Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Definite Keepr...

There's an awesome new tool/toy out there: retrievr. I just wasted a lifetime at the site, and I'll be back again to snuff another. What a great idea!

From the retrievr home page:


retrievr is an experimental service which lets you search and explore in a selection of Flickr images by drawing a rough sketch.

Does it actually work?

Yes! That is, it depends. (Mainly on your expectations!)

(The Flickr images returned based on my poorly scrawled "TLASILA" entry. Odd, yes, but one helluva cool yield...)

In my experience, the results are usually fairly good, sometimes even stunning - considering the artistic sophistication most of us are able to come up with (gallery forthcoming); and in the cases they're not so stellar, they are at least entertaining ;-) But clearly, the approach has its limits.

One thing to keep in mind is that retrievr doesn't do object/face/text recognition of any kind, so if you're drawing an outline sketch of a chair, it almost certainly won't get you one back (except your index only contains images of chairs). The same holds for corporate logos, icons &c.

It helps to think of it as matching the most pronounced shapes and slabs of colors.

Another thing to know is that there's currently no way to specify the aspect ratio, so you have to rescale the image in your head (things that are close to the borders of the image you're thinking of should be close to the borders of your sketches), but that's really more of a missing feature of the drawing flashlet than an inherent problem. Sometimes it also helps to remove detail instead of adding it.

Personally, I see retrievr more as an "exploration" tool than as a "search" tool, and it seems to work very well for that.


retrievr is based on research conducted by Chuck Jacobs, Adam Finkelstein and David Salesin at the University of Washington: Fast Multiresolution Image Querying (1995)


More later,


TLASILA Will Tour... (In 2009.)

Ben Wolcott and I spoke for over an hour today regarding the much-delayed Shave excursion. Safe to say we won't hit the asphalt before May... Fuck, we're getting VERY antsy.


Closet Skeletons Dept:

Various Artists - Forced Cranial Removal (Fifth Column Records, 1995)

Horror, ever-burgeoning... Oh well - better to flog one's missteps than be blackmailed by them. Thanks for the thoughtful upload, "homerjay." C*nt!



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