image processing

(redirected from Picture retouching)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical.

image processing

See imaging.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

image processing

[′im·ij ‚prä·ses·iŋ]
(computer science)
A technique in which the data from an image are digitized and various mathematical operations are applied to the data, generally with a digital computer, in order to create an enhanced image that is more useful or pleasing to a human observer, or to perform some of the interpretation and recognition tasks usually performed by humans. Also known as picture processing.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

image processing

Computer manipulation of images. Some of the many algorithms used in image processing include convolution (on which many others are based), FFT, DCT, thinning (or skeletonisation), edge detection and contrast enhancement. These are usually implemented in software but may also use special purpose hardware for speed.

Image processing contrasts with computer graphics, which is usually more concerned with the generation of artificial images, and visualisation, which attempts to understand (real-world) data by displaying it as an artificial image (e.g. a graph). Image processing is used in image recognition and computer vision.

Silicon Graphics manufacture workstations which are often used for image processing. There are a few programming languages designed for image processing, e.g. CELIP, VPL.

See also Pilot European Image Processing Archive.

Usenet newsgroup: news:sci.image.processing.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

image processing

(1) Using an application to improve or alter an image. See paint program, image editor and image filter.

(2) Image processing is an umbrella term for many functions that analyze images or convert one representation of an image into another. Although certain kinds of analog processing were performed in the past, today image processing is done in the digital domain. It is used in many fields, including surveillance, medical imaging, machine vision, robotics, computer-generated imagery (CGI), videoconferencing and satellite data analysis. Image processing is a subset of digital signal processing (see DSP).

Applications that Process Images
Face, fingerprint and iris recognition are image processing applications. A digital camera and scanner convert the view captured by the lens into a digital image file such as a JPEG (see digital camera and image filter). In video playback, the compressed video data are decoded back into full image frames for viewing (see video codec). For display and printing, graphics routines convert the data into the required matrix of pixels for the monitor or dots for the printer (see render). See imaging.

Built-In Image Processing
A system-on-chip (SoC) can be very comprehensive. This block diagram of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 mobile SoC includes image processing circuits (Spectra 380 ISP) along with all the major components required in a modern smartphone.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.