VFRAME is a collection of open-source computer vision software tools designed specifically for human rights investigations that rely on large datasets of visual media.

Current Research and Prototypes

  • Synthetic Data
  • Using 3D modeled scenes to build synthetic training datasets for objects in conflict zones
  • Scene Summarization
  • Content-based scene summarization to find the most representative frames in videos
  • Munition Detector
  • Training object detection algorithms to locate illegal munitions


Human rights researchers often rely on videos shared online to document war crimes, atrocities, and human rights violations. Manually reviewing these videos is expensive, does not scale, and can cause vicarious trauma. As an increasing number of videos are posted, a new approach is needed to understand these large datasets.

VFRAME is currently working with Syrian Archive and Yemeni Archive, organizations dedicated to documenting war crimes and human rights violations, to develop computer vision tools to address these challenges.

VFRAME is developing computer vision tools to process million-scale video collections, scene summarization algorithms to reduce processing times, object detection models to detect illegal munitions, synthetic datasets to train object detection models, a visual search engine to locate similar images of interest, and an custom annotation system to create training data. Read more

Funding and Awards

Ars Electronica 2019 Award of Distinction
Nominated for 2018 European STARTS Prize in Science, Arts, and Technology
VFRAME awarded grant from PrototypeFund.de to develop image training datasets for conflict zones
Funding for VFRAME during 2018 - 2018 has been provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBF