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What makes a good picture? Reflections on image quality research

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Image quality is a complex and multi-disciplinary field of research. Its applications cover a broad gamut including image engineering, photography, display technology and printing. Image quality is frequently an important consideration in optimizing technologies such as imaging device design, image compression, image encoding, colour management and broadcast transmission.In display and printing image quality plays an important role in design factors such as colour gamut, tone scale, resolution and spatial uniformity.

The paper begins by reviewing the development of image quality concepts from simple engineering measures of fidelity, through attempts to improve these measures by accounting for low level features of the human visual system.

In the case of photographic capture and rendering, the issue of fidelity of the image to the original scene is discussed, taking account of the consequences of colour appearance phenomena and colour preference.

Finally, the relationship between image quality and higher order cognitive factors including naturalness, composition and region of salience are examined.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Started in 2002 and merged with the Color and Imaging Conference (CIC) in 2014, CGIV covered a wide range of topics related to colour and visual information, including color science, computational color, color in computer graphics, color reproduction, volor vision/psychophysics, color image quality, color image processing, and multispectral color science. Drawing papers from researchers, scientists, and engineers worldwide, DGIV offered attendees a unique experience to share with colleagues in industry and academic, and on national and international standards committees. Held every year in Europe, DGIV papers were more academic in their focus and had high student participation rates.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual papers for details.

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