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Bryan

Cut out not recognised

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My image DG63CE of a Haws watering can is clearly a cut out, and has the words cut out and cutout in the keywords, but the system cannot find it as a cut out. Indeed there are other cut outs of a Haws watering can lurking in the catalogue, but the cut out filter cuts them out too!

Am I missing something obvious?

DG63CE.jpg

Edited by Bryan

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The handle on the right hand side is close to the edge of the frame. I wonder if the system checks for a given margin of white area to flag it as a cut out?

 

 

Regards

Craig

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You could be right Craig, in which case a return to the cut out switch in manage images might be a good idea?

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I've just done some further tests, and worryingly, the system will not recognise my cut outs when I leave the cut out filter unchecked but add cut out, cutout or isolated as a search term. It appears that the use of one of those search terms switches on the cut out filter and cuts out everything else! If I have got this right it needs to be fixed somewhat urgently!

 

Here's another example that cannot be searched as any form of cut out.

 

EEWX8C.jpg

Edited by Bryan

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 If you search watering can with the cut out box ticked you get this, which in my understanding would not be a cut out because of the arm, confusing or what?

 green-watering-can-bpt606.jpg

 

Regards

Craig

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Thanks Craig, I'm not all clear how a cutout is defined.

 

My interpretation of cut out is that the object has a clear background so that it can be embedded within a white page, but, thinking about it, maybe it needs to be further modified so that it has no background at all, enabling the image to superimposed on another without blanking out any required features.

 

I have photos that Alamy does recognise as cutouts, but they do have a white background such as 

 

CBX2H9.jpg

 

This is an oldie so was probably described as a cut out during image management, in the days when you could choose that option.

 

Need assistance from those more knowledgeable than myself.

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I get the same issue as Bryan.

 

I have this image of an elephant:

 

young-african-elephant-sniffing-while-ra

 

Yet if I search "elephant cut out tanzania", there is only one photo and it isn't mine.  All those words are in my keywords.

 

Jill

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Bryan, I have had lots of problems with cut-outs not appearing when the filter is checked and the keywords alone do not work.  I have contacted MS on several occasions and been given all sorts of explanations.  On one occasion they sorted it so that the image I was querying did eventually come up as a cut-out but on another occasion they told me the white border was not wide enough. A third one had a very slight shadow touching the edge.  I went back to them on the latter example and mentioned the image used to illustrate the cut-out category, a blue butterfly which clearly has a marked shadow along the bottom edge, they chose not to reply.

 

I find it very strange Alamy is happy with this hit and miss solution but they say they are. If more contributors go back to them and point out the shortcomings they might realise that it is inadequate.

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl

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Thanks Jill and Pearl for sharing your experience, I'm not going mad after all!

 

I can accept that images that have elements close to an edge might not be automatically picked up as cut outs by the software, but I do have a concern that the filter appears to automatically apply when a customer searches for a cut out or an isolated image using keywords, rather than the cut out filter, thus removing legitimate images from the search.

 

I'll contact MS too.

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I mailed MS and obtained the swift response below

 

"We identify 'Cut Outs' using software rather than taking the info from annotation. Objects not on true white backgrounds or with shadows mean it’s difficult to select and isolate on a separate level. If a search is made with the keywords like ‘white background’ or ‘cut-out’, the search engine turns on the cut-out filter instead of treating them as a keyword.

 

We understand there are limitations when using a software solution but we’re happy with the results."

 

I guess that some contributors may have been marking cut outs when they weren't, causing problems for customers. However, from my perspective, cut outs take a lot of work, mine do have pure white backgrounds ( I delete the layer contents in PS) and no shadows. I've asked if I can have mine marked as cutouts, as otherwise I feel that  it's a waste of time making them.

 

It would be useful if I could find a way of guaranteeing getting around the software, for example by applying a larger border. If I thought that would work, I could modify some existing images and re-upload.

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It would be useful if I could find a way of guaranteeing getting around the software, for example by applying a larger border. If I thought that would work, I could modify some existing images and re-upload.

 

I too would do this if it meant my cut outs would be seen What is the point of the work if they don't show in a search?

 

Jill

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I mailed MS and obtained the swift response below

 

"We identify 'Cut Outs' using software rather than taking the info from annotation. Objects not on true white backgrounds or with shadows mean it’s difficult to select and isolate on a separate level. If a search is made with the keywords like ‘white background’ or ‘cut-out’, the search engine turns on the cut-out filter instead of treating them as a keyword.

 

We understand there are limitations when using a software solution but we’re happy with the results."

 

I guess that some contributors may have been marking cut outs when they weren't, causing problems for customers. However, from my perspective, cut outs take a lot of work, mine do have pure white backgrounds ( I delete the layer contents in PS) and no shadows. I've asked if I can have mine marked as cutouts, as otherwise I feel that  it's a waste of time making them.

 

It would be useful if I could find a way of guaranteeing getting around the software, for example by applying a larger border. If I thought that would work, I could modify some existing images and re-upload.

 

Why not test it and report back?

The image will not fail, you can easily tick the box to request deletion.

 

wim

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It would be useful if I could find a way of guaranteeing getting around the software, for example by applying a larger border. If I thought that would work, I could modify some existing images and re-upload.

 

I too would do this if it meant my cut outs would be seen What is the point of the work if they don't show in a search?

 

Jill

 

 

Jill,

 

With all respect, your elephant is not a cut out. Yes you have cut it out, but that does not make it a cutout or silo.

 

It is pretty annoying that other images that are not cutouts either do slip through:

 

soft-toy-elephant-c92879.jpg
 
This one is so not cut out. It has however the keywords cut out cutout
(Do I see a huge dust bunny there? Funny it's not there in the bigger zoom.)
 
But it is a bit nitpicking isn't it. Because most results from the cutout filter are actually cutouts.
I remember the search just by the keyword cutout and that was indeed embarrassing.
How many false positives or false negatives does the current filter produce?
False positives -the result is not really a cutout- : not so many
False negatives: probably some more.
 
I would say that the filter is working rather well though.
 
wim 

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The problem with increasing the size of the white border is that it lessens the impact of the image when seen as a thumbnail. It would be useful if there was some specific guidance on this, maybe the number of pixels clearance required to fit within the spec.

 

I could examine some of my own cut outs to see what margin has evaded the filter, and what has failed, but publication of clear criteria would avoid the need to do this. I've searched for guidance on the subject, without success, on the Alamy site. Pearl mentions a butterfly example, so perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.

 

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how does having a portion of the image touching the border reduce the usefulness of the cut out? Presumably it can still be used to be inserted in a white background?

 

Wim's elephant example is clearly not a cut out, but there appear to be numerous genuine examples that are failing the test.

Edited by Bryan

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The problem with increasing the size of the white border is that it lessens the impact of the image when seen as a thumbnail. It would be useful if there was some specific guidance on this, maybe the number of pixels clearance required to fit within the spec.

 

 

This is exactly what I had to do to get one of mine accepted as a cut-out even though there was nothing touching the border in the first place and it does lessen the impact of the image.  I doubt Alamy actually knows how many pixels are needed on all sides given the very random results from using the filter.

 

Using the blue butterfly as the main image for the cut-outs category adds to the confusion of what is accepted and what is actually meant by "cut-out" but as long as Alamy is happy with the results nothing will change.  I would love to know what buyers expect.

 

Pearl

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The problem with increasing the size of the white border is that it lessens the impact of the image when seen as a thumbnail. It would be useful if there was some specific guidance on this, maybe the number of pixels clearance required to fit within the spec.

 

I could examine some of my own cut outs to see what margin has evaded the filter, and what has failed, but publication of clear criteria would avoid the need to do this. I've searched for guidance on the subject, without success, on the Alamy site. Pearl mentions a butterfly example, so perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.

 

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how does having a portion of the image touching the border reduce the usefulness of the cut out? Presumably it can still be used to be inserted in a white background?

 

Wim's elephant example is clearly not a cut out, but there appear to be numerous genuine examples that are failing the test.

 

There has to be a provision in the filter that allows the green watering can with arm to go through.

Touching the border may be worse than something small and narrow sticking in. That would allow for the numerous traffic signs.

A whole bunch of perfect cutout traffic signs turn up for elephant btw. Really weird, but just a keywording mistake.

 

 

My testing has not been systematic up till now.

So this is only a review of what got through and what has not.

 

 

 

 

D1GF35.jpg

IN

 

 

E7W3T6.jpg

OUT

 

D1GRN0.jpg

 

IN

- but no cutout or silo keywords

 

 

DG00M5.jpg

 

OUT

 

 

 

BHM7FK.jpg

 IN

 

 

 

BK5NBB.jpgCN4GKP.jpgCN0Y6C.jpg

OUT

 

 

E4KNFJ.jpg

IN (not mine)

 

The filter kicks in with the words:

silo

cutout

cut out

cut-out

isolated (try searching for an isolated island or isolated tree in a landscape)

 

Oh and a lot of Stockimo finds its way IN because of the otherwise forbidden borders.

 

OK I admit: I'm not so sure anymore if the filter works.

 

wim

Edited by wiskerke

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Wim, I think that the waters are muddied because, prior to the introduction of the software filter, contributors were able to make the choice. As a result, there are images coming up (the elephant perhaps) as cut outs that would, and should not be, accepted today, including one of mine -  about to change the keywords!  :wub:  

 

Having checked, I feel that I have 9 genuine cut outs that are not recognised as such.

 

Weirdly, I have a recent image with an element touching the border that has slipped through the filter - it is a genuine cut out however.

 

I remain unconvinced by the efficiency of the filter. I have just spent about an hour preparing a new cut out and I sincerely hope that it will appear as such!

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Well having been told by MS that there is no way that they can change the cut-out status of my cut outs to cut out, I bit the bullet and quickly, using the Canvas Size tool in PS, increased the size of the borders on all of my unrecognised cut outs. Uploaded the same this afternoon, and low and behold, by this evening they had all passed QC!  (Thanks Mr Alamy, or whoever was responsible)

 

Copied the key words across, along with their predecessors' codes and back into business. I will need to wait until the files are processed to see if they now pass muster as cut outs. Fingers crossed.

 

Just need to ask those nice folk at MS to delete the previous images.

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Well having been told by MS that there is no way that they can change the cut-out status of my cut outs to cut out, I bit the bullet and quickly, using the Canvas Size tool in PS, increased the size of the borders on all of my unrecognised cut outs. Uploaded the same this afternoon, and low and behold, by this evening they had all passed QC!  (Thanks Mr Alamy, or whoever was responsible)

 

Copied the key words across, along with their predecessors' codes and back into business. I will need to wait until the files are processed to see if they now pass muster as cut outs. Fingers crossed.

 

Just need to ask those nice folk at MS to delete the previous images.

 

I did exactly the same!

Probably just a bit later: mine have not cleared yet.

Only I decided to rename them, so they will live together for a short while.

 

wim

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With the problems I have had in the past I have got into the habit of checking any images which I upload as cut-outs to see if they are actually recognised as such.  I wonder how many contributors think they have cut-outs when they actually haven't according to Alamy's filter.

 

Pearl

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With the problems I have had in the past I have got into the habit of checking any images which I upload as cut-outs to see if they are actually recognised as such.  I wonder how many contributors think they have cut-outs when they actually haven't according to Alamy's filter.

 

Pearl

 

That thought had occurred to me too Pearl, and my limited testing reveals that there are plenty of examples.

 

I've asked MS if would be possible to release the algorithm, or even the program, that checks for cut out status, so that contributors could verify before upload.

 

The good news is that my newly uploaded and key worded cut outs all appear to meet the criteria, so

 

traditional-haws-green-metal-professiona

 

is now a cut out, while its bigger, and more visually appealing, brother

 

traditional-haws-green-metal-professiona

 

 

is not  :D

Edited by Bryan

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That's really interesting.  The contributors are trying to fix something that is clearly an Alamy problem - if searchers can't find what they are looking for they'll eventually migrate to another agency, everything else being equal, I presume.  

 

Can this really be so tough retrospectively?

 

Put the contributor cutout selector back, run the image through the current cutout test and ping them a warning if the two don't match... seems like some fairly straightforward workflow.  There are plenty of other options.

 

I was wondering if with the "bigger brother" (DG63CE), you might have to expand the image further with a certain amount of additional white space?  Alamy must know the threshold and it would not be too difficult to communicate that.  Surely those sorts of criteria would allow everyone to produce predictable results.

 

Mike.

  • Upvote 3

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Mike,

 

+10

 

wim

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My portfolio on Alamy is made up almost entirely of cutouts, I would estimate about 2500 are cutouts and have keywords to that effect. Switching the filter on produces 1834 cutouts so about 700 are not recognised. I've not looked into it any further as yet but thank you for highlighting the problem.

 

Interestingly, images isolated on black are not recognised as cutouts, which is understandable but a shame I think.

 

Marc

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My portfolio on Alamy is made up almost entirely of cutouts, I would estimate about 2500 are cutouts and have keywords to that effect. Switching the filter on produces 1834 cutouts so about 700 are not recognised. I've not looked into it any further as yet but thank you for highlighting the problem.

 

Interestingly, images isolated on black are not recognised as cutouts, which is understandable but a shame I think.

 

Marc

 

I can only repeat Pearl's advice to contact Member services, constant dripping might wear away the stone.

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