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Proceedings Paper

Transparency and blur as selective cues for complex visual information
Author(s): Grace Colby; Laura Scholl
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Paper Abstract

Image processing techniques are applied that enable the viewer to control both the gradients of focus and transparency within an image. In order to demonstrate this concept, the authors use a geographical map whose features are organized as layers of information. This allows a user to select layers related to a particular area of interest. For example, someone interested in air transportation may choose to view airports, airport labels, and airspace in full focus. Relevant layers such as the roads and waterways are also visible but appear somewhat blurry and transparent. The user's attention is drawn to information that is clearly in focus and opaque; blurry transparent features are perceived to be in the background. Focus and transparency produce effective perceptual cues because of the human eye's ability to perceive contrast and depth. The control of focus and transparency are made accessible through a graphic interface based on a scale of importance. Rather than specifying individual focus and transparency settings, the user specifies the importance of the individual feature layers according to his needs for the task at hand. The importance settings are then translated into an appropriate combination of transparency and focus gradients for the layers within the image.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1991
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1460, Image Handling and Reproduction Systems Integration, (1 August 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.44415
Show Author Affiliations
Grace Colby, Media Lab./MIT (United States)
Laura Scholl, Media Lab./MIT (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1460:
Image Handling and Reproduction Systems Integration
Walter R. Bender; Wil Plouffe, Editor(s)

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