Retinex Image Processing--Publications--IEEE Trans IP 07/1997

A Multi-scale Retinex for Bridging the Gap between Color Images and the Human Observation of Scenes

Daniel J. Jobson, Zia-ur Rahman, and Glenn A. Woodell

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, Vol. 6, No. 7, July 1997


Direct observation and recorded color images of the same scenes are often strikingly different because human visual perception computes the conscious representation with vivid color and detail in shadows, and with resistance to spectral shifts in the scene illuminant. A computation for color images which approaches fidelity to scene observation must combine dynamic range compression, color consistency---a computational analog for human vision color constancy---and color and lightness tonal rendition. In this paper, we extend a previously designed single scale center/surround retinex to a multi-scale version that achieves simultaneous dynamic range compression/color consistency/lightness rendition. This extension fails to produce good color rendition for a class of images that contain violations of the gray-world assumption implicit to the theoretical foundation of the retinex. Therefore we define a method of color restoration that corrects for this deficiency at the cost of a modest dilution in color consistency. Extensive testing of the multi-scale retinex with color restoration on several test scenes and over a hundred images did not reveal any pathological behavior.

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