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Using Faces

From: iLife '09 New Features

Video: Using Faces

If your iPhoto library contains a lot of photos, you've probably at one time or another ran into the problem of not being able to find a particular picture of a specific person among the hundreds or even thousands of your photos. Fortunately iPhoto '09 features face detection technology, which gives iPhoto the ability to identify the parts of your pictures that contains people's faces. All you have to do is go through and put names to the faces that iPhoto recognizes. iPhoto then goes through your library and using face recognition technology applies that name to each instance of that person's face that it can find.

Using Faces

If your iPhoto library contains a lot of photos, you've probably at one time or another ran into the problem of not being able to find a particular picture of a specific person among the hundreds or even thousands of your photos. Fortunately iPhoto '09 features face detection technology, which gives iPhoto the ability to identify the parts of your pictures that contains people's faces. All you have to do is go through and put names to the faces that iPhoto recognizes. iPhoto then goes through your library and using face recognition technology applies that name to each instance of that person's face that it can find.

This combination of face detection and face recognition technology in iPhoto is called appropriately Faces and it works surprisingly well. Let's take a look. To start using Faces, select one of the photos containing the face of one of the people that you'd like to be able to sort your photos by. I select this one here. Now it's best to start off using a photo where the person's face is looking as directly at the camera as possible. iPhoto does have the ability to detect faces at angles and it's actually quite good at it, but try to start with a direct shot like this one if possible. With the photo selected we'll click the Name button. So you can see iPhoto places a box around the face it detects in the photo.

Now you just want to type the name of this person where it says unknown face, and this is Makenzie. She's the daughter of one of our lynda.com authors Damian Allen. Hit Return and now this face is labeled Makenzie. Now at this point you can continue navigating through your photos and adding more names to the faces that iPhoto has found. I'm just going to use my arrow buttons here to go to the next picture. Now notice right here since I entered Makenzie's name in the previous picture, iPhoto is asking me, Is this Makenzie? So it has a pretty good idea that it is, but it is asking me to confirm here. If it is, I click the check mark. If it wasn't Makenzie, I would click the X button and then that would give me the chance to enter somebody else's name.

But this is Makenzie, so I'll click the check mark. Continuing through, that's her too. Now here she is wearing a costume and her hand is slightly on her face, so iPhoto is having some trouble recognizing her in this photo. So I'll just click here where it says unknown face and I'll start typing here name. Now as soon as I type the first letter, iPhoto will start trying to narrow it down to all the different names that I might have in my copy of iPhoto. I have only got the one right now and it's the correct one, so I'm just going to hit Return or Enter, and there it is.

Now here is picture where we have three people here and none of them are recognized, even though this is Makenzie down here. So let's go and take care of that first, And this is her mom Marne and this is Makenzie's sister Michaela. So you can see even though Michaela is facing off to the left side of the picture here, iPhoto still recognize that as a face. So now I have three names in my iPhoto library. Let's continue on and see how this works now. Here's the picture of Marne and Michaela. Again, these are all M names so now I have to be a little bit more selective here. iPhoto didn't recognize these right away, but the more faces you tag with names the better iPhoto will learn what each person's face looks like. And as you go through you will probably find that iPhoto starts doing a pretty good job of recognizing the faces of the people you have already named and it will suggest that name. So you can see this.

It's asking me, is this Marne? It is. Check that. It didn't recognize Makenzie here, so we'll add her in there, and see it's getting better and better. So there is Marne. That's correct. This is Makenzie and here is Damian himself. So let's go ahead and add him over here. And down here is the picture of Michaela. She has got her thumb in her mouth and her face is partially covered. So iPhoto isn't actually recognizing her face here. In cases like this when you want to make sure somebody's face is tagged properly, click Add Missing Face. That will give you this box that you can drag around on screen and resize and then place over the person's face, like so.

You click Done and then you are free to type a name, and this is Michaela. And again you just keep going through like this. Okay, this is Michaela and you can see Makenzie's face here is partially obscured but we can still again, Add Missing Face, just like so.

Now occasionally iPhoto will think something is a face that isn't a face at all. So you can see here it thinks Michaela's hand is a face. But in those instances you just click little X button in the Face Recognition box to remove that box from the photo. So that's pretty much it. You just continue through all of your pictures doing as many as you want to, and again if a person's face is not being detected, you click the Add Missing Face button, which is a good idea if you want to make sure that photo of that particular person shows up when you do a search for the particular name. Now after you have gone through a selection of photos and this is actually more addictive than you would think, click on Faces. And here you will find this virtual corkboard with a snapshot of each of the people that you have named so far. Double-clicking that person's snapshot chooses more photos that iPhoto thinks include that person. Just reduce my thumbnail size here.

So at the top of the window you see the photos that we have actually confirmed as being in this case Makenzie. Now down below you can see Makenzie may also be in these photos. These are the photos of Makenzie we haven't tagged ourselves but which iPhoto thinks include Makenzie. Now as I said iPhoto does a pretty good job of face recognition but you've got to help it along to make it even better. So I want go through here and confirm a couple of more of these as being Makenzie. To do this I click Confirm Name. And you can see that takes each of those photos and zooms in on Makenzie's face or what iPhoto thinks is Makenzie's face, and you can see all we do is just click to confirm. And as I click, her name pops up in green showing that I'm confirming that.

Now she is actually in this photo with her sister. So I'm going to say click to confirm because she is in there. So on and so on. Now this one here is not Makenzie. So clicking twice, you can see it says Not Makenzie and I'll just continue going through here confirming or rejecting as many as I want. To save time you can drag a marquee around multiple photos to confirm them all simultaneously. So these are all Makenzie and I think they are. You can see I just dragged this marquee and they are all confirmed. Actually, I like to drag the marquee anyway because then it only takes one click to reject a photo.

So if one of these weren't Makenzie, I can just click it once and it would say Not Makenzie. But you will just make your way through here confirming or rejecting photos. Once you are done, click Done. So the more you confirm the people in your photos, the better iPhoto learns their faces and the more their photos will show up in the Faces area. I'm going to go back to All Faces. So it should be pretty obvious how convenient Faces makes it to find pictures of specific people in your iPhoto library. Now here on the Faces' corkboard you can drag around and rearrange these faces anyway you like, like so.

Now skimming over a person's snapshot quickly runs through all the photos in that particular collection. You can also set a different default photo for people by skimming your mouse over the snapshot, finding a picture that you like and then pressing the spacebar on your keyboard, and you can see then that photo becomes the default key photo for that person. Faces can really be great for finding forgotten photos of people that have been lost in your library for years and it's a fantastic tool for quickly finding just the right photo of one of your friends and family members. Also worth noting is that the names you add can be applied to create smart albums based on those names that you've assigned. For example, if I wanted to create a smart album that contain photos of everyone here in Damian's family, I could drag to select them all, click Smart Album and you can see it's called Damian and 3 others. I might just call this as the Allen Family.

So from this point forward any photos that I import or any photos that iPhoto finds that include any one of those four different people will automatically be added to this smart album. So that's Faces, a great a new tool in iPhoto '09 for helping you sort and find photos of your friends and family.

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iLife '09 New Features

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