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Lightroom Classic - Face Recognition Getting Significantly Worse?

wilderw

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
29
Lightroom Version
11.4.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 12 Monterey
This is in reference to Lightroom Classic version 11.4.1 on an Intel Mac running Monterey 12.5 but applies to previous versions of Lightroom Classic as well.

My memory will not be able to provide dates and versions but I remember eagerly waiting for face recognition in Lightroom Classic and then using it extensively on a fairly large catalog of family photos. I never thought the feature worked tremendously well but it certainly saved some time over manually tagging photos.

At some point - after the feature was introduced it seems to have become substantially worse in its ability to recognize faces. When it indexes faces (either in the large catalog mentioned) or in test catalogs I create and enable face indexing for - its ability to group faces seems significantly worse from what I remember in the year after the feature was rolled out. It is missing obvious similar photos even from burst photos.

Further, once I’ve named a face and double-click on it to show similar faces - the suggested results miss that individual and recommend a number of faces for which there is very little resemblance. I would say the performance is now practically useless.

Am I alone in this observation? Any tips on improving the results?

Many Thanks
 
Solution
After face recognition was initially released, there was one significant improvement made a couple years later. The Library > Find Faces Again command was provided to let you discard the original face information and rerun it with the new algorithm. There haven't been any changes in the many years since then.

One effect that often confuses people: For a large catalog that isn't having any new photos added, the algorithm first detects all the faces that are most similar, and we think, "Oh, that's good, it's working well." As you continue to identify the remaining faces, it's already found all the most similar faces, and any new ones it finds are going to be much less similar, and we think, "Oh, the algorithm is going downhill".
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
19,210
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I stopped using Face recognition in Lightroom after evaluating and find it short of my expectations. I do not know that it has gotten significantly worse as I don’t think Adobe has put any more effort into improving the original release. Other facial recognition software OTOH has gotten better over time.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
1,610
Location
Bay Area, California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
After face recognition was initially released, there was one significant improvement made a couple years later. The Library > Find Faces Again command was provided to let you discard the original face information and rerun it with the new algorithm. There haven't been any changes in the many years since then.

One effect that often confuses people: For a large catalog that isn't having any new photos added, the algorithm first detects all the faces that are most similar, and we think, "Oh, that's good, it's working well." As you continue to identify the remaining faces, it's already found all the most similar faces, and any new ones it finds are going to be much less similar, and we think, "Oh, the algorithm is going downhill".
 
Solution

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,755
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
This is in reference to Lightroom Classic version 11.4.1 on an Intel Mac running Monterey 12.5 but applies to previous versions of Lightroom Classic as well.

My memory will not be able to provide dates and versions but I remember eagerly waiting for face recognition in Lightroom Classic and then using it extensively on a fairly large catalog of family photos. I never thought the feature worked tremendously well but it certainly saved some time over manually tagging photos.

At some point - after the feature was introduced it seems to have become substantially worse in its ability to recognize faces. When it indexes faces (either in the large catalog mentioned) or in test catalogs I create and enable face indexing for - its ability to group faces seems significantly worse from what I remember in the year after the feature was rolled out. It is missing obvious similar photos even from burst photos.

Further, once I’ve named a face and double-click on it to show similar faces - the suggested results miss that individual and recommend a number of faces for which there is very little resemblance. I would say the performance is now practically useless.

Am I alone in this observation? Any tips on improving the results?

Many Thanks
@wilderw

I am always frustrated that when I do Facial Recognition for family members, despite the large number of matched faces, that LR continues to suggest other people. In some cases, it confuses men with women, or children with adults. Worse, I'm not sure the feature is getting worse performance, based on what @johnrellis said in post #3, but it's still annoyingly bad. One of my biggest issues with LR.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,755
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I stopped using Face recognition in Lightroom after evaluating and find it short of my expectations. I do not know that it has gotten significantly worse as I don’t think Adobe has put any more effort into improving the original release. Other facial recognition software OTOH has gotten better over time.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
@clee01l Any other facial recognition software that is a LR plug-in or whose results can be imported by XMP?
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
1,181
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Another problem some people face is if they use the Face assingment tool in the Loupe view to target the back of a head or a profile of a person that LrC would not normally determine was a face. This muddies the logic because the back of fred's head is now included in what Fred looks like when searching for more images of Fred. It's ok to assign such a photo to the Fred Keyword, just don't draw a face region for it if it's not actually a face.
 

wilderw

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
29
As you continue to identify the remaining faces, it's already found all the most similar faces, and any new ones it finds are going to be much less similar, and we think, "Oh, the algorithm is going downhill".
This is NOT the case in the degradation I am seeing as the very poor grouping of faces will occur even in a brand new catalog or on a different Mac (Arm).
 

wilderw

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
29
After face recognition was initially released, there was one significant improvement made a couple years later. The Library > Find Faces Again command was provided to let you discard the original face information and rerun it with the new algorithm.
Turns out - this is the magic word - thank-you johnrellis. When I create a new catalog - it indexes faces (you can see the progress bar, pause/resume/etc.) so I naively assumed this is doing full face recognition with the latest algorithms Adobe supplies. However, running Find Faces Again runs much more slowly but DOES effectively group similar faces restoring the functionality I remember. I stress that this is occurring on multiple machines and on Intel and Arm Macs and on fresh catalogs so I am highly doubtful this relates to a stale preference setting or bad cache. Either there is a bug here Adobe should correct OR Adobe should clarify that face indexing and Find Faces Again are using substantially different algorithms.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
1,610
Location
Bay Area, California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Either there is a bug here Adobe should correct OR Adobe should clarify that face indexing and Find Faces Again are using substantially different algorithms.
I'd be very surprised if Find Faces Again uses a different algorithm from the initial recognition. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if there were some other bug in play.

You could submit a bug report to Adobe, but for a bug like this, you'd have to spoon feed it to them in a way that ensures they can replicate it. For this bug, I think that means:

1. Make a new catalog and import the minimum number of photos that illustrates the problem.

2. Do File > Export As Catalog with just the option Export Negative Files checked. This will make a new new catalog with copies of the imported photos placed in the catalog folder, making it easy to send to Adobe.

3. Zip up that exported catalog, upload the .zip to Dropbox, Google Drive, or similar, and include the sharing link in your bug report.

4. Post a bug report in the Adobe bug forum, including precise step-by-step instructions for reproducing the bug with the exported catalog. Any ambiguity in the instructions could make it likely Adobe won't be able to reproduce the bug. Carefully chosen screenshots of the entire LR window are always helpful.

This is obviously a lot of work, but my recommendation is based on years of experience submitting bug reports and reading those of others. Unfortunately, I think it's likely that the engineer(s) who implemented face recognition seven years ago are very possibly long gone from the development team, so the cost to Adobe of fixing any bugs will be much higher. Unless lots of people vote on the bug report and add their constructive, detailed opinions, I don't think Adobe would prioritize a fix.
 

wilderw

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
29
I appreciate the effort you've gone through here to suggest the methods I might use to engage Adobe. In my case, however, the workaround of requesting Find Faces Again is much less effort than pursuing a possible bug resolution that might not happen. Again thanks for the tip you provided that at least enabled me to proceed with working face tags.
 
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