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Proceedings Paper

People first: separating people from background in digital photographs
Author(s): Mihai Ciuc; Adrian Capata; Adrian Zamfir; Alexandru Drimbarean; Eran Steinberg
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Paper Abstract

Extracting people from background in digital photography is a task of great importance, with many applications for digital cameras. Yet, the task poses a number of challenging technical problems to be tackled. In this paper we propose a novel technique for people extraction from background which is both accurate and of low computational complexity therefore amenable to be embedded in digital cameras. The proposed technique uses frames from the camera live view mode (called previews) (now widely available in digital cameras and even in the latest DSLRs) in conjunction with the flash. The basic principle of the method is to acquire two images of the same scene, one with flash and the other without. The use of preview images over two captured images makes the solution easily embeddable in digital cameras. In the proposed setup, in daylight conditions, the flash is triggered at the time of the penultimate preview image. The mask of the subject is then computed based on the intensity difference between the last two previews. For night scenes, where the flash power is required for the acquisition of the actual picture, the subject is detected based on the intensity difference between the final image downsampled to the size of the preview and the average of the last two previews. Additional problems posed by this setup, e.g. misalignments, false positives, incomplete subject map, are also addressed. The resulting foreground map is further used to obtain a narrow depth-of-field version of the initial photograph, by keeping the foreground unaltered while blurring the background.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7250, Digital Photography V, 72500O (19 January 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.805316
Show Author Affiliations
Mihai Ciuc, Tessera Romania (Romania)
Univ. Politehnica Bucuresti (Romania)
Adrian Capata, Tessera Romania (Romania)
Adrian Zamfir, Tessera Romania (Romania)
Alexandru Drimbarean, Tessera Ireland (Ireland)
Eran Steinberg, Tessera (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7250:
Digital Photography V
Brian G. Rodricks; Sabine E. Süsstrunk, Editor(s)

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