Animated character detection (preview)

Azure Video Analyzer for Media (formerly Video Indexer) supports detection, grouping, and recognition of characters in animated content via integration with Cognitive Services custom vision. This functionality is available both through the portal and through the API.

After uploading an animated video with a specific animation model, Video Analyzer for Media extracts keyframes, detects animated characters in these frames, groups similar character, and chooses the best sample. Then, it sends the grouped characters to Custom Vision that identifies characters based on the models it was trained on.

Before you start training your model, the characters are detected namelessly. As you add names and train the model the Video Analyzer for Media will recognize the characters and name them accordingly.

Flow diagram

The following diagram demonstrates the flow of the animated character detection process.

Flow diagram


Depending on a type of your Video Analyzer for Media account, different feature sets are available. For information on how to connect your account to Azure, see Create a Video Analyzer for Media account connected to Azure.

  • Trial account: Video Analyzer for Media uses an internal Custom Vision account to create model and connect it to your Video Analyzer for Media account.
  • Paid account: you connect your Custom Vision account to your Video Analyzer for Media account (if you don’t already have one, you need to create an account first).

Trial vs. paid

Functionality Trial Paid
Custom Vision account Managed behind the scenes by Video Analyzer for Media. Your Custom Vision account is connected to Video Analyzer for Media.
Number of animation models One Up to 100 models per account (Custom Vision limitation).
Training the model Video Analyzer for Media trains the model for new characters additional examples of existing characters. The account owner trains the model when they are ready to make changes.
Advanced options in Custom Vision No access to the Custom Vision portal. You can adjust the models yourself in the Custom Vision portal.

Use the animated character detection with portal and API

For details, see Use the animated character detection with portal and API.


  • Currently, the "animation identification" capability is not supported in East-Asia region.
  • Characters that appear to be small or far in the video may not be identified properly if the video's quality is poor.
  • The recommendation is to use a model per set of animated characters (for example per an animated series).

Next steps

Video Analyzer for Media overview