Image melding: Combining inconsistent images using patch-based synthesis

ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH'12) , 31(4), August 2012.

Publication date: August 5, 2012

Soheil Darabi, Eli Shechtman, Connelly Barnes, Dan Goldman, Pradeep Sen

Current methods for combining two different images produce visible artifacts when the sources have very different textures and structures. We present a new method for synthesizing a transition region between two source images, such that inconsistent color, texture, and structural properties all change gradually from one source to the other. We call this process image melding. Our method builds upon a patch-based optimization foundation with three key generalizations: First, we enrich the patch search space with additional geometric and photometric transformations. Second, we integrate image gradients into the patch representation and replace the usual color averaging with a screened Poisson equation solver. And third, we propose a new energy based on mixed L2/L0 norms for colors and gradients that produces a gradual transition between sources without sacrificing texture sharpness. Together, all three generalizations enable patch-based solutions to a broad class of image melding problems involving inconsistent sources: object cloning, stitching challenging panoramas, hole filling from multiple photos, and image harmonization. In several cases, our unified method outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods specifically designed for those applications.

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