## Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I wrote a bit ago about using a webcam as an analog-to-digital converter. The really quick hack I put together used Octave's built-in edge() function, which outputs a black and white image of the edges.

A little bit better result can be had with Python's Imaging Library. Here's the basic script to read in the image, calculate the x and y derivatives for the red, blue and green channels, and then set the gray level in the output image to the magnitude of the derivative.

# takes two arguments, input image file, output image file
import sys
import math
import Image

img = Image.open( sys.argv )

w, h = img.size

outimg = Image.new("L",img.size)

x = 2;
y = 2;
for y in xrange(2,h-1):
for x in xrange(2,w-1):
rdx = ( inpix[x+1,y] - inpix[x-1,y] )/2
gdx = ( inpix[x+1,y] - inpix[x-1,y] )/2
bdx = ( inpix[x+1,y] - inpix[x-1,y] )/2
rdy = ( inpix[x,y+1] - inpix[x,y-1] )/2
gdy = ( inpix[x,y+1] - inpix[x,y-1] )/2
bdy = ( inpix[x,y+1] - inpix[x,y-1] )/2
outpix[x,y] = math.sqrt( rdx*rdx + gdx*gdx + bdx*bdx + rdy*rdy + gdy*gdy + bdy*bdy );

outimg.save(sys.argv,"JPEG")

The resulting gray image looks a lot better than the black and white version generated with Octave (because we aren't throwing away so much information from the original image). 