20091205

Image processing history: Lena

Image Processing History: Lena Soderberg

I am working in my free time in an image processing related program, and this made me remember when I was taking a course in Signal Processing. One of the standard test images was the one above. Where does this historical image processing snippet come from?

Turns out (wikipedia link) it is a standard folklore image, dating back to the seventies, when a bunch of electrical engineers needed an image satisfying certain signal problems (it is, indeed, an image with a lot of significative details, when compressing, denoising or whatever: the hat, the uniform colour distribution except for a few patches of different color...). They found that month's Playboy magazine there in the shelves, and scanned the picture. And it remains as one of the usual test images, nowadays. A classical image.

If you are interested, the project I was working on was Approximating images with randomly placed translucent triangles. I ended up using this program to get my Christmas postcard for 2009: Evolutionary approximation of a Christmas postcard.

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Written by Ruben Berenguel