How to search for unknown artwork. (& How to do mass searches!)

edited July 2017 in Tutorials
This is a guide on how to search for artwork that you don't know the source of. I will be discussing how to do so normally and then how to do so by a mass search. (The adding of images to the tutorial has been delayed!)

Note: Currently the mass search method only works for desktop/laptop devices including PC, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Basic Method
1) Download the card images you want to search for from their card pages.
2) Crop the image within the portion of the card containing the artwork by using a photo editor.
3) Save the new image.
4) Open Google Images and select "search by image". (The camera symbol!)
5) Select the new saved image from your computer.
Result: The google search engine will now display the best sources based on things such as image size/quality and source. Generally your image will be hosted on multiple sites, so you can pick and choose your source.

Setting Up The Mass Search Method (Once only!)
This method uses GIMP since it is available for free.
1) Download GIMP.
2) Download the "export-layers.scma" file.
3) Paste the "export-layers.scma" file into the directory "C:\Users\{Account Username}\.gimp-2.8\scripts".
3a) Use your user name from your computer for "{Account Username}".
3b) The drive letter "C:" is replaceable by wherever your Local Disk is, otherwise known as your main drive.
3c) The location of where you downloaded GIMP may vary and may be under a different version name. Although this is the usual location.
4) Open GIMP and follow the steps below to confirm the installation is successful.
Check: Open any image, then confirm you have the option "Layers" in the "File" tab. It should be below the option "Export As".

Mass Search Method (This example uses GIMP!)
This method uses GIMP since it is available for free. If you use Google Chrome as a browser, it's even more efficient.
1) Download all card images into a single folder.
2) Open GIMP.
3) Select "Open as Layers" in the "File" tab.
4) Select your downloaded images.
5) Highlight the selection within the artwork area of the card.
Note: This will affect each of the images/layers so there's no need to worry.
6) Select "Crop to Selection" in the "Image" tab.
7) Select "Layers" in the "File" tab. (The new option we added!)
8) Save the new images in a separate folder.
If using Google Chrome, do the following. (This way is quicker for multiple files!)
9) Open the folder of the new images in your browser.
10) Open a file, then right-click on the image.
11) Select "Search Google for image".
If not using Google Chrome, do the following.
9) Open Google Images and select "search by image". (The camera symbol!)
10) Select one of the new images from your computer.
Note: At the moment Google Images only lets you do this for images individually.

Hopefully this has been helpful. If you have any questions or feedback in regards to this tutorial, please leave a comment or send a PM to the user @modnation675


  • edited July 2017
    May you look over this tutorial to make sure I haven't missed any major aspects? I have tested the methods and they do work.
  • Is GIMP (Bring out the Gimp) viable for Mobile applications? I know a lot of our users are exclusively on Mobile devices, and that might be their biggest question when considering using GIMP (bring out the Gimp) to perform any mass searches they might be considering.

    Everytime I see the word GIMP, I hear "Bring out the Gimp" in my head!
  • edited July 2017
    No, I don't think it is. But I'm looking for options on mobile and I'll post a comment when I can say if there are alternatives or not. For the mean time, I'll update the tutorial above with a note.

    It's mainly difficult since each mobile device could use different app stores and/or operating systems. But this method does work on PC, Mac and Linux!

    Mobile devices tend to not be able to do forms of automation. But we'll see! (Generally the rule is anything on a Desktop/Laptop can't be done on mobile properly. Not literally, just figuratively!)
  • edited July 2017
    I've been looking, but I'd have to do some testing to see how to install a script like this on the unofficial mobile GIMP apps. So I'm just seeing if any mobile apps have this feature built-in instead.

    I'm currently looking to see which options are available, but I'm not familiar with the mobile photo editing space. Therefore this tutorial will be desktop based for now!
  • Wow, this is going to be very helpful. Thanks modnation675!
  • For those on mobile who (for whatever reason) can't use Google's reverse search, the website tineye is also useful.
  • edited July 2017
    We were referring to cropping multiple images at once. Given the method I posted above you can do over 200+ images in a minute. Then most artwork is located on DeviantArt or ArtStation which makes it much quicker finding the appropriate site.

    Although I do see what you mean in regards to google images search.
  • edited July 2017
    No problem, I'm willing to help users if they need it. But I'll be offline for a bit though as I'm binging The End Is Nigh. (Super Meat Boy Successor!)

    Edit: It's a good game but it's got issues due to not using a timer like Super Meat Boy.
  • Art enthusiasts would be wise to check out this Magic artist's YouTube account:
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