Define the term ‘image processing’ and list its main steps?

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Image Processing

In imaging science, image processing is processing of images using mathematical operations by using any form of signal processing for which the input is an image, a series of images, or a video, such as a photograph or video frame; the output of image processing may be either an image or a set of characteristics or parameters related to the image. Most image-processing techniques involve treating the image as a two-dimensional signal and applying standard signal-processing techniques to it. Images are also processed as three-dimensional signals where the third-dimension being time or the z-axis.

Image processing usually refers to digital image processing, but optical and analog image processing also are possible. Image processing is a method to convert an image into digital form and perform some operations on it, in order to get an enhanced image or to extract some useful information from it. It is a type of signal dispensation in which input is image, like video frame or photograph and output may be image or characteristics associated with that image. Usually Image Processing system includes treating images as two dimensional signals while applying already set signal processing methods to them. The acquisition of images (producing the input image in the first place) is referred to as imaging.

It is among rapidly growing technologies today, with its applications in various aspects of a business. Image Processing forms core research area within engineering and computer science disciplines too. Closely related to image processing are computer graphics and computer vision. In computer graphics, images are manually made from physical models of objects, environments, and lighting, instead of being acquired (via imaging devices such as cameras) from natural scenes, as in most animated movies. Computer vision, on the other hand, is often considered high-level image processing out of which a machine/computer/software intends to decipher the physical contents of an image or a sequence of images (e.g., videos or 3D full-body magnetic resonance scans).

In modern sciences and technologies, images also gain much broader scopes due to the ever growing importance of scientific visualization (of often large-scale complex scientific/experimental data). Examples include microarray data in genetic research, or real-time multi-asset portfolio trading in finance.

Image processing basically includes the following three steps:
  1.  Importing the image with optical scanner or by digital photography.
  2. Analyzing and manipulating the image which includes data compression and image enhancement and spotting patterns that are not to human eyes like satellite photographs.
  3. Output is the last stage in which result can be altered image or report that is based on image analysis.

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