Reverse Image Search has long existed for images. You can use the same technology to find the perfect video clip for your creative video projects. Start now!

Shutterstock’s ongoing efforts to make your creative life easier continue with the launch of reverse image search for video. This new feature empowers you to focus on what matters most — your video projects — by making it faster than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for in our footage library.

This new feature comes from our dedication to making your discovery process more intuitive and efficient. It’s rooted in our history of machine learning experimentation and reverse image search innovation. And we powered it with our custom-built convolutional neural network that lets you execute a search by simply uploading an image instead of typing keywords.

What Is Reverse Image Search and How Does It Work?

Announcing Reverse Image Search for Video — Neural Network
Image via gonin.

Essentially, the “what” and the “how” share the same answer: machine learning. Our neural network studies our library of over 280 million images and more than 15 million video clips. It breaks them down at the pixel level into their principal features. It recognizes what’s inside each and every image — including shapes, colors, and the smallest of details. With every image broken into pixel data, our visually similar search tool offers unparalleled image matching and discovery.

When we rolled out reverse image search for users in 2016, they loved it. They were excited to have a fast, easy alternative to traditional keyword searches that lets them upload an image to find a similar image. In fact, we’ve found that users of reverse image search are over three times more likely to find what they’re looking for than users of keyword searches. That’s why we’re adapting this powerful search technology to work with the unique aspects of video.

How Does Reverse Image Search for Video Work?

Our neural network analyzed every video clip in our library to identify the video preview image and capture the characteristics of the clip. The result: Footage users can upload a photo, frame, or screenshot that illustrates the clip they need. Then, our algorithm provides videos similar in look and feel to the uploaded image.

This is a wonderfully helpful tool for videographers and video editors, as it makes missing shots a thing of the past. Need footage resembling a certain location? Need a scene that features a certain light temperature, wall color, or object? Just show our neural network what you need and reverse search will do the rest.

How Can Reverse Image Search for Video Help You?

Videographers and video editors will find plenty to love about reverse image search for video. It makes matching shots a breeze and helps creatives maintain visual consistency for their clients or for their own brands. Just show our neural network what you need and reverse search will do the rest. Here are three examples of what we mean.

1. Location Recognition

Need footage resembling a certain location? While our algorithm might not necessarily return results featuring an exact location, it can certainly give you plenty of options that capture the same look and feel of your uploaded image. Say you filmed a music video at the beach, but you’re missing a few minutes of usable footage. Once you upload your image, reverse image search for video will return clips of sun and sand to match your own. This makes it easier than ever to complement your existing footage with B-roll, new angles, aerials, slo-mo, static tripod shots, and more.

2. Similarities

Reverse image to video search can help you find footage featuring certain production-based similarities — like clips that share a light temperature or videos that were shot in certain ways, like shallow depth-of-field footage. We know that matching stock clips to the look of your own footage can take a lot of searching and editing. Now compiling the clips you need to build a cohesive story has never been faster, and editing will be more pain-free because stylistic elements like color temperature are already handled.

3. Object Recognition

When you’ve got a client who demands specific objects, shapes, and colors, reverse image search for video can help you nail their request. Capturing an aesthetic, theme, or color scheme is easy, thanks to our neural network’s ability to locate clips featuring objects and tinted shots that match your uploaded example. And, if you have specific subject matter in mind – like a cinematic coffee pour for a café commercial – an image is all you need to start your search.


Using Reverse Image Search for Video

Step 1: On the footage landing page, click the Camera icon in the search bar.

Step 2: Simply drag (or upload) your image into the search field. The second you drop it, the search begins.

Step 3: Check out your instant results and pick your clip.

No matter the clip you need, no matter the composition of your uploaded image — close-up, wide angle, whatever. It’s that easy. Drag, drop, get your clip, and get back to doing the best work of your life. Reverse image search for video is search reimagined and rebuilt — better, faster, stronger, and designed with your workflow in mind.