Oftentimes when one is dealing with digital color images it is desired that some sort of image processing be performed on the spatial information. Current methods require that one process each of the channels (also called planes or colors) of an image separately, which increases the number of computations significantly. A novel, to our knowledge, approach to reducing the number of channels in a color image is presented. The channel-reduction process is intended to facilitate such color image-processing situations essentially by the separation of the spectral information from the spatial information, as in a paint-by-numbers picture. In this case the image processing need be applied only to a single channel of data and the color added afterward. With a compression ratio of slightly less than 3:1 the method is not intended to compete with existing compression methods but rather to permit the processing of images in a compressed state.
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