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Proceedings Paper

Preserving natural scene lighting by strobe-lit video
Author(s): Olli Suominen; Atanas Gotchev
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Paper Abstract

Capturing images in low light intensity, and preserving ambient light in such conditions pose significant problems in terms of achievable image quality. Either the sensitivity of the sensor must be increased, filling the resulting image with noise, or the scene must be lit with artificial light, destroying the aesthetic quality of the image. While the issue has been previously tackled for still imagery using cross-bilateral filtering, the same problem exists in capturing video. We propose a method of illuminating the scene with a strobe light synchronized to every other frame captured by the camera, and merging the information from consecutive frames alternating between high gain and high intensity lighting. The motion between the frames is compensated using motion estimation based on block matching between strobe-illuminated frames. The uniform lighting conditions between every other frame make it possible to utilize conventional motion estimation methods, circumventing the image registration challenges faced in fusing flash/non-flash pairs from non-stationary images. The results of the proposed method are shown to closely resemble those computed using the same filter based on reference images captured at perfect camera alignment. The method can be applied starting from a simple set of three frames to video streams of arbitrary lengths with the only requirements being sufficiently accurate syncing between the imaging device and the lighting unit, and the capability to switch states (sensor gain high/low, illumination on/off) fast enough.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9399, Image Processing: Algorithms and Systems XIII, 939919 (16 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2185013
Show Author Affiliations
Olli Suominen, Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Atanas Gotchev, Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9399:
Image Processing: Algorithms and Systems XIII
Karen O. Egiazarian; Sos S. Agaian; Atanas P. Gotchev, Editor(s)

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