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Proceedings Paper

Digital camera auto white balance based on color temperature estimation clustering
Author(s): Lei Zhang; Peng Liu; Yuling Liu; Feihong Yu
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Paper Abstract

Auto white balance (AWB) is an important technique for digital cameras. Human vision system has the ability to recognize the original color of an object in a scene illuminated by a light source that has a different color temperature from D65-the standard sun light. However, recorded images or video clips, can only record the original information incident into the sensor. Therefore, those recorded will appear different from the real scene observed by the human. Auto white balance is a technique to solve this problem. Traditional methods such as gray world assumption, white point estimation, may fail for scenes with large color patches. In this paper, an AWB method based on color temperature estimation clustering is presented and discussed. First, the method gives a list of several lighting conditions that are common for daily life, which are represented by their color temperatures, and thresholds for each color temperature to determine whether a light source is this kind of illumination; second, an image to be white balanced are divided into N blocks (N is determined empirically). For each block, the gray world assumption method is used to calculate the color cast, which can be used to estimate the color temperature of that block. Third, each calculated color temperature are compared with the color temperatures in the given illumination list. If the color temperature of a block is not within any of the thresholds in the given list, that block is discarded. Fourth, the remaining blocks are given a majority selection, the color temperature having the most blocks are considered as the color temperature of the light source. Experimental results show that the proposed method works well for most commonly used light sources. The color casts are removed and the final images look natural.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 November 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7850, Optoelectronic Imaging and Multimedia Technology, 78502J (10 November 2010);
Show Author Affiliations
Lei Zhang, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Peng Liu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Yuling Liu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Feihong Yu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7850:
Optoelectronic Imaging and Multimedia Technology
Toru Yoshizawa; Ping Wei; Jesse Zheng; Tsutomu Shimura, Editor(s)

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