Phineus Tutorial

Opening Images

The first step in finding matches for fins is to open an image or group of images. One way to do this is to pick the Open button. Navigate to the directory the images are in and pick the files you want to work with. To select a group of files, pick on the first file and scroll to the end of the list. While holding down the shift key, pick on the last file. This should hilight the entire group of files. Then pick the Open button. The program should then display the first image underneath the data fields and will show you how many images are open in the progress area next to the toolbar.

Alternately, you can use My Computer to track down the files you wish to open. Drag a file or group of files from My Computer on to the image display area under the data fields. See the open topic for more ways to open files.

Zooming and Panning

While examining an image or marking it up, it's often useful to be able to magnify a portion of it to see more detail. To zoom, press and hold the left mouse button on the area of interest. While holding the button, drag the mouse up to zoom in or down to zoom back out. Use the same method to pan around on the image, but start out by first dragging the mouse to the left or right. Once you've started dragging, you can move the image around to the desired location.

With the picture you have open, try zooming and panning it. When you want to flip back to the full view, click the right mouse button and choose Full View. Note that you can zoom or pan at any time, even while marking up the picture.  You can zoom on the any of the images that are displayed, which is useful for making sure all the notches match.


You markup a picture to help the program identify potential matches. The information it needs is where the top and bottom of the fin are and the size and location of the notches. With some images, there's a very obvious line where the dorsal fin meets the body. But on others, that line may not be as clear. In that case, make your best guess - you may even need to zoom out and draw the line off the edge of the picture. Note that this line doesn't need to go the full length of the fin - it simply needs to mark the position and orientation of the bottom.

With a picture open, pick the Markup button. Click the left mouse button on where you feel the bottom of the fin is. Move the mouse to another point on the line and click again. There should be a white line along the bottom of the fin and you should be dragging around a small white line. Move the mouse to the top of the fin, positioning the line tangent to the top, and click the left mouse button to place the line.

Next you will need to mark the size and position of the notches. Each notch is marked by a simple (elliptical) arc. This doesn't capture the full shape of all notches, but does give the location and general size.

While drawing notches, you can zoom in or out at any time to help you more accurately place the arc. When you've located a notch, click the left mouse button on one side of the notch, move to the other side then click again. Now as you move the mouse you should see it change the arc while keeping the endpoints fixed. Move the mouse until the arc is the same general length as the notch and click the button again. After finishing one notch, you can continue marking other notches.

The Display button on the toolbar turns on or off display of the markup, but you generally won't have to do this because it is usually turned on and off automatically at the appropriate time. Display is turned off when you're looking at the results of a find operation and back on when you start marking up an image.

Finding a Match

When you have finished marking up the image, click the Find button. The program will attempt to find other pictures that are close to it. If it doesn't find anything, it will report this and you can continue on to the next image. It will display all the potential matches on the right half of the window. If this is the first time you've done a find this session, it will prompt you to enter your name in the Checker field.

Now you can scroll through the images to try to identify an actual match. If you find a match, pick on the image then pick the Mark toolbar button. If the images are from different days and neither one has been named yet, it will then prompt you to enter a new name. If one image is already named, it will inform you that it is assigning the given name to the other image. If the images are unnamed and from the same day, it will assign a temporary name to the images to help track them.

Alternate Ways of Finding Matches

There are other methods you can use to find a match also. The View menu contains several show options that allow you to display multiple images in the results area of the program. You can bring up a list of all the named dolphins and display all the images of a given name or group of names. You can bring up a list of all the dates that have images and have it display all the images from the desired dates. Or you can have it display images from selected categories.

The category option can be used exactly as the existing categories are (i.e. number of notches, chop top, etc.). In fact, if desired, you can skip using markup completely and just use categories. This allows you to immediately gain the benefits of being able to view possible matches more quickly than with printouts, being able to dynamically zoom in on the images you're comparing, and have new images automatically added to the list of possible matches for subsequent searches

To use categories, as you check a new image, pick which category or categories it's in. Then pick Show by Category from the View menu. From here you can pick which categories you want to display in the results area. If OR is selected, it will display all images that are in at least one of the selected categories. If, for example, you're unsure whether the current image has one or two notches, you can pick both categories so that all images with one or two notches will be displayed. If AND is selected, all results will be in each of the categories you select. So, for example, you can display all images that have a top notch and winter fungus. When you identify a match, click on the match then choose mark to mark them as a match.