Lightroom CC: Face Tags from Classic did not sync to cloud

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I tried the Trial version of Lightroom Classic CC (version 8.1) to convert my 2,000 pictures with 4,000 face tags that are in Lightroom 6. That went fine. All the face tags went over to Classic. Then from Classic to Lightroom CC (version 2.1.1 is the newest!) the pictures went to The Cloud but the face tags DID NOT !!. I called Adobe Tech Help 10 times over the past week, and it's now been confirmed that face tags only work for a VERY FEW customers using CC 2.1.1. There is no work around nor suggestions coming from Adobe other than "wait for an update on 2.1.1, and it won't be coming out soon". Does anyone have a suggestion for me?
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Ross Parker

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  • frustrated and annoyed.

Posted 2 months ago

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Dan Hartford Photo

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Welcome to the "keywords don't sync" issue and join the crowd.  This looks to me like yet another instance of keywords not syncing but may have a further nuance.  A "face tag" in LR Classic is just a flavor of a keyword.  Regular keywords apply to an image and in a sense apply to the entire image.  However, once you mark a keyword - any keyword - as a "face" type of keyword then the keyword is allowed to reference a rectangular area inside of an image.  Of course the purpose of this is to identify individuals in group images.  However, you could just as easily use "face" keywords to highlight windows in buildings or red cars or anything else you wish.  However the "face detection" technology is designed to find and match actual faces but once that is done on any image, the "face" keyword just points a rectangular area in the image.  

So, there are two issues you may be encountering.  First is that Keywords (face type or regular) do not sync between Classic and Cloud except in once case.  That one case is where you are saving metadata to the image file or XMP side car file and you do not have a smart preview for the image.  In this case the first time you put the image in a collection in Classic that sync's with the cloud, LR will build a Smart Preview that happens to contain your keywords and will send that to the cloud.  So, the Keywords present in Classic at that time will show up in the Cloud based apps.  However that's a one-and-done deal.  From then on there will be no sync between cloud and classic or the other way around unless you remove the image from all synced collections in classic, delete any Smart Preview you may have created in Classic for the image and then re-add the image back to the synced collection.  BTW, to my knowledge, and IMHO, Adobe has not recognized this as a supported feature of Classic or sync.  It seems more like an unplanned side effect of how they implemented sync and as such may just disappear someday without warning.

The second issue which may or may not be a factor in what Adobe told you is that there is extra info related to Face Keywords.  For every face type keyword associated with every image, there must be the coordinates in the image where the face is located (i.e., where does the rectangular box show up and how big is it).  It's unclear to me, if this extra info is included in the XMP data or not.  I suspect "not" but you can experiment.  Take an image with several faces identified.  Now remove that image from all synced collections in Classic.  Then "Discard any smart previews" associated with that image and force the metadata to be written to the image file (or XMP file).  The image will now be missing from your cloud based apps.    Now, add the image back to a synced collection and see what shows up in the cloud.  If my theory is correct, the Face related keywords will show up, and will be related to the image, but they won't refer to the part of the image where the face is.   

Let me know if I'm right.  
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Ross Parker

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thanks Jao......Adobe Lightroom Tech Help are telling me "it is supposed to get face tags into Lightroom CC and the cloud. It's a bug and they are working to fix it. The fix will be rolled out with an update to LRCC 2.1.1". Are you surprized by that? Do you think their claim is false?
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Ross Parker

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Dan: if a face tag is just a tag, and many tools can take a photo with tags over to the internet, which tool would you suggest I consider?
 It needs to take my existing data base in Picasa3 or LR6, both have face tags and import it, then be able to post it to the www (with tags of the people).....Ross
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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I would be really surprised if that were true. No other keywords sync from classic to CC and Adobe has been public about that not going to change. You never know though.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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At it's root a face tag is just a Keyword in LR Classic, but with some extra info. 

What we have is X images and Y Face tags (a Face Tag being a LR keyword with the "person" box ticked).  So there is a many-to-many relationship between images and Face tags.  In other words one image can have many faces and any face can appear in multiple images. 

So, in Database terms you have a list of images (we call it a table in relational database terminology)  and a list of Person type keywords.  In order to implement a Many-to-Many relationship you need a 3rd table called a "Junction" table.  There is one entry in the junction table for every unique combination of a face in an image and each such entry contains the image name, the face name (keyword name) and the coordinates in the image where that person is located (usually the coordinates of the top left and bottom right corners of the box you see in LR).  

So, to migrate that from one system (say Picassa, or LR Classic) one not only has to migrate the Face Tag (keyword) and Image, but also that junction information.  That's where the complexity comes in as each program captures and stores this info in their own unique way.  I would not be surprised if Adobe used the same method in both Classic and CC so are certainly in a position to sync the two and even if they didn't use the same technique they have enough info to translate one to the other.  

The problem is that there is to my knowledge no standard protocol for this info in JPG's or XMP files and as such most programs (picassa, and others) that allow the inclusion of keywords or tags on exported images do not include this other info.  And, most programs that will accept keyword or tag info from imported images do not accept that sort of data.  But this doesn't preclude someone from writing an export program from system A (say Picassa) and a corresponding import program for system B (Say LR) if given a motivation to do so and in some cases cooperation from the folks who own those systems.

So, If Adobe is telling you that Classic to CC face info info is coming that's great.  But are they also saying it will work the other way and are they saying that later changes will work sync both ways?  Again, if so great but if they didn't specifically mention this I suspect they are only considering a one time only initial copy from Classic to CC.  I say this due to other comments they have made about not being interested in implementing bi-directional and ongoing sync of keywords.

Too much info?

Dan
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Ross Parker

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Nope, not too much info for me ! Thanks Dan.
Is there any other program other than Adobe LR that you know of that will take jpeg's w/Face Tag data, from Picasa3 or LR6 and get it onto the web?
(I'm working hard with Adobe LR Photo Plan, that gives me LRClassicCC and LRCC, but I wonder if there is another program I should be considering. 
Any thoughts?
Thank you, tons (or tonnes, since we converted to metric some years ago!)....Ross
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Yves Crausaz

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Strongly agree, LR CC is for me not yet usable other than as a secondary catalog and can not yet be your main catalog, there are still too many essential functions when you have a catalog well supplied, images with many metadata completed. When will Adobe understand that it is the data stored in the catalog and not just the side-cars that must be synched to the LR CC catalog? It's very painful because it does not allow us to create mini-galleries full of information related to images for our customers, For me, LR CC is only for fans who do not need a lot of ranking information of their images and it's a shame, because Cloud functions are uninteresting for all.

Imagine yourself traveling, you have a guide available, you certainly want to take advantage of his knowledge to complete the information of your photos ..... Well you will be forced to train a computer with a LR Classic to properly register these information at the level of each photo, while if LR CC was complete you could do it from your phone !!!

Currently LR CC is still in my opinion, stammering.

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Ross Parker

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Thanks Yves !!
I have a very narrow use for LR CC, and it's to post pictures with face tags on their cloud. 
Do you know of another program that will 1) take Google Picasa 3 photos with face tags, or, take Lightroom 6 photos with face tags as input, and 2) will show those photos with face tags on "the cloud"?
Much thanks Yves!!.....Ross (West Vancouver, BC)
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Yves Crausaz

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No, no keywords to Portfolio, It's good for legends!

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Ross Parker

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what do you mean "it's good for legends"?
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Yves Crausaz

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This field (in french)

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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That's 'captions' in English. :)
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Ross Parker

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UPDATE: I have abandoned my 18 month quest to use Adobe Lightroom to be the tool to identify and store Face Tags !
For the last week I have called their India based CS and Tech Service about 10 times, and have been fundamentally mislead by staff, supervisors and managers. I will stop investing my time in trying to figure out how they can meet THEIR obligations to me. My overarching concern is that it won't be me working with Lightroom6, Lightroom Classic CC, and Lightroom CC, and their Photography Plan, it will be my daughter (after I die: see post above). Maybe in a few years they will get their act together. Maybe in a few years they will abandon FT and FR like Google did.....I'm DONE with Adobe and Lightroom. 
Although I'm disappointed that I can't use a big corporation to support my needs, (I will go back to Picasa3, which is not supported), I am comfortable with my decision and at least I have a clear path forward......thanks to this forum, especially Jim from England who helped me soooooo much....Ross Parker