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Thread: using Picasa face recognition to add keywords that show up in Lightroom

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    using Picasa face recognition to add keywords that show up in Lightroom

    I've a question about using Picasa to assign some keywords alongside others added in Lightroom.

    Although I've used Lightroom instead of Picasa for about a year now, and love it, Picasa still has one advantage: it has face recognition software to allow the rapid tagging of people in pics.

    Since I am only just starting to use keywords in Lightroom, can someone tell me whether it is possible to tag people in Picasa so that those tags show up as keywords in Lightroom?

    Since many of my pictures in Lightroom will have other keywords, it is important to me that the process of using Picasa to add to a picture personal keywords that also show up in lightroom -- assuming this is possible -- NOT overwrite the keywords that picture already has.

    For instance, suppose I have a picture of Sue on the beach. In Lightroom, I assign the keyword "beach". I'm asking two questions:

    1. Can I use Picasa to add "Sue" so that it shows up in Lightroom?

    2. Will doing so will make that keyword "Sue" overwrite the keyword "beach". (I want it not to, but rather just to slot in alongside the picture's existing keywords.)

    Any help on this would be VERY gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance

    David
    Last edited by dtbain; 9 May 2012 at 4:17 pm.

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    At one time Picasa was adding non standard EXIF information to the image headers for face recognition. This would render the Image files unreadable by LR. I do not know if this is still the case. To be safe and protect your master originals, I would only work on only direct copies of your original so that if Picasa is going to update the EXIF with Face information and still corrupts the files, you will havve anoth copy of the master original to b able to recover.
    As long as Picasa is using the standard EXIF Keyword field, when an image is imported into LR, LR will add the keywords it finds in the header to the LR Keyword List and make the necessary image association in the catalog.

    Keywords found in the EXIF are a list in the EXIF field. The list is always appended never replaced.
    Last edited by clee01l; 9 May 2012 at 6:16 pm.

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    follow-ups

    Thank you so much; that's very helpful.

    I hope you don't mind if I ask two quick follow-ups:

    1. You mentioned that, if Picasa adds the keyword to the EXIF keyword field, LR will find the keyword on import. What if the pictures are already imported? Is there a way to force LR to look for keywords added to already imported pics by an external application?

    2. It worries me now that Picasa might corrupt the file. I'm not absolutely clear what the issue is. Is it that Picasa might be adding information other than a person's name, which information, wherever it's added, could corrupt the file? Or is it that it might be adding only the name but adding it in the wrong place, i.e. in EXIF but not the standard EXIF keyword field? If the latter, do you know how I might find out where Picasa is entering the name?

    Many thanks again.

    David

    Quote Originally Posted by clee01l View Post
    At one time Picasa was adding non standard EXIF information to the image headers for face recognition. This would render the Image files unreadable by LR. I do not know if this is still the case. To be safe and protect your master originals, I would only work on only direct copies of your original so that if Picasa is going to update the EXIF with Face information and still corrupts the files, you will havve anoth copy of the master original to b able to recover.
    As long as Picasa is using the standard EXIF Keyword field, when an image is imported into LR, LR will add the keywords it finds in the header to the LR Keyword List and make the necessary image association in the catalog.

    Keywords found in the EXIF are a list in the EXIF field. The list is always appended never replaced.

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    David, I have a feeling you may be heading down a cul-de-sac with this feature (though I may be totally wrong about the current version). My understanding is that name-tags (i.e. the face detection/recognition) feature is NOT the same as tags (aka Keywords). Keywords are stored in the file, and CAN be ported between Picasa and Lightroom (though you have to be very careful as you risk losing work you might have done in Lightroom), but name-tags are split between the picasa.ini files and the Picasa database, and are NOT therefore included in the file.

    I've just been messing around trying to make it work, and so far I can't. I can get keywords to transfer (but Jpeg files only), but not name-tags, so unless things have changed recently I don't see any way to get name-tags out of Picasa and into Lightroom.
    Jim

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    frustrating!

    Thanks, Jim, that's frustrating. Keywords, which I am only now beginning to use, seem a great way to make a catalogue searchable, but adding individuals' names as keywords is taking ages. Given Lightroom's lack of face recognition, Picasa seemed like a good shortcut.

    Do you think Lightroom will one day get face recognition?

    I think what you say is probably right even about the latest version of Picasa; and even if the name tags did function as keywords, if they could be carried over to LR only on JPGs, that would be problematic, since most my pictures are DNG. Just so I can check the latest version, however, can you tell me how to force Lightroom to show keywords added by an external application to already Lightroom-imported pics -- or does it do so automatically?

    Thanks for your help

    David


    Quote Originally Posted by TNG View Post
    David, I have a feeling you may be heading down a cul-de-sac with this feature (though I may be totally wrong about the current version). My understanding is that name-tags (i.e. the face detection/recognition) feature is NOT the same as tags (aka Keywords). Keywords are stored in the file, and CAN be ported between Picasa and Lightroom (though you have to be very careful as you risk losing work you might have done in Lightroom), but name-tags are split between the picasa.ini files and the Picasa database, and are NOT therefore included in the file.

    I've just been messing around trying to make it work, and so far I can't. I can get keywords to transfer (but Jpeg files only), but not name-tags, so unless things have changed recently I don't see any way to get name-tags out of Picasa and into Lightroom.

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    The way you 'transfer' metadata between Lightroom and other apps is via the Save/Read Metadata options (see the Metadata section in the menu bar). In order not to lose any existing work you have done in Lightroom, you would need to first "Save Metadata to File", which causes Lightroom to write the metadata directly into the XMP portion of the file header. When you do this, Picasa should detect the keywords and show them in the Tags panel. If you then add more tags/keywords in Picasa, these are written into the same header and you should see the Metadata warning exclamation mark appear on the file in Lightroom (i.e. Lightroom has detected that a metadata change has been made). Clicking on the '!' should give you the option to read the updated metadata (or if that doesn't appear you could use the "Read Metadata from File" option), and then you'll get the new keywords appearing in Lightroom. WARNING: reading the metadata from the file will overwrite any existing metadata stored in the catalog, hence why it is important that you do the "Save Metadata" thing first....otherwise you'd lose your existing LR work.

    Note this only seems to work for Jpegs....I cannot get metadata to transfer in the same way using DNGs (and therefore I assume proprietary raws also). Picasa doesn't seem to see keywords that I write into XMP (though I can see them when I inspect the file), nor does it write any keywords applied in Picasa back to the file. For these files I think you would have to export them as Jpeg....
    Jim

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    Thanks, Jim, that's VERY helpful, as ever.

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    a work around?

    Sorry, a final follow-up question occurs:

    A work-around has occurred to me that may enable me to exploit Picasa's face-recognition software to expedite the assigning of personal keywords: I could use Picasa to find all pictures of Sue (say); then somehow mark all those pictures in a safe way that will make them find-able as a group in Lightroom; then locate them all in Lightroom and, as a group, add the keyword "Sue" to them en masse.

    Question: can you think of a safe way of marking in Picasa all the pictures with Sue in?!

    By "safe", I mean a way that won't risk corrupting the file, or overwriting its existing metadata. I don't think albums/collections or folders will help. I don't think Lightroom will be able to find Picasa albums (collections); and I don't want to move them all from their current folders to a new one. I could just add a keyword in Picasa (in fact, come to think of it, I could just add "Sue" in Picasa) but, from your helpful reply, it sounds as though keywords added in Picasa to dngs (contrast jpegs) cannot be carried over to Lightroom. So I wonder if you can think of any other safe way I can temporarily mark (in Picasa) the pictures with Sue in so that I can find them in Lightroom and keyword them "Sue" en masse?

    Many thanks

    David
    Last edited by dtbain; 10 May 2012 at 9:33 am.

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    I suggest to check this free tool http://www.anvo-it.de/wiki/avpicfacexmptagger:main

    It is capable to extract Picasa proprietary data and store it as standard tags.

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    Has anyone used that tool with success? I have name tagged thousands of photos in Picasa and with my moving to Lightroom would love to retain them. I thought they made a change in Picasa to write the name tags to XMP but I'm not seeing them in Lightroom.

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    I haven't tried that particular plug-in, but I'd trust Jeffrey's plug-ins and anything he says on the subject.
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  13. #13
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    There is a workaround to do this. Basically, once you've created all your name tags in Picasa, you go to each individual's page and select all the photos. Select the tag field and then create a tag based on that person's name. This is then saved to file's EXIF information and can be read by lightroom using the read metadata feature. A note of caution - the read metadata from file will wipe any keywords you have added to lightroom. Accordingly to use this you must first force lightroom to right the metadata to the file (again this can be done from the metadata menu option). Once you done this you can then read in the metadata and it should pull all the information through including the names. It certainly works for me. I would suggest that you try it on one or two photos first to make sure you're comfortable with how it works and then move on from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistermcee View Post
    There is a workaround to do this. Basically, once you've created all your name tags in Picasa, you go to each individual's page and select all the photos. Select the tag field and then create a tag based on that person's name. This is then saved to file's EXIF information and can be read by lightroom using the read metadata feature. A note of caution - the read metadata from file will wipe any keywords you have added to lightroom. Accordingly to use this you must first force lightroom to right the metadata to the file (again this can be done from the metadata menu option). Once you done this you can then read in the metadata and it should pull all the information through including the names. It certainly works for me. I would suggest that you try it on one or two photos first to make sure you're comfortable with how it works and then move on from there.

    For some reason this doesn't seem to work for me. Where should they show up?

    I'm still struggling with this and a s a result I haven't name-tagged naything in 2 years. All my solutions have failed and I'm getting frustrated by my lack of a properly name catalogued LR file.

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    Here, for anyone finding this thread in the future, I found this very useful in comnparing all the different options we have. I'd like to get away from Picasa entirely but don't want to lose the days I spent tagging faces.

    http://davoweb.net/2014/01/face-tagging-and-lightroom/

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