This paper aims at showing that performing color calibration of an RGB camera can be achieved even in the case where the optical system before the camera introduces strong color distortion. In the present case, the optical system is a microscope containing a halogen lamp, with a nonuniform irradiance on the viewed surface. The calibration method proposed in this work is based on an existing method, but it is preceded by a three-step preprocessing of the RGB images aiming at extracting relevant color information from the strongly distorted images, taking especially into account the nonuniform irradiance map and the perturbing texture due to the surface topology of the standard color calibration charts when observed at micrometric scale. The proposed color calibration process consists first in computing the average color of the color-chart patches viewed under the microscope; then computing white balance, gamma correction, and saturation enhancement; and finally applying a third-order polynomial regression color calibration transform. Despite the nonusual conditions for color calibration, fairly good performance is achieved from a 48 patch Lambertian color chart, since an average CIE-94 color difference on the color-chart colors lower than 2.5 units is obtained.
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