Abstract

We present an image processing method for nondirectional edge extraction/enhancement. The method is based on the capability of twisted-nematic liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) to traduce the image information in changes of the state of polarization of the light, which allows us to generate simultaneously a “positive” and a “negative” (i.e., contrast-reversed) replica of the digital image displayed on the LCD. The negative image is low-pass filtered in a novel polarization-selective 4f optical processor. When the smoothed negative image is imagined together with the original image, an image with nondirectional edge enhancement is obtained. Unlike other Fourier methods presented in the literature, the proposed technique provides a simple way to control the relative amount of high frequencies present in the final image. The proposed method does not involve numerical processing, and, thus, it could be a useful tool for edge extraction/enhancement in large images in real-time applications. Validation experiments are presented.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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