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HP Restores Creased Photos With Flatbed Scanners

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the but-can-they-restore-my-boorish-charm? dept.

Graphics 125

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at HP have developed a technique to detect creases in photographs using standard, unmodified flatbed scanners. Once correctly scanned into a computer, software can determine where the photograph's defect is, and artificially correct it to remove any trace of a crease or fold. The result is a spotless JPEG scan from a creased photo, with absolutely no modified hardware and no technical know-how required on the part of the user." They're using multiple light sources to do this, in a way that reminds me of last year's description of 3D image creation using an ordinary digital camera.

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Nice (4, Funny)

thewils (463314) | about 5 years ago | (#29041435)

A fold-less centerfold :)

Re:Nice (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#29041583)

It makes my blood run cold.

Re:Nice (3, Interesting)

needs2bfree (1256494) | about 5 years ago | (#29041801)

My memory has just been sold.

Re:Nice (2, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 5 years ago | (#29041947)

This will be great for pictures that are old, though not for ones that have been damaged by mold.

Re:Nice (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 5 years ago | (#29042023)

...and it suddenly dawns on everyone exactly why Archon V2.0 failed in his childhood dream to become a lyricist...

Re:Nice (1)

BForrester (946915) | about 5 years ago | (#29042069)

If you might be so bold.

Re:Nice (1)

m3rc05m1qu3 (1611071) | about 5 years ago | (#29042195)

C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER !

Chorus {Repeat 3x} (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 5 years ago | (#29045207)

...and it suddenly dawns on everyone exactly why Archon V2.0 failed in his childhood dream to become a lyricist...

It's okay, we're getting to the part of the thread that doesn't have any words:

"Naah-naah-na-na-na-na, Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-na-na-na-na-na-naaa...."

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043027)

You should have kept those pictures rolled.

Re:Nice (1)

andreyvul (1176115) | about 5 years ago | (#29047273)

Why? So it can be RickUNRolled?

Re:Nice (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042133)

My Angel is a crease-less centerfold

Re:Nice (1)

icemanx8232 (1617037) | about 5 years ago | (#29042003)

haha, gotta dig some up

Re:Nice (1)

fodi (452415) | about 5 years ago | (#29045701)

you mean mod some up... ya digg?

Re:Nice (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 5 years ago | (#29044847)

A fold-less centerfold :)

Does it remove staples as well?

It looks shopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041437)

I can tell by the pixels and stuff.

Quite so... (2, Interesting)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29041741)

From the examples shown in the .PDF [hp.com] it seems that it is once again a case of a quick fix that only works on low-res and low detail photos, preferably in single color.

And for it to work at all, you would need a 2-lamp scanner.
Which are standard, but in high-quality print studios and other places that would do this kind of retouching by hand anyway in order to preserve or achieve better quality of the final product.

Re:Quite so... (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#29042071)

From the examples shown in the .PDF [hp.com] it seems that it is once again a case of a quick fix that only works on low-res and low detail photos, preferably in single color.

That doesn't seem like a terribly bad thing to me. If you were a professional looking for extremely high-quality results, then yes, you're going to want to spend a lot of time screwing around with things manually on each photo. Even if it's a largely automatic procedure, you'll probably still want to tweak the parameters a little for each photo, including things like brightness, contrast, and hue.

However, there's another real-world application for this sort of thing: someone like my grandmother scanning lots of old pictures that may have been folded, crumpled, or otherwise damaged. Even if it's not giving the highest quality results, if the results are at all better than not processing the photo, then it's probably fine. Without automatic quick fixes, people might either scan it and leave the damage, or decide not to scan it at all. Giving even barely passable results is an improvement.

Re:Quite so... (1)

adolf (21054) | about 5 years ago | (#29046243)

My interpretation is different from that:

EVERY bitmap image in the PDF is low-res and lousy in exactly the same way. This is an indicator of what DPI settings were used within Adobe Acrobat when creating the PDF, and not in any way telling of the quality of the original example photos.

Re:Quite so... (2, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29046367)

Which are standard, but in high-quality print studios and other places that would do this kind of retouching by hand anyway in order to preserve or achieve better quality of the final product.

Actually, most images are restored using digital techniques these days, because it can achieve better results than doing it by hand. You'd only do it by hand if you were talking about something like a historical artifact or unique artwork.

Wait, wait (5, Funny)

sottitron (923868) | about 5 years ago | (#29041439)

Won't this ruin my collection of photographs of creased paper?

Re:Wait, wait (5, Informative)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | about 5 years ago | (#29041635)

Won't this ruin my collection of photographs of creased paper?

Actually, no, it won't. Since the method uses different light sources to build a partial 3D model of the actual shape of the crease, your mere photographic creases won't be detected. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

Re:Wait, wait (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#29043745)

Won't this make my hobby of scanning folded pieces of paper harder?

Re:Wait, wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041973)

Won't this ruin my collection of photographs of creased paper?

No, young man...

It will improve them; and repair some of the damage you've caused by "mishandling" them earlier. All that's needed is to repair the initial damage of stapler holes...

But of course, you can move on and download jpegs...

Re:Wait, wait (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29042603)

funniest thing I ahve read on /. in a long time.

Re:Wait, wait (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 years ago | (#29043227)

Origami users beware!

It also fixes the picture (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#29041455)

It lightens the skin of black folks. It sharpens the zits of the chubby white girls. And it advertises for Pedro.

This is magic at its finest!

!unmodified (3, Interesting)

muyla (1429487) | about 5 years ago | (#29041471)

In the article it says that they use an unmodified scanner, but later on they claim to control the lights of the scanner individually... how is this not modifing the hardware?

Re:!unmodified (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 years ago | (#29041521)

Modification implies a hardware change. Using lights individually is simply a new way to use something. Does not imply a hardware change.

Re:!unmodified (2, Informative)

muyla (1429487) | about 5 years ago | (#29041563)

Yeah, but I'm guessing there was no reason for the scanners to come with individual controls for each light before this technology

Re:!unmodified (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 years ago | (#29041753)

There's also no reason for them to include the switches for each light in hardware when they can do it in firmware.

Re:!unmodified (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29046765)

Firmware can only do what the hardware lets it do. There's no reason for them to include two switches for the different lights to be under firmware control! (Why bother, when wiring them in series or parallel will save components?)

The only thing I can think of is that at least one existing scanning mode only uses one of the two lights or something; so there is a reason to physically include the second switch under firmware control.

(In actuality, it looks like the lights aren't under control at all and CNet are stupid. Merely that the shadows from having two lights and then rescanning from different angles gives the 3D clues to the processing program.)

Re:!unmodified (1)

Bat Country (829565) | about 5 years ago | (#29041789)

Contrast control, avoiding light pollution in the sensors when scanning an undersized object, lamp longevity, improved support for scanning coarse film grain photographs, glare reduction on shiny objects...

I could think of a few.

Re:!unmodified (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29041963)

From a different FA: [newscientist.com]

Now Malzbender's team has achieved the same effect using an off-the-shelf flatbed scanner. They rely on the fact that modern scanners use two separate light bulbs. This feature was added to scanners to improve colour quality, but it also lets you capture the image from two different angles. Re-scanning the object after rotating it 90 degrees provides a total of four different angles, more than enough to deduce 3D information about the object - mathematically, you only need three.

To fix old, damaged photographs, the software flags every pixel in the scanned image that isn't lying flat against the scanner, an indication that there is a tear or a fold there. Then it automatically replaces those pixels by copying adjacent ones, smoothing over the damaged region

Re:!unmodified (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044601)

The scanners in question are the HP G4010 and G4050 that are advertised as 6 color scanners while they actually are RGB scanners with two light sources that differ in spectral distribution. The two fluorescent tubes can be switched as single or in combination. This isn't a feature of flatbed scanners in general. All the other flatbeds have either one or two fluorescent lamps with no difference in spectral output. The last with the lamps at the opposite sides of the optical path to reduce shadow/texture effects. It is not unlikely that the same crease imaging and reduction can be done on scanners like that if the driver could switch the lamps individually. Normally the driver can't do that.

Re:!unmodified (1)

do0b (1617057) | about 5 years ago | (#29042173)

From TFA:

Most flatbed scanners use two separate light bulbs to accurately capture all the colour in a photo. By controlling these independently of each other, two slightly different images (each taken from different directions as the bulbs move under the photo) can be captured of the same photograph. From these, rudimentary 3D information can be generated.

great.... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 5 years ago | (#29041501)

nothing worse than scanned centerfold porn. porn-wise, i mean. (:

Re:great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043951)

Then you haven't met gorgor in a fark porn thread, then.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/47680 [userscripts.org]

Not really (5, Insightful)

Radagast (2416) | about 5 years ago | (#29041549)

I was hoping they were using that 3D information to do something interesting to actually restore the image. They're not.

They're basically using rudimentary 3D information that they can get out of the scanner to determine that a crease exists. They then remove it with a simple infill algorithm, which is as basic as it gets (although it often works ok), and which you can find in most image editing software. It's no coincidence that the example image they use has a crease going over mostly similarly colored and low-detail areas.

So what they're doing is not an improvement to restoration, it's just an improvement to defect detection. Basically, it saves you having to tell the software where the defect to be fixed is, the fixing is the same quality as it's always been.

Re:Not really (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29041665)

Could still save some people a lot of money. I did some consulting a while back for a company that, among other things, digitises archives. Libraries send them books and they scan them then manually open each file, draw a line along the curve of the page, and then let the machine deform the image to remove the curve along the line of the text. This step takes several times longer than the scanning phase to do well. If a machine can recognise the creases then they can get rid of the humans in this process and increase their throughput considerably.

Re:Not really (1)

calc (1463) | about 5 years ago | (#29042775)

Just use the Google method, of course there is the little problem of it being patented.

Re:Not really (1)

Bat Country (829565) | about 5 years ago | (#29041821)

If the crease did not destroy image detail (a creased Polaroid instant picture often gets nondestructive creases) this could remove warping and glare problems.

Re:Not really (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#29042153)

So what they're doing is not an improvement to restoration, it's just an improvement to defect detection.

That's still helpful, isn't it? It seems to me that part of the problem with any algorithm to automatically fix photos is that you have to make sure the software knows the difference between a defect and a detail. If it detects what it thinks is a crease or a scratch, but it's really part of the image, it might edit out something you don't want it to.

If the crease destroyed image info . . . (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 5 years ago | (#29041593)

. . . found ONLY along the crease, then they can't interpolate what was there. Period. This is just an improved version of the various touch-up tools in Photoshop etc.

Re:If the crease destroyed image info . . . (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 years ago | (#29041797)

Strictly speaking that's true, although some really smart software could restore the original image with high probability, given that almost all real-world images contain certain predictable elements such as faces, grass, clouds, etc. If I give you a picture of the President's face with a little bit torn out, there are many other images where you can find most of the information that was almost certainly there. Now is it possible something novel was actually happening at that point on his face at the time? Yes, but not very likely.

Other uses for 3D info (4, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | about 5 years ago | (#29041597)

The rudimentary 3D info can be used for improving all sorts of scans.

How about...

- Flattening a scan of a book (by the spine)
- Focusing an area that's raised (products like Focus magic [focusmagic.com] assume a section is all out of focus at the same level, whereas a map of the amount of lost focus is possible here).
- Using the above, scanning non-flat items.
- Scanning nearly-flat 3d surfaces.

Add a lens that can vary focus (based on the light differential) and you'd have a good 3D scanner for one side of a mostly-flat item, and a flatbed scanner that wouldn't lose focus on slightly-raised papers.

Re:Other uses for 3D info (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | about 5 years ago | (#29044403)

The application that comes to mind first for me is using this technique to capture realistic bump maps for use in 3d graphics.

Book valley detection (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 years ago | (#29041685)

What we really need is a copy machine/scanner that can detect the valley formed by the spine of a book being copied and automatically correct for it. That would be worth it.

Re:Book valley detection (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041805)

Xerox did this already a few years back. And Google does it for their book scanning by projecting a laser grid and determining the 3d surface curvature of the book.

Re:Book valley detection (1)

Shadyman (939863) | about 5 years ago | (#29043335)

Epson scanners with DigitalIce do this too.

Re:Book valley detection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044955)

FYI Google's method doesn't use flatbed scanners, they use a camera which is why the laser method works.

This would be more difficult with a flatbed as you couldn't project a laser grid as easily.

Re:Book valley detection (1)

adolf (21054) | about 5 years ago | (#29046009)

Can't? We not?

The scanner itself uses a linear sensor that travels down one axis. Is there any compelling reason why the grid couldn't be projected similarly, one slice at a time, as the scanner moves?

Cuz, I mean: If the scanner can't see the whole grid at the same time, then there's no reason for it to all be present at the same time.

Re:Book valley detection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041975)

What we really need is a copy machine/scanner that can detect the valley formed by the spine of a book being copied and automatically correct for it.

That would be worth it.

DMCA ;)

Re:Book valley detection (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042009)

Atiz makes consumer (simple, cheap) and professional (more options, expensive) software to do this, and they also sell the hardware (though you can just use a scanner or camera+tripod).

It actually works pretty well. The only caveat is that you must frame the photos to meet their specifications (e.g. need a solid background border around the book being photographed). It is also pretty slow to process several hundred pages...

http://snapter.atiz.com
http://www.atiz.com/

Re:Book valley detection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042249)

What we also need is a Press Release detector for Slashdot so advertisements like this don't get posted.

Re:Book valley detection (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29042661)

But, but, but... that would ruin my collection of photos of the valleys of female cleavage and buttocks!

Re:Book valley detection (1)

Frenchman113 (893369) | about 5 years ago | (#29045963)

Why female?

Re:Book valley detection (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29047359)

Ummmm... because I'm not?

Old Idea Rediscovered by HP (1)

mpapet (761907) | about 5 years ago | (#29041689)

Applied Science Fiction was the first company to successfully market this as a 'dust and scratches' solution.

Same idea, taken to a new level. Now, I hope HP's management is smart enough to get out of the way and bring this to market. It should definitely sell a few more scanners.

Lawsuit! I smell lawsuit! (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 5 years ago | (#29042859)

Applied Science Fiction was the first company to successfully market this as a 'dust and scratches' solution. Same idea, taken to a new level. Now, I hope HP's management is smart enough to get out of the way and bring this to market. It should definitely sell a few more scanners.

Quoting a certain Francis Ford Coppola flick -- "I love the smell of (lawsuits) in the morning. You know, one time we had a (HP sued), (logging untold number of billable hours.) When it was all over, I (finally looked) up (the patent.) We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' (violation). The smell, you know that (sulfur) smell, the whole (office.) Smelled like... (heck.)"

The Chudnovsky Brothers: Prior Art? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041719)

reconstructed the warped the Unicorn tapestries [youtube.com] circa 2003.

Patently Yours,
Kilgore Trout

Correction - The Chudnovsky Brothers: Prior Art? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041887)

Make that the Unicorn tapestries [newyorker.com]

Repatently,
KT

Re:The Chudnovsky Brothers: Prior Art? (0)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 5 years ago | (#29042007)

reconstructed the warped the Unicorn tapestries [youtube.com] circa 2003.

Patently Yours, Kilgore Trout

We've been leafrolled!

Heh Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041751)

...he said "crease."

Uses of multiple light sources (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 5 years ago | (#29041771)

Multiple light sources offer some interesting options. A few years ago, someone modified a digital camera (I think a Canon PowerShot) to have four flash sources instead of the usual one. The camera would take four pictures in quick succession, one with each flash. This allowed better edge detection.

It was useful for applications like taking a picture of complex, dirty machinery (as under a car hood) and locating the edges, even where everything was roughly the same shade. It also helped when photographing very shiny objects, where the reflection from the flash was a problem. With each reflection from each flash unit in a different place, all reflections could be removed.

It was too specialized to become mainstream, though. That seems to be the fate of 3D from 2D systems. Good ones have been built [canoma.com] , but most have been either discontinued or turned into very expensive products for specialized use.

Re:Uses of multiple light sources (2, Interesting)

Spy Hunter (317220) | about 5 years ago | (#29043193)

There will soon be much less need for 3D from 2D hacks, because there's a new technology coming that produces 3D pictures directly: Time-of-flight cameras [wikipedia.org] . Today they are really expensive but they're going to become much cheaper very soon. This is what XBox's Project Natal is based on.

Re:Uses of multiple light sources (1)

wwfarch (1451799) | about 5 years ago | (#29043777)

The original work on using multiple flashes for edge detection was done at MIT although I don't recall who it was actually done by. Not long after the paper came out I worked on an implementation of it for an undergrad research project with one of my professors (Chris Brown [rochester.edu] ). We definitely used a canon powershot and built a rig to support the external flashes and microcontroller needed to control the process.

Our particular aim was automating detection and classification of small bombs in natural scenes. These bomblets are huge problems wherever wars are fought as they stick around ready to maim and kill for many years.

This is all so ironic (2, Funny)

vandelais (164490) | about 5 years ago | (#29041773)

since it will restore the upskirt I took of Carly Fiorina that I accidentally creased.

Re:This is all so ironic (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042411)

I don't think that's a crease - women naturally have that.

Re:This is all so ironic (0)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 5 years ago | (#29042555)

That gives me an interesting thought. Will this be able to remove simple wrinkles in people's skin?

I.e. you scan a picture of your grandmother, and all her wrinkles disappear?

Re:This is all so ironic (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | about 5 years ago | (#29042707)

no, but botox can

Re:This is all so ironic (2, Funny)

Eternauta3k (680157) | about 5 years ago | (#29044339)

I believe you'd have to scan her face. Good luck getting her to comply (tell her it's laser surgery!)

Re:This is all so ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042581)

since it will restore the upskirt I took of Carly Fiorina that I accidentally creased.

it will remove her crease!

Re: accidentally creased (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29042723)

Aw, c'mon, admit it: the crease was deliberate because you were trying to spare your eyes and sanity!

Re:This is all so ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043065)

Um, ewwwww.

Britney Spears...sure
Megan Fox...hell yea
Natalie Portman...duh
Carly Fiorina...vomit

sj (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29041813)

A spotless JPEG? :/

Enhance (1)

atramentum (1438455) | about 5 years ago | (#29041949)

[Types random keys] Enhance! [Types random keys] Enhance!

Beer Goggle ware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29042107)

What we need is software that will reproduce the effect of beer goggles. It'd come in handy updating photos of ex girlfriends after men have sobered up and come to their senses.

Re:Beer Goggle ware (2, Funny)

ericski (20503) | about 5 years ago | (#29043107)

Drink more beer. Problem solved.

Other restoration applications? (1)

bitslinger_42 (598584) | about 5 years ago | (#29042113)

I don't have any creased photos that I need to restore, but I've got boxes of matte finish prints that are a pain to scan. I wonder if a similar technique couldn't be used to automatically remove the scanning artifacts (little regularly-spaced crescent moon shapes) from those.

Turn it (1)

kilraid (645166) | about 5 years ago | (#29042267)

Turn the picture around and re-scan, that way you effectively have the light coming from different angles by each scan. No need to modify the scanner.

And exactly who gets this new feature...? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29042783)

Do you suppose HP will be nice consumer-friendly guys and update their PrecisionScan software for previous scanner models? Nope: they'll roll this feature into software that'll only work with new scanners they wanna sell you. So, even though it doesn't REQUIRE new hardware, you can bet they'll figure out how to restrict it so that you still have to buy new hardware in order to use it.

Re:And exactly who gets this new feature...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044659)

I have some questions macraig: It is part of a product line. It is not one product. They sell millions of 10-40 pound devices. Why use the words require or restrict? That is not what is happening. Every company has to do this. Have you heard of Wall Street? Should the company give you free stuff? You could be living in a communist country, though. At which point I have to employ cultural relativity and admit that everyone has a right to a perspective.

Re:And exactly who gets this new feature...? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29047481)

Were you not paying attention? It isn't "part of a product line". It isn't tied to specific hardware at all. It's applicable to virtually any/every scanner. How exactly do you conclude that it's "part of a product line"? I never said nor even implied that HP should give it away: people would gladly pay to buy software with this new technology FOR THEIR EXISTING SCANNERS. Those people would include me.

I used the word "restrict" because I conclude that's exactly what HP is going to do with it. HP won't offer it for sale separately, even though it is in fact separate: what HP will do is restrict it artificially and use it to blackmail and coerce people into buying new hardware they don't need to use the new software. HP already has a history of doing this with their scanning software.

Either get off your Libbie/Cappie high horse and join the real world, or ride off and make dust/FUD somewhere else.

And our local hotel ... (1)

mikael (484) | about 5 years ago | (#29043135)

.. would like to patent the concept of removing the creases from a newspaper by ironing it under a dry towel.

Diffuse light sources for scanning is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043269)

The Spirit Datacine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_DataCine) has used diffuse light sources to "get around" scratches in film for YEARS.

Seriously? JPEG? (1)

Ranzear (1082021) | about 5 years ago | (#29043369)

The result is a spotless JPEG scan from a creased photo

I'm not sure if artifacts and compression are much better than just leaving the crease in the image...

Re:Seriously? JPEG? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#29043789)

Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Really, there is no good excuse to not be using PNG these days.

Re:Seriously? JPEG? (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29046387)

PNG? Don't you mean RAW, PSD or DNG? PNG is useful for things like web distribution, but you wouldn't want to use it as a production format.

Re:Seriously? JPEG? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#29046487)

PNG is lossless but compressed, whereas JPG is lossy and compressed. Apparently these devices arn't already using RAW, PSD, or DNG but rather opting for JPG. If you're going to use a more "common" format like that, it should at least be something that's not nearly so shitty.

Re:Seriously? JPEG? (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29046667)

PNG is lossless but compressed

So is TIFF, plus it has more features than PNG. So, why would I use PNG over TIFF?

If you're going to use a more "common" format like that, it should at least be something that's not nearly so shitty.

What do you mean by "these devices"? A scanner doesn't deliver a JPEG to the computer - it delivers raw data. It's up to the software to save the file in whatever format it supports. And I don't believe I've ever come across scanning software that doesn't support formats other than JPEG, they usually support TIFF and BMP at the very least.

Anyway, JPEG isn't so bad. The compression ratio is excellent, and at higher quality settings, artifacts are largely imperceptible. If small file size is a concern, then JPEG is an excellent choice. And small file size does matter to many users, who send images via email, etc. In fact, it is possible to get better quality out of JPEG at the same file size as a PNG. JPEG's superior compression allows you to save the file at a higher resolution than an equivalent PNG, which cancels out any artifacts.

You called JPEG "shitty." Now that's an over-the-top statement. JPEG is an excellent format, it was nothing short of a revolution when introduced - but it's not intended for every purpose. Just like PNG isn't.

[yawn] (1)

psbrogna (611644) | about 5 years ago | (#29043977)

Scientists invented the wheel too but I don't want to see it posted on Slashdot. Seriously, isn't this really old news? Removing creases in photos was one of the first things I remember everybody doing when scanners went mainstream sometime in the 80'.s

Re:[yawn] (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29046275)

Scientists invented the wheel? I don't think so. It was invented before science.

Doesn't restore photographs (1, Flamebait)

BetterSense (1398915) | about 5 years ago | (#29043999)

This does nothing to restore creased photographs. What it does is scan the photograph, manipulate the digital image obtained, so that you can print out the image onto another piece of paper. This is not restoring the photograph. The photograph still has a crease in it.

As a practitioner of traditional photography, I'm annoyed to no end by people who talk as if the concepts of "photograph" and "image" were one and the same. Photographs are unique physical objects that have mass. Speaking as if photographs are digital images is like speaking as if symphonies are .mp3 files.

Re:Doesn't restore photographs (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29046305)

As a practitioner of traditional photography, I'm annoyed to no end by people who talk as if the concepts of "photograph" and "image" were one and the same. Photographs are unique physical objects that have mass. Speaking as if photographs are digital images is like speaking as if symphonies are .mp3 files.

That's stupid. A traditional print is made from a negative or slide, so by your purist philosophy, restoring the print isn't actually restoring "the photograph." Digital images are photographs and vice versa. What matters is the image, not the medium it is presented on.

Your idea of the photograph would be considered silly and outdated by the photographers of 50 years ago.

Re:Doesn't restore photographs (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | about 5 years ago | (#29047301)

I'm amazed at the confusion over the semantic difference between a photograph and an image, but I point it out in this case because TFS cleary implies that they are restoring creased photographs, when what they are really doing is copying an image of the photograph and manipulating the image. That is noble if you want to save the image; to some people the image is all that matters. But you are not restoring the photograph, and to some people the photograph itself matters.

""A traditional print is made from a negative or slide, so by your purist philosophy, restoring the print isn't actually restoring "the photograph.""

You don't understand the supposed "philosophy" you think I have at all. Restoring the print would be restoring the print. Restoring the image contained on the print would be restoring the image, but it wouldn't be restoring the photograph. TFS uses the term "the photograph" synonymously with "the image contained in the photograph".

Of course traditional photographic prints are photographs; they are usually made by photographing an original camera negative, copy negative, color separation, or something else; they are objects written onto by light, and thus they are photographs. Negatives are also photographs themselves as you pointed out irrelevantly, as are slides or positive Polaroids. The definition of a photograph is very broad, simple and obvious...if an object itself carries an image that was literally drawn with light, that object is a photograph.

Photographs are not images. Photographs contain images. Images are concepts; they are not even objects, have no mass or reality about them and are not photographs. When you look into a mirror and see an image of yourself, that is not a photograph. It is an image, but not a photographic image. When you look through a telescope you see an image, but that's not a photograph image, just an image. When you take a pencil and make a drawing, that is an image, but it's not a photograph. When you look at your computer monitor at any sort of picture, you are viewing an image, but it's not a photograph. Digital images are not photographs any more than drawings or paintings or reflections in mirrors or many other kinds of images are photographs.

It should be clear that digital cameras don't produce photographs considering they don't produce any objects at all...their main advantage over photographic processes is that they can obtain images WITHOUT the trouble of generating a photograph that can get lost, costs money, takes up space, and has to be copied later! They are awesome, efficient imaging devices that read the image that the lens projects onto the sensor and convert it into numbers that represent said image. Those bits represent an image, they encode an image, but they are not, themselves, "a photograph"; the idea itself should be silly.

Now, if you used an inkjet printer to print out a digital negative of that image, you would then have an inkjet print, written by jets of ink; still not a photograph. If you put that negative in a photographic enlarger or copy camera and made a photographic print, that print IS a photograph. A photograph of the digital negative, in fact!

TFS exhibits muddled thinking and equates a photograph with its image with its claims that HP is "restoring creased photographs". They are imaging a photograph and manipulating the image contained on the photograph, but they are not restoring the photograph. The photograph is still creased. Which is the weakness of photography; digitally storing images has many obvious advantages over photographically storing them.

Re:Doesn't restore photographs (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29047255)

P.S:

I probably shouldn't have used the term "purist philosophy" to describe your attitude towards photography in my previous post. Because it is neither pure or philosophy. A more apt description would be "nostalgic shortsightedness" or "ludditism."

The word "photography" at its root, means painting, drawing or writing with light. And "light" is really the key theme, the other root of the word describing "capturing" the light more than anything else. A digital image displayed on a screen that is never printed, fits the definition perfectly, and could be argued to be more "pure" than a print because you are observing the emission of light directly. But I won't argue about purity, because that's a completely irrelevant concept here, as photography was never "pure" to begin with.

I find your attitude to be insulting to photography. What is "traditional photography" anyway? Photography is a science, a craft, and an artform that has always been changing, and always at the cutting edge of technology and culture. Photographers have always been striving for new techniques and tools. To say that there is some "traditional" form that has some kind of purity or superiority to others is ludditism. Do you think that any of the pioneers of traditional photography would shun the digital form, rather than embrace it as a tool?

I say this as a person who has explored your idea of traditional photography for many years, and who still sometimes uses film and darkrooms and cameras that are half a century old. I too, have nostalgia for black-and-white film and beautiful prints. But to say that a digital image is not a photograph, or is some how less worthy, is nonsense.

Why is it that you are so annoyed by people who use "photograph" and "image" interchangeably? They are the same thing. Are you upset by people using language accurately? I think you're suffering from a very misplaced sense of romanticism and nostalgia. That's not good. Imagine if in earlier years, people acted on such romanticism, and decided that the Daguerreotype was the only real photography (it's certainly more "pure" than negatives and prints) and never developed flexible film, 35mm film, rangefinder cameras, SLRs and the like. Where would your traditional photography be now?

Isn't your idea of traditional photography just a bastard stepchild of Daguerre and Talbot? Why aren't you using those metal plates instead of those newfangled films?

Re:Doesn't restore photographs (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | about 5 years ago | (#29047373)

I have no illusions of granduer nor do I feel that photographic processes are better at imaging than digital processes; I'm sorry if you got that idea somewhere. You seem to have your panties in a bunch over the fact that I understand the difference between an image and a photograph. Digital imaging is superior to photographic imaging in countless ways that I shouldn't have to mention; that's why photography is obsolete and digital is taking over everything commercially. Doesn't change the fact that a digital image is not a photograph. You can print a digital image out photographically and obtain a photograph, but that doesn't make the digital image a photograph. You can can take a lens and some light-sensitive material and obtain a photograph of the Grand Canyon photographically; that does not make the Grand Canyon a "photograph". Your assertion that photographs and images are the same thing is groundless and nonsensical.

Re:Doesn't restore photographs (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29047429)

Digital imaging is superior to photographic imaging in countless ways that I shouldn't have to mention; that's why photography is obsolete and digital is taking over everything commercially.

Photography is obsolete? Since when? Digital imaging is photography. Photography is more relevant than ever.

Doesn't change the fact that a digital image is not a photograph. You can print a digital image out photographically and obtain a photograph, but that doesn't make the digital image a photograph.

Where the hell do you get this idea from that a photograph has to be printed on paper? Digital imaging is a photographic process. Nothing about the definition requires the light-sensitive medium to be chemical.

You can can take a lens and some light-sensitive material and obtain a photograph of the Grand Canyon photographically; that does not make the Grand Canyon a "photograph".

What the hell? When did anyone ever say that taking a photograph of an object makes the object itself a photograph?

Your assertion that photographs and images are the same thing is groundless and nonsensical.

No, your assertion that a digital image is not a photograph is groundless and nonsensical. Seriously. Explain to me why a digital image can't be a photograph.

Doctor, doctor, my buttocks are sealed shut! (1)

marciot (598356) | about 5 years ago | (#29047663)

Pervs who sit on scanners/photocopiers to get a picture of their naked butt-cheeks are going to be in for a surprise.

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