Colour-Science Intelligent Image Enhancement (i2e) technology

 

Introduction

 

The analysis and the processing of digital images is the core competence of Colour-Science. Since more than 20 years we develop image processing algorithms for the imaging industry. The most important technology Colour-Science has developed is a fully automatic enhancement of digital images. This Technology is today used in many photo labs and in many high end imaging devices.

 

The i2e image enhancement technology is enhancing digital images by software. Most producers of imaging devices like digital cameras or printers concentrate on enhancing the image quality using new and better hardware. Better optics, higher image resolution or more ink jet nozzles. Today however, the hardware is so good that the possible quality improvement becomes smaller and smaller. Image enhancement by software however can make a big visual difference and it is cheap compared to hardware improvements.

 

Download the Color-Science Power Point technology overview (CS_Technology.zip 66Mb).

 

Compare the image enhancement performance of i2e with 4 other (XE847, Perfectly Clear ...) competitive automatic image enhancement systems with the freeware PhotoPerfect Express. >>> Comparison

 

Possible applications

Inkjet photo printers

For Inkjet printers the image enhancement could be implemented in the printer driver. Most printer producers still think that it is sufficient to print a most accurate reproduction of a “bad” photo. But for the consumer this is not the goal. If he has taken an image on a gray day he wants to have his print look the best possible. If possible he wants to look it better then reality. This is what i2e can do for him and this makes the difference to the output from other printers.

Digital cameras

The image enhancement software can be inside the camera or in the download software. This is an easy and cheap way to increase the image quality of a digital camera. Even with the latest high end models the increase in quality is considerable.

Film scanners

Statistical image enhance­­ment and conversion raw -> 8bit for high speed film scanners. Most of those film scanners are used in production lines where photo-cd’s are produced from silver halide color film.

High speed photo printers

Image enhance­ment for high speed silver halide photo printer. Several manufacturer of printers use i2e to enhance the images before printing.

 

Digital minilabs

We have several OEM minilab manufacturers using our i2e library already in their minilabs

Photo kiosks

On photo kiosks i2e allows an automatic or a fast one touch image enhancement before printing your images. This is one of the most interesting markets for image enhancement. We have several kiosk manufacturer using i2e.

MMS image printing

Cell phone cameras become more and more popular. In most cases the image quality of these devices is not really good. Image enhance­ment can increase the image quality of these devices considerably without increasing the cost of the capture device.

Imaging software

Several imaging software titles use i2e as a way to let users enhance their images without work.

Digital television

The ClearVision concept is the idea to use these highly developed techniques from photo printing to enhance the image of modern digital televisions (LCD, plasma or beamer). The quality gain is much higher then it would be possible by enhancing the image with a better LCD/Plasma display or other hardware.

In fact many consumers today choose their TV in a store by comparing the image quality of all exposed TV’s. In this case image enhancement could definitely be the visible difference for a consumer to trigger his buying decision.

 

Digital video camera

Image enhancement of course not only works for still images but it can also be used to enhance digital video streams. The quality gain is much higher then it would be possible by enhancing the video camera hardware.

 

 

Image enhancement features:

 

The following overview shows you the different enhancement stages which are active inside i2e

 

·           ABE    The Adaptive Brightness and Contrast Enhancement will stretch the histogram of the image and apply a gamma density correction.

·           ACE    The Adaptive Color Enhancement corrects even non linear color casts of the image.

·           SHE    The Shadow and Highlight Enhancement will show details in the shadows of dark or contrasted images. In the highlights it will accentuate details to prevent saturation.

·           MCE   Memory Color Enhancement will locally enhance important colors. Memory colors are for example skin tones, vegetation green and sky blue.

·           GSE    Global Sharpness Enhancement is an advanced unsharp masking which prevents edge overshot.

·           LSE    Local Sharpness Enhancement will sharpen only parts of the image. For example vegetation is more sharpened then sky to prevent the apparition of pixel noise in the sky.

·           LNR    Local Noise Reduction will remove pixel noise from the image.

·           ARER  Automatic Red Eye Reduction using face detection technology to minimise errors

·           ANR   Anisotropic Noise removal will remove pixel noise from the image.

·           ICC    ICC profiling provides the tools to apply ICC profile conversions to the images.

 

 

If you want to see yourself how i2e can improve then you can download Image Editor. The software is fully functional for 20 days.

 

Image Editor download link:

http://www.colour-science.com/IE/ImageEditorSetup.exe

 

Show sample images (120kb PDF file) >>>

 

Show comparison with Photoshop 7 "auto level" image enhancement (820kb PDF file) >>>

 

To learn more about color management and image enhancement in digital photo-printing workflows download the following is&t paper: IS&Tpaper (pdf) >>>

 

Sample images

 

Example of Shadow Enhancement (SHE)

The details of the dark background of this flash exposure is brightened.

Example of Memory Color Enhancement (MCE)

The color of the vegetation green is changed to a more pleasant green.

The skin color is made warmer and more naturally.

Example of Memory Color Enhancement (MCE)

The color of the vegetation green is changed to a more saturated green.

The greyish sky blue is made more saturated. This is how people wish to see their holiday memories.

Example of Shadow Enhancement (SHE) combined with Memory Color Enhancement (MCE)

The dark trees are made brighter and the green is corrected to a more saturated and pleasant green.

Adaptive Brightness and Contrast Enhancement (ABE)

The greyish winter image is enhanced both in contrast and brightness.