Hi - I am new to Lightroom. I have thousands of pictures of my kids from sporting events that I would like to sort by player number because some pictures they are facing away from the camera. I also want to be able to give their friends parents a zip drive or dvd of the pictures I have taken over the years as a graduation gift. Is there a way, similar to facial recognition, that I can automate that task? Or should I be using different software to do that? Thanks in advance!
There currently aren't any great solutions for automating the recognition of numbers on players jerseys. My Any Vision plugin uses Google's Cloud Vision to recognize text in photos, but Google is far from perfect -- it sometimes recognizes the numbers, but often does not (its quality seems to vary month-by-month). But when it does recognize a number, it's rarely wrong. So you might try using Any Vision to make a first pass, and then do a manual pass over those photos still missing a number. (I've surveyed many other recognition plugins and and don't know of any that will recognize text, but there may be some new ones.)
You can make the manual pass go much faster with keyboard shortcuts. With the current photo showing in Loupe view, place the cursor in the Metadata-panel field where you're entering player numbers (e.g. Title). Enter the number(s) for the current photo and then type Cmd/Ctrl + right-arrow. That will move to the next photo, keeping the text cursor in the Title field.
Once you have the player numbers in a text field (e.g. Title), you can filter them by a particular player number by using the Library Filter bar or smart collections: