Annotation Studio Basics
  • 07 May 2023
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Annotation Studio Basics

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  • PDF

Article Summary

As a broad and highly customizable platform, Dataloop has built-in annotation-studio for image, video, audio, text, documents and Lidar. However our team is always working on introducing new ones, and we've even made it possible for our customers to build their own. We therefore follow a certain template for our annotation-studio, to make it easy to switch between them and quickly get familiar and become highly productive.

  • Left side panel- defines the annotation context with selection of labels (setting the currently active-label) and annotation-tool. The available labels and tools are determined in the Recipe.
  • Right side panel- Controlling and managing annotations with annotations list and attributes controls (when attributes are set in the Recipe)
  • Top panel- item & work controls, such as detailed info, keyboard shortcuts, brightness/contrast settings etc.
  • Bottom panel - Assignment controls, including moving between items, displaying the item gallery and the status buttons (Complete / Discard).

Annotation Context

Label Selection

Scroll and click a label to activate it. Use the search bar to easily find labels.

Resize the label list to better fit your number of labels by clicking and dragging the separator line.

Annotation Tools

By default, the first tool in the list will be selected. To activate a different tool, click on the available tools in the list.

Tool Controls

Selecting a tool will automatically display its specific settings, providing access to enhanced functionality.

Right-Panel - Annotations List, Attributes & Modalities

The annotations list displays all annotations added to the item. The list has many features, enabling efficient work even with dozens and hundreds of annotations.

Annotation Selection


Selecting an annotation from the list allows you to apply operations, and reflects in having their controller turned ON over the image/video. The list enables 2 selection modes:

  • Single Selection - click anywhere on an annotation to have it selected, replacing aby previous selection you may have had.
  • Multiple Selection - use the checkbox to add annotations to your selection.

Action Buttons


Hover over annotations to see related action buttons:
- Change annotation label
- Toggle annotation visibility
- QA Flow controls - Create an 'Issue', or flag an issue as 'For review'.

Grouping Modes


By default, the annotation list will show all annotations as they are created, listed one after the other. After 15 annotations the list will automatically collapse to group-by-label mode, to save on load. Users can click the group-by button to toggle between the list and group-by-label and group-by-source (with confidence level for automated annotations[model/bot]) modes.

Annotations Filter


  • Select tools you’d like to filter out of the annotations list
  • When in QA tasks or fixing issues, the filter allows you to filter annotations with issues and with ‘for review’ status, to accelerate work

Sorting the Annotations List


Click on the arrows icon to sort your annotations on either Ascending or Descending by:

  • Created date (default)
  • Update Date/time
  • Tool (by ABC)
  • Label (by ABC)

Advanced Search Box


Type in the search box to have the annotations list content show only annotations that match the search criteria. Search can be done in every aspect of the annotations:

  • Tool - type in the tool name like BOX or POINT.
  • Label - type in any label from the recipe.
  • Creator - enter the name of the annotations creator to see only related annotations.

Focus Mode


Click on the icon to filter out any “out of view” annotations from the list when zooming or panning.

Right Panel - Attributes

Setting Attributes


When attributes are defined in the recipe, and annotation is selected (annotation is also selected immediately after it’s created) the attributes section will be visible, allowing the user to set them.
The attributes section starts with the first ‘section’ open with its attributes/answers.

  • Select the attributes relevant to the object
  • Click the chevron to close the section - selected attributes are shown
  • Click the chevron to open the next attribute section, and repeat until completing all attributes.
  • Skipping a ‘mandatory’ attribute will show a yellow flag, to highlight it for the user

Reviewing Attributes


  • Annotations with attributes will be marked with an 'A' sign, hover over it to see the attributes. For mandatory attributes, the 'A' will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Click on the 'A' button on the bottom left to toggle the display for all of the annotation's attributes on the canvas.

Working with Modalities

Modalities in the annotation-studio are deveral files layered on top of each other, usually to show the same file using different sensors. For example a dron capturing both RGB color image of the surface, together with night-vision image.
Annotators can toggle the opacity (visibility) of the additional layers over the main file item

  1. Switch to the ITEM tab, where the modalities module is located.
  2. Toggle the visibility of every layer by clicking the visibilty icon.
  3. Use the slider to adjust the opacity level to achieve the view you require.

Layers visibility and opacity levels are saved between items - when working on a project with data from the same sensors, it is usually enough to adjust it once in a while.

Item Info & Controls (Top Panel)

From left-to-right, the top panel provides the following controls:

  1. Undo-redo - applicable for all actions performed directly over canvas when creating or updating annotations.
  2. Item description - Add/edit the item description
  3. Item info - Details and enables copying item related information and context such as File-name, item path, dataset ID and more.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts - shows the keyboard shortcuts applicable to the current annotation-studio.
  5. Adjustments
    1. Opacity
    2. Brightness
    3. Contrast
    4. Border thickness

Opacity, brightness and contrast are only supported for images up to 8192 px (either width or height)

  1. Work settings - Various options for annotators to toggle and tune their work, such as
    1. Keep zoom and position - when moving between items, especially frame snapshots out of video files
    2. Pixel measurement - Shows the pixel length value for Box, Polygon and Polyline tools.
    3. Pixel smoothing - smoothes the display of pixels when viewing low-resolution images at high zoom
    4. Cross grid - provides a cross-grid for the mouse cursor, a tool that may assist in achieving higher annotation accuracy
    5. Coordinate - displays the mouse coordinates over the item when hovering it
  2. PDF - Open/close the PDF instructions document, when it is set from the Recipe page.

Assignment Context (Bottom Panel)

  1. Browse between the assignment items using the Left and Right arrows
  2. Open the Thumbnails gallery viewer, click a thumbnail to open that item
  3. Save button - Clicking the button when it is enabled triggers saving changes to the Dataloop platform before the auto-saving feature takes care of that.
  4. Status buttons - Complete and Discard

Work Controls (Bottom Panel)

From left-to-right, work controls at the bottom panel delivers the following functionality:

  1. Zoom control - Small steps using the (+) and (-) buttons
  2. Zoom reset
  3. Attributes control -Toggles On/Off attribute-details visibility over the item, next to each annotation