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Test Search by Colour

The Victoria and Albert Museum is part of a research group who are developing and testing a new way to search digital images visually. Computer software developed by Dundee University automatically organizes images by elements such as colour, visual texture, and shape.

We are inviting you to try this new way of visually searching images with a special selection from the V&A's objects. When you have finished, we will invite you to give us some optional feedback. Your anonymous responses will help us develop future versions of the software.

Please click a category in the list below to begin visual browsing:

How to Use the Visualiser

Select a set of images from one of the options listed above.

Once you have selected a set, drag the slider in the bar above the grouped images to change the space between the thumbnails. The further to the right you drag the slider the bigger the gaps between images.

If you double-click an image a new window will open to show you the full size image and the associated record data from the V&A's Search the Collections application. Please note, if this functionality does not appear to be working, check whether your browser has a pop-up blocker feature. You will need to allow pop-ups to be able to click through to the full Search the Collections records.

In this Beta version there are a few other controls you can explore. Expand the Preferences menu at the bottom right of the screen and experiment with turning on or off options in the list.

By default the viewer arranges the images grouped by colour. It is also possible to see the objects arranged by texture. Within the Preferences menu, change the 'View' dropdown from 'Colour' to 'Texture' to arange them based on the texture of the image itself. For example plain or subtle patterns will group on one side with vibrant, jagged patterns on another. This is particularly easy to see if you view the 'Chairs' set, where the angular tubular chair images group together opposite those with rounded and smooth shapes.

You can return to Search the Collections at any time using the Exit Visualiser button in the top right corner of the screen.

Read more about the Searching by Colour project