Automatic Segmentation and Descreening of Scanned Color Documents

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Printing books-on-demand is a new technology that is revolutionizing the book printing and publishing industry. One of the biggest bottlenecks in this process is the conversion of existing books into digital form. This typically involves digitization of original books through scanning, which is a slow and labor-intensive process. Careful attention must be paid to maintain the quality of the reproduced books and in particular of the images they contain. Halftoned image areas in the original books cause the most reproduction problems, as there is the potential that moiré patterns may form when these image areas are rescreened.

In order to avoid these moiré patterns, it is necessary to detect the image areas of the document and remove the screen pattern present in those areas. In the past, we have presented techniques to perform these operations in the case of grayscale images. In this paper, we extend these techniques to handle color images. We present efficient and robust techniques to segment a color document into halftone image areas, detect the presence and frequency of screen patterns in halftone areas and suppress the detected screens. Halftoned image areas are segmented by using a measure of image activity; image activity is low in text areas and high in halftoned areas. We use 2D Fourier spectral analysis to identify the screen frequencies present. The screens are then suppressed by low-pass filtering.

Our technique speeds up the conversion process of books to digital form, and overcomes quality problems in the reproduction of halftoned images.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.
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