Node.js.

 

I am not a developer and getting the thing this far was a big ask. And in the end you still need to go through all the images you've slected, but at least all the captions, titles and keywords are generated and inserted with one click.

 

Here is a sample of the metadata generated by the thing: https://www.spasgp.com/Formula-1/2019-F1-Round-14-Italian-Grand-Prix/FP2-Monza-Italy/i-Tpt4BMw/A

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New Here ,
Jul 30, 2020

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Did you ever find a solution to this?  I shoot a lot of ice hockey photos and would very much like to have a much more solid way of doing this as well.   I have tried Any Vision and surely it was user error, but my results were not great.  I have tens of thousands of photos of and having the jersey number(s) of each player in each photo auto tagged or even in the file name would be amazing.  Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Jul 30, 2020

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Sadly, no. It would be great if Adobe just implement a way in which you can enter a few keywords and by clicking "enter" you insert them and move onto the next picture. I mean, this is again a lot of work, but it'll save clicks. If you multiply the number of extra clicks we make now by 100 images or 1000 it gets ugly...

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 17, 2020

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Hi all. Actually I'm currently developing a Lightroom plugin for that. I'm polishing some details but it is functionnal. I'm working on the website for the moment.
Basically it performs a recognition based on AI system on the photos to detect the jersey number.
By example you can see on the photo here: shorturl.at/FQSW6
The NBA players's numbers are recognized and tagged in a dedicated metadata field. If you want to look after a specific player, you can then type in the searchbar of Lightroom the number you are looking for.

Is it a suitable solution? I would be happy to discuss the features you would like to find in such a plugin.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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The image link expired. Here is the image capture I wanted to sharesportvsionexample.jpg

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New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I would love to be a beta tester for you on this project.  I am curious though. I see that LUA is used but assume that is just the interface. What language did you use to do the actual work?

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2020

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Hi! I will try to give you an access this week.
Technology wise, LUA is indeed use for the Lightroom plugin interface. Then the treatment is done on a dedicated server. I use mainly Java

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