“Image inpainting” by Bertalmio, Sapiro, Caselles and Ballester

  • ©Marcelo Bertalmio, Guillermo Sapiro, Vincent Caselles, and Coloma Ballester




    Image inpainting



    Inpainting, the technique of modifying an image in an undetectable form, is as ancient as art itself. The goals and applications of inpainting are numerous, from the restoration of damaged paintings and photographs to the removal/replacement of selected objects. In this paper, we introduce a novel algorithm for digital inpainting of still images that attempts to replicate the basic techniques used by professional restorators. After the user selects the regions to be restored, the algorithm automatically fills-in these regions with information surrounding them. The fill-in is done in such a way that isophote lines arriving at the regions’ boundaries are completed inside. In contrast with previous approaches, the technique here introduced does not require the user to specify where the novel information comes from. This is automatically done (and in a fast way), thereby allowing to simultaneously fill-in numerous regions containing completely different structures and surrounding backgrounds. In addition, no limitations are imposed on the topology of the region to be inpainted. Applications of this technique include the restoration of old photographs and damaged film; removal of superimposed text like dates, subtitles, or publicity; and the removal of entire objects from the image like microphones or wires in special effects.


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