Paper Presentation & Seminar On "DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING"

Over the past dozen years forensic and medical applications of technology first developed to record and transmit pictures from outer space have changed the way we see things here on earth, including Old English manuscripts. With their talents combined, an electronic camera designed for use with documents and a digital computer can now frequently enhance the legibility of formerly obscure or even invisible texts. The computer first converts the analogue image, in this case a videotape, to a digital image by dividing it into a microscopic grid and numbering each part by its relative brightness.

Specific image processing programs can then radically improve the contrast, for example by stretching the range of brightness throughout the grid from black to white, emphasizing edges, and suppressing random background noise that comes from the equipment rather than the document. Applied to some of the most illegible passages in the Beowulf manuscript, this new technology indeed shows us some things we had not seen before and forces us to reconsider some established readings.


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