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Home > Sighthound Redactor > Redactor Desktop - End User Documentation
Redactor Desktop - End User Documentation
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Overview

Sighthound Redactor is an application for the redaction of sensitive information in videos. It contains state of the art computer vision algorithms for face detection and object tracking to greatly reduce the amount of operator interaction required to complete redaction tasks.

 

System Requirements

  • Windows or Linux
  • CPU: Intel i7, i9, or Xeon (9th generation or newer)
  • RAM: 16GB+
  • HD: any (SSD recommended) with sufficient capacity to store your videos
  • GPU: NVIDIA GPU w/ 4GB+ RAM (not required, but recommended for improved performance)
     

The application has been optimized to efficiently scale in a multicore environment. For best performance, particularly when working with long videos, a 16+ core system and a gig of memory per core is recommended.
 

We might recommend certain upgrades if there are concurrent users or for certain workflow considerations. Please reach out to one of our experts at [email protected] for guidance.

 

Using Redactor

Activation

On the first launch of the application, you will be prompted to activate by entering a serial number. The host computer must be connected to the Internet as this serial number will be validated by a license server. Following a successful activation the application will be unlocked for use with permissions specified by the serial number, whether an evaluation or a paid license.

 

Note: Generating licenses for offline computers is possible upon request to Sighthound with information gathered from the main application log (main.log).

 

Video List

When launched, the application will display the video list screen.

 

The upper area of the screen displays currently processing and recently opened files. If a file is currently undergoing automatic redaction, a progress bar will be displayed beneath the thumbnail. To open a previously used video file click the thumbnail.

 

To open a new video file, either click the “Select an existing video…” message or drag and drop a file onto it. Redactor currently supports MP4, TS, AVI, MKV, MOV, and MPG containers with h264, mpeg-4, VP8, VP9, mpeg1video, mpeg2video, msvideo1 video; and AAC, MP1, MP2, MP3, PCM audio.

 

If a file has previously been redacted, the redaction data will automatically load when the video is opened. The redaction data for a file can be reset by right clicking the thumbnail on the recent files screen and selecting “Delete redaction data”. Selecting “Forget video” will remove the video file.

 

You can return to the recent files screen at any time by clicking the “Close Video” button on the main video screen or “Run in background” if the user is on the auto redaction progress screen.
 

Video Playback

The three primary buttons of the video playback bar offer previous frame, play/pause, and next frame. These have corresponding keyboard shortcuts of left, space, and right. 

 

Shift+Left and Shift+Right can be used to seek back and forward by one second rather than one frame.

 

There are also speed controls (0.2x, 1x, 2x) to allow the video to play faster or slower than real-time.


It is possible to click a location on the seek bar or drag the thumb to navigate to an approximate time. To the right of the video player seekbar the time display indicates the current video position and the video duration.

 

Automatic Redaction

Clicking the “Run Auto Redaction” button will allow you to specify if faces, people, license plates, and/or vehicles should automatically be detected and marked for redaction in the video. Each detected object will be tracked throughout the clip.

 

Manual Redaction

When the video is paused, you can draw one or more boxes over the current frame. The application will enter the “Add new objects” mode and there will be three options once all desired boxes have been created.

 

Newly drawn boxes will be shown in yellow to distinguish them from previously existing objects, which are drawn gray rather than their normal color to indicate they cannot be modified during the current operation.

 

After drawing a new box, the buttons in the toolbar at the top of the application will change to:

 

  • Cancel - Cancels the current operation. All yellow boxes will be removed and the application will return to playback mode.
  • Static - Static boxes stay in the same location for every frame in the video and do not move.
  • Automatically Track - The application will automatically follow the contents of each drawn box forward and backward through the video as far as it can, just as if the object had been a face detected during automatic redaction.
     

Editing Objects

Objects can be adjusted at any frame by dragging a bounding box to a slightly different location or by adjusting the size of a bounding box by dragging its sides or corners. This will place the application into “Edit objects” mode. Objects that have been modified will have a translucent fill to indicate their state. Once updates have been made, two buttons appear in the Toolbar:

 

  • Cancel - All changes will be undone and the application will return to playback mode.
  • Apply - All modifications will be committed. The new position and size of boxes will be interpolated forward and backward from the edit point to alleviate the need to make similar adjustments on all neighboring frames.

 

Operations can also be performed on objects by a right-clicking on them in the video player and selecting one of the items from the context menu that opens:

 

  • Go to first frame - Seek the video to the first frame in which this object appears.
  • Go to last frame - Seek the video to the final frame in which this object appears.
  • Delete object - Delete all data for this object.
  • Delete to beginning - Delete the object from this frame to the first frame it appeared.
  • Delete to end - Delete the object from this frame to the last frame it appeared.
  • Split object - Split the object at this frame into two objects.
     

If at the first or final frame of an object the corresponding Go to… entry will be unavailable and the following will be added:

 

  • Delete this frame - This will replace the two Delete from… menu items.
  • Extend object forward / Extend object backward - This will extend the object in the given direction depending on whether the video is at the first or final frame. It will extend the object as far as the contents of the bounding box at the selected frame can be tracked.

 

View Options

The view options change the interface displayed while in the redactor. They do not impact exported videos. The currently available options are:

 

  • Multicolored objects - This will display boxes in a range of colors to allow easy and immediate differentiation of objects. It is selected by default.
  • Show object labels - Overlay an object label to the box. Like the Multicolored objects option this can be used to aid in object differentiation.

 

Audio Redaction

The “Redact Audio” button will toggle display of a timeline with an audio waveform. The waveform is locally normalized for better editing visibility so that one large peak in the video will not cause the entirety of the waveform to flatline. The timeline can be zoomed in and out by clicking the +/- magnifying glass icons or by scrolling the mouse wheel while the cursor is over the timeline.

 

To mark a segment of audio for redaction click and drag over the corresponding portion of the waveform and a highlighted region will mark the selection. Once a region has been drawn it can be adjusted by dragging either of the region’s sides or can be deleted by right clicking the region and selecting “Unredact”. If a region is drawn to overlap an existing region they will be combined.

 

To remove all audio from the video click the “Remove All Audio” checkbox under the audio timeline. This will disable the audio timeline control and exported videos will not contain an audio stream.

 

If there is no audio track for the currently loaded file the “Redact Audio” button will be disabled.

 

Exporting Videos

To export a video, select the “Export Video” button in the toolbar or “File->Export Redacted Video” in the application’s menu. The export option is unavailable until either a video or audio redaction operation has occurred. Video files are exported to an mp4 container with H.264 video and AAC audio.

 

Export Options
 

The redaction styles rendered in exported videos can be controlled under the “Export Options” header in the sidebar.

 

  • Outline - An outline will be drawn with the contents fully visible, similar to what is seen when editing. The outline color can be selected.
  • Fill - Similar to the outline option, but the shape will be completely filled with the selection color.
  • Pixelate - A pixelate effect will be used to obscure the redacted regions. There are three levels of ”Redaction Intensity” that can be selected.
  • Blur - A gaussian blur effect will be used to obscure the redacted regions. There are three levels of ”Redaction Intensity” that can be selected. Note: Blur redaction is much slower than the other options and is recommended only for shorter videos.
  • Mosaic - A Voronoi blur effect will be used to obscure the redacted regions. There are three levels of ”Redaction Intensity” that can be selected.


For all redaction types other than outline, ”Redaction Shape” can also be selected, either rectangles as shown in the editor or an ellipse contained within that rectangle.
 

Export Range

 

If only a portion of the source video is desired for export the “Export entire video” checkbox can be de-selected to reveal range selection controls. The current start and end times are shown in the sidebar and indicated on the video seek bar by the colored background.

 

To select a start or end time navigate to the desired video location and click the “Set to current time” link next to the desired choice. This will update the selection indicator on the seek bar and the time shown in the box next to the corresponding option. Clicking one of the time boxes will seek to that point in the video.

 

Obtaining Support

If you would like to contact support, click the round question mark icon at the top-right of the application. A new “Submit Feedback” dialog will appear.

 

  • Enter a short title/subject (e.g. issues with redaction)
  • (optional) Add additional comments
  • (optional) Check the box to “upload my logs”. These are important to help troubleshoot any issues. The log file is text only and does not include any images or video.
  • (optional) Check the box for “Upload my video” to securely upload your video to Sighthound’s servers for review. Typically, there’s no need to do this unless requested by Sighthound’s support team.
  • Enter your email address and click the Submit button.
  • Sighthound will receive your request and reply to your email shortly.
     

If you prefer to skip the above form, you can send an email to [email protected] If you’re having any technical issues, please attach the log file named “main.log” to the email. This file can be found in the application data directory (typically located at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Sighthound Redactor\main.log).

 

 

Backup Scheduling

Regularly scheduled backups of the computer that is running Redactor is highly recommended. At a minimum, the Redactor data folder should be backed up on a regular basis.

 

Redactor data is stored in ‘C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Sighthound Redactor’. The <username> will most likely match the Windows username used to log into the computer. While backing up the data folder will ensure all redaction data (objects, boxes, audio regions) is safe, this will not include copies of the source videos since they are typically loaded from different locations on the user's computer.

 

Note: If multiple Windows users are using Redactor, they will each have their own data folder that should also be backed up.

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