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IBM Files Patent to Resize Images Without Artifacts

IBM claims to have found a method to increase or decrease the size of digital images better than it is possible today with traditional techniques such as nearest neighbor, bilinear or bicubic resizing.

Even the most sophisticated image editing software does not provide perfect solutions to increase or decrease digital image sizes. Making images smaller results in loss of detail as pixels are eliminated; and an increase, which requires the addition of detail, relies on predictive methods that are rather crude today. With the nearest neighbor interpolation, the software simply adds pixels of the same color, which preserves detail, but impacts smooth shapes.

Bicubic resizing delivers much smoother lines, but quickly drifts into blurring and ugly artifacts. Much more elaborate methods, such as fractal analysis, require enormous computing resources that are generally not practical in consumer applications. In order to address these and other problems, the present invention provides a method and system for resizing a digital image.

According to IBM, there is another image analysis method that can deliver better results than current resizing techniques. The idea is to stretch or shrinks the image along the horizontal and vertical dimensions using two separately calculated scaling vectors, resulting in a scaling matrix.

IBM says that the technique delivers greater accuracy and quality than current methods as missing pixels are not just created from their neighboring pixels or interpolated, but predicted using spatial and frequency transformation of complete rows and complete columns that does not create jaggedness, artifacts or any other aliasing.

The patent did not mention any products this technology will be used in, but hopefully it won't be long before we see it.

  • lahawzel
    "Much more elaborate methods, such as fractal analysis, require enormous computing resources that are generally not practical in consumer applications."

    Isn't this exactly what Perfect Resize does? I have it as a Photoshop plugin and I am able to upscale images to many times their original size and maintain sharp edges with no artifacting. It's pretty fast, too.

    That being said, props to IBM for continuing to actually innovate and push for technological advancement in this day and age. Unlike a certain company that wastes resources patenting ultra-wide touchpads.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    I wonder if they got this idea from CSI. They seem to be able to pick up a reflection off of someone's eyeball from a camera phone 3 blocks away and just click a couple of buttons and get your license plate #. So Life imitating art I guess.
    Reply
  • freggo
    Could there be a Photoshop plugin in the future?
    I'd have a use for this for a number of daily tasks if it
    indeed works better than current resizing methods.
    Reply
  • Parsian
    there is so much one can learn from noise that why noise is so interesting, you can pull a lot of hidden information from noise.
    Reply
  • lahawzel
    shin0bi272I wonder if they got this idea from CSI. They seem to be able to pick up a reflection off of someone's eyeball from a camera phone 3 blocks away and just click a couple of buttons and get your license plate #. So Life imitating art I guess.
    Image upscaling algorithms, no matter how good they get, cannot produce information that is not in the original material. If the entire license plate is only 30-ish pixels in area in the photograph you are processing, it's going to upscale to unintelligible mixes of color, no way around it.

    It's the same with image upscaling; it'll give you a bigger version of the original image, but details not visible in the original image won't be shown in the resultant picture. The SCP-191 testing log from the SCP Foundation, despite being a humor site, explains succinctly why things like Zoom & Enchance, Uncrop, and Rotate Camera don't work.
    Reply
  • freggo
    shin0bi272I wonder if they got this idea from CSI. They seem to be able to pick up a reflection off of someone's eyeball from a camera phone 3 blocks away and just click a couple of buttons and get your license plate #. So Life imitating art I guess.

    As much as I like the CSI/NCIS type shows (having worked in a LAB many years ago myself) but their frequent use of the image 'enhancement' from crappy security footage is getting a bit old.
    It's like the airplane scenes where an engine sputters and the plane immediately goes into a screaming nose dive; which, as a pilot myself, I can assure you is NOT what happens :-).


    Reply
  • Parsian
    freggoAs much as I like the CSI/NCIS type shows (having worked in a LAB many years ago myself) but their frequent use of the image 'enhancement' from crappy security footage is getting a bit old.It's like the airplane scenes where an engine sputters and the plane immediately goes into a screaming nose dive; which, as a pilot myself, I can assure you is NOT what happens :-).
    lol they extremely over estimate the gravity thats why the plane goes down like a delta function
    Reply
  • lamorpa
    LaHawzelImage upscaling algorithms, no matter how good they get, cannot produce information that is not in the original material...Humor upscaling algorithms, no matter how good they get, cannot produce comprehension that is not in the original viewer...
    Reply
  • CSI should file the patent first. HAHAHA.
    Reply
  • serendipiti
    wonder if they are using some kind of fractal compression and decompression to the desired image size. Since fractal compression is somehow lossy (being the good part that you know the amount of loss) seems ironic that an aproximation is the more acurate way (like series in maths?)
    Reply