One of the first times I ever encountered video and image processing was in a
semester project at my fourth year of studying. The aim of the project was to design
a system that automatically located the center and size of mushrooms in an image.
Given this information a robot should pick the mushrooms. I was intrigued by the
notion of a “seeing computer”. Little did I know that this encounter would shape
most parts (so far) of my professional life.
I decided to study video and image processing in depth and signed up for a master’s
program focusing on these topics. I soon realized that I had made a good choice,
but was puzzled by the fact that the wonders of digital video and image processing
often were presented in a strict mathematical manner.While this is fine for hardcore
engineers (including me) and computer scientists, it makes video and image processing
unnecessarily difficult for others. I really felt this was a pity and decided to
do something about it—that was 15 years ago.
In this book the concepts and methods are described in a less mathematical manner
and the language is in general casual. In order to assist the reader with the math
that is used in the book Appendix B is included. In this regards this textbook is selfcontained.
Some of the key algorithms are exemplified in C-code. Please note that
the code is neither optimal nor complete and merely serves as an additional input
for comprehending the algorithms.
Another aspect that puzzled me as a student was that the textbooks were all about
image processing, while we constructed systems that worked with video. Many of
the methods described for image processing can obviously also be applied to video
data. But video data add the temporal dimension, which is often the key to success
in systems processing video. This book therefore aims at not only introducing image
processing but also video processing. Moreover, the last two chapters of the book
describe the process of designing and implementing real systems processing video
data. On the website for the book you can find detailed descriptions of other practical
systems processing video: http://www.vip.aau.dk.
I have tried to make the book as concise as possible. This has forced me to leave
out details and topics that might be of interest to some readers. As a compromise
each chapter is ended by a “Further Information” section wherein pointers to additional
concepts, methods and details are given.
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