Are you a person who takes lots of photos of people? Perhaps you shoot weddings or events? Family portraits? Maybe you like to capture images of family and friends? Eventually, you end up with many images. Some are easy to sort through when they have only one person in them.
However, what about group photos? How do you tag/catalog/sort through those? Do you have to list out everyone’s name in the meta tags manually?
What if you don’t know all the names immediately? What if you find out later that Heather is actually Helen and you have to go back and change it?
Finally, how can you find all the images with a specific person quickly and easily?
Luckily, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 makes this task easy with the new Face Detection and Recognition capabilities.
How to set up Face Detection and Recognition
1. Open the program and in ‘Manage’ mode, navigate to the desired folder where you have stored your images.
2. Click on an image of the person you want to name and click on ‘View’ to open in View mode.
3. Face Detection identifies the person by outlining their face.
4. If this outline box is not present, click on the ‘Show Face Outlines’ button (or Shift + B).
5. Once the face is selected, we need to apply the name. Click on the ‘Face’ Tool (or Shift + F) and a dark grey text bar pops up under the outline.
6. Click in the text bar and type the name of the person and press ‘Enter.’
7. If you select any other image with that person and open it in ‘View mode,’ it should automatically select their face and apply the name.
A key point regarding the naming structure you use is to put some thought into what naming convention you use and then keep it consistent. For example, something along the lines of: first name (space) last name or first name_last name. Doing so makes a difference later if you are using search parameters to find people.
What happens if you have more than one Joe Smith? What if you start off using only first names and then you have 3 x David, 4 x Michael, 2 x Louise all in the same wedding party? Being as specific as possible when naming addresses this issue.
How it becomes useful
Once the software has recognized the face and you have assigned a name to it, it detects that face amongst all your other photos. While it works across any images currently stored on your computer, the data is saved and applied to any new images you import onto your computer.
Therefore, you should only have to tag the person once. ACDSee remembers their name and applies it to any future image with their face in it.
Now you might want to search for all the images with Heather.
1. In ‘Manage’ mode, select ‘Catalog’ on the left-hand panel. The panel is broken up into different sections. At the top is ‘Categories.’
2. The second panel down is ‘People.’ All the names you have applied to your images are listed. Click on any name, and it goes through the database to pull out all the images with that face present in them.
3. In ‘Manage’ mode, you can ‘Quick Search’ by typing the name in the Quick Search box.
Searching for multiple people
1. Search for two or more people by holding down CTRL while selecting a second name in the People section of the Catalog panel. The software finds the images for those people. You can also utilize the ‘Easy Select’ arrows next to the names to select multiple people.
2. Find an image with two specific people in it together by typing both of their names in the ‘Quick Search’ bar as Person 1 + Person 2 to run a Boolean AND search. It is during this process that it’s essential to understand the naming convention you used originally.
In ‘Manage’ mode, select the folder you want to search in and click F3 to search (or right mouse click and select Search). Make sure you put ‘People’ in the ‘Categories’ section or it will search the entire database and potentially pull up other images.
3. You can also run a search from the ‘Catalog’ pane. In the ‘People’ section, select all the people you want to search for by using the ‘Easy-Select’ arrows or CTRL/SHIFT clicking. Click the gear icon on the People section header, and change the search type to ‘Match All.’
Managing name data
You can edit/change/remove the name data you have stored, which comes in handy if you have to update the spelling on one. Maybe you forgot you already had a ‘Sebastian’ in there, and you need to change one of them.
1. In ‘Manage’ mode, select ‘Tools’ from the top menu option.
2. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Manage People.’
3. A ‘People Manager’ box opens up with all the names you have saved. You can edit each one as needed by selecting them and using the bottom buttons.
Things to note:
1. The naming convention you use is important, so plan that out in advance.
2. If the face is not automatically detected, and you have to create it manually, the software will not further recognize it in Face Recognition. Also, note that if you use the Remove Faces or Redetect Faces command on an image, manual faces aren’t retained. The Rerun Face Detection option remembers them if you edit images.
3. Currently, there is no facility to import face recognition tags from other software (Picasa as an example). However, a search through the support forums has this listed on the ‘Potential Ideas for Future Updates’ list. It also appears to apply to the exporting of images from ACDSee as well, with the intention of retaining the face recognition tags.
4. There is no easy way to establish if there are currently any unnamed faces.
5. If the software has assigned the wrong name to someone, you can remove it with the Remove Faces function. This removes all face data from the selected image, not just the one wrong one.
6. To ensure a better success rate, you may need to manually select several images of one person so that the software can ‘learn’ that face with accuracy. You achieve better accuracy by naming as many faces in the (first) image as possible.
7. You can manually remove the names from incorrect selections and can rescan in ‘Manage’ mode via Tools | Redetect Faces. You need to correct the wrong name, rather than remove it, otherwise rescanning continues to return the wrong name over and over.
Face detection and recognition is a tool that can make life easier for a photographer with many images of people in their portfolio. The ability to assign a name to a person and have the computer run an algorithm to find all the other images is significantly faster than doing it manually.
To be able to search for images with a specific person (or range of people) becomes faster and more efficient as well.
Is it perfect? If I am honest, not 100% all of the time. However, it is easy to use, easy to manage and does a pretty good job for most requirements. It could be useful for many other things that they may implement into the next version.
Right now, it is an effective time saver for the home photographer with photos of family and friends, through to commercial photographers with wedding/event shoots filling up the portfolio.
The previous 2018 generation of ACDSee was the first version that bought a range of features all together in one space. Thus, giving you the capability to manage and view files, edit Raw files, do creative editing with layers, all in one piece of software.
Leading with this Face Detection and Recognition, the 2019 iteration builds on that initial foundation by bringing specific functionality to boost capabilities even further. Thus, making for a compelling consideration for anyone looking to purchase editing software, especially when it is available via one-off perpetual license purchase.
Disclaimer: ACDSee is a paid partner of dPS