OpenCV tools

Guide to using Computer Vision algorithms during annotation.

The tool based on Open CV Computer Vision library which is an open-source product that includes many CV algorithms. Some of these algorithms can be used to simplify the annotation process.

First step to work with OpenCV is to load it into CVAT. Click on the toolbar icon, library will be downloaded automatically.

Once it is loaded, the tool’s functionality will be available.

Intelligent scissors

Intelligent scissors is an CV method of creating a polygon by placing points with automatic drawing of a line between them. The distance between the adjacent points is limited by the threshold of action, displayed as a red square which is tied to the cursor.

  • First, select the label and then click on the intelligent scissors button.

  • Create the first point on the boundary of the allocated object. You will see a line repeating the outline of the object.

  • Place the second point, so that the previous point is within the restrictive threshold. After that a line repeating the object boundary will be automatically created between the points.

    To increase or lower the action threshold, hold Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel. Increasing action threshold will affect the performance. During the drawing process you can remove the last point by clicking on it with the left mouse button.

  • You can also create a boundary manually (like when creating a polygon) by temporarily disabling the automatic line creation. To do that, switch blocking on by pressing Ctrl.

  • In the process of drawing, you can select the number of points in the polygon using the switch.

  • You can use the Selected opacity slider in the Objects sidebar to change the opacity of the polygon. You can read more in the Objects sidebar section.

  • Once all the points are placed, you can complete the creation of the object by clicking on the Done button on the top panel or press N on your keyboard. As a result, a polygon will be created (read more about the polygons in the annotation with polygons).

Histogram Equalization

Histogram equalization is an CV method that improves contrast in an image in order to stretch out the intensity range. This method usually increases the global contrast of images when its usable data is represented by close contrast values. It is useful in images with backgrounds and foregrounds that are both bright or both dark.

  • First, select the image tab and then click on histogram equalization button.

  • Then contrast of current frame will be improved. If you change frame, it will be equalized too. You can disable equalization by clicking histogram equalization button again.


Trackers are used to automatically annotate an object on video. The TrackerMIL model is not bound to labels and can be used for any object.

  • Before you start, select the OpenCV tools on the controls sidebar and go to the Trackers tab. Then select a Label and Tracker for the object and click Track. Then annotate the desired objects with the bounding box in the first frame.

    Start tracking an object

  • All annotated objects will be automatically tracked when you move to the next frame. For tracking, use Next button on the top panel or the F button to move on to the next frame.

    Annotation using a tracker

  • You can enable/disable tracking using tracker switcher on sidebar.

    Tracker switcher

  • Trackable objects have indication on canvas with a model indication.

    Tracker indication

  • You can follow the tracking by the messages appearing at the top.

    Tracker pop-up window