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Example of a photograph in JPEG format (24-bit color or 16.7 million colors) before posterization, contrasting the result of saving to GIF format (256 colors). Posterization occurs across the image, but is most obvious in areas of subtle variation in tone.
Posterized photo of a hibiscus.

Posterization or posterisation of an image entails conversion of a continuous gradation of tone to several regions of fewer tones, with abrupt changes from one tone to another. This was originally done with photographic processes to create posters. It can now be done photographically or with digital image processing, and may be deliberate or may be an unintended artifact of color quantization.

Cause[edit]

The effect may be created deliberately, or happen accidentally. For artistic effect, most image editing programs provide a posterization feature, or photographic processes may be used.

Unwanted posterization, also known as banding, may occur when the color depth, sometimes called bit depth, is insufficient to accurately sample a continuous gradation of color tone. As a result, a continuous gradient appears as a series of discrete steps or bands of color — hence the name. When discussing fixed pixel displays, such as LCD and plasma televisions, this effect is referred to as false contouring.[1] Additionally, compression in image formats such as JPEG can also result in posterization when a smooth gradient of colour or luminosity is compressed into discrete quantized blocks with stepped gradients. The result may be compounded further by an optical illusion, called the Mach band illusion, in which each band appears to have an intensity gradient in the direction opposing the overall gradient. This problem may be resolved, in part, with dithering.

Photographic process[edit]

Posterization is a process in photograph development which converts normal photographs into an image consisting of distinct, but flat, areas of different tones or colors. A posterized image often has the same general appearance, but portions of the original image that presented gradual transitions are replaced by abrupt changes in shading and gradation from one area of tone to another. Printing posterization from black and white requires density separations, which one then prints on the same piece of paper to create the whole image. Separations may be made by density or color, using different exposures. Density Separations may be created by printing three prints of the same picture, each at a different exposure time that will be combined for the final image.

Applications[edit]

Typically, posterization is used for tracing contour lines and vectorizing photo-realistic images. This tracing process starts with 1 bit per channel and advances to 4 bits per channel. As the bits per channel increases, the number of levels of lightness a color can display increases.

A visual artist, faced with line art that has been damaged through JPEG compression, may consider posterizing the image as a first step to remove artifacts on the edges of the image.

Posterizing time [edit]

Temporal posterization is the visual effect of reducing the number of frames of video, while not reducing the speed at which it actually plays. This compares to regular posterization, where the number of individual color variations is reduced, while the overall range of colors is not. The motion effect is similar to the effect of a flashing strobe light, but without the contrast of bright and dark. Unlike a pulldown, the unused frames are simply discarded, and it is intended to be apparent (longer than the persistence of vision that video and motion pictures normally depend on). An animated GIF often looks posterized because of its normally-low frame rate.

More formally, this is downsampling in the time dimension, as it is reducing the resolution (precision of the input), not the bit rate (precision of the output, as in posterization).

The resulting stop-go motion is a temporal form of jaggies; formally, a form of aliasing. This effect may be the intention, but to reduce the frame rate without introducing this effect, one may use temporal anti-aliasing, which yields motion blur.

Compare with time stretching, which adds frames.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HDTV World Glossary". CNET Networks. 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 

External links and sources[edit]

  • Source: Langford, Michael. The Darkroom Handbook. New York: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1981. 245-249.
  • Source: Jasc Software. Paint Shop Pro Help, 1998.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterization — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1240 news items

Yahoo Sports (blog)

Yahoo Sports (blog)
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 07:31:24 -0700

But lost in that posterization was the end result of the game itself. While Webber finished with 21 points on 12 shots, six rebounds and four assists — a healthy stat line for someone with four NBA games under his belt — Barkley finished with 36 ...

FOXSports.com

FOXSports.com
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 09:02:42 -0700

There were some pretty good candidates for dunk of the year this season, but Andrew Wiggins decided to blow all of them out of the water (including his dunk on Rudy Gobert) with this posterization of Omer Asik. true ...

Today's Fastbreak (blog)

Today's Fastbreak (blog)
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 07:48:45 -0700

There's truly nothing better than witnessing a posterization, and I've got the supporting evidence to prove it. Part of the awe that's inspired in the viewers of these dunks is the high degree of difficulty involved in pulling them off. It's one thing ...
 
NBCSports.com
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 19:00:33 -0800

Purdue steamrolled NAIA opponent Carroll College (Montana), 90-49, on Friday night in the final exhibition game for the Boilermakers. The highlight of the evening was Jon Octeus' driving by one opponent with an in-and-out move before throwing down a ...
 
NCAA.com
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:48:45 -0800

We've all seen players get dunked on before. Worse, we've also seen some fail when trying to posterize an opponent, where embarrasment quickly goes from the defender to the offensive player. But Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky and Wisconsin-Green Bay's ...

OregonLive.com

OregonLive.com
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:48:45 -0800

Watch: Vince Carter goes vintage Vinsanity with posterization of Rudy Gobert. Vince Carter, Rudy Gobert. Memphis Grizzlies Vince Carter (15) pushes through Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert (27) defense in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec.

The Courier-Journal

The Courier-Journal
Sat, 21 Mar 2015 17:20:06 -0700

So there he was, high above the court and staring in disbelief at the top of another man's head, and the University of Kentucky's resident super hero had time to pause in flight and consider the absurdity of what was about to happen. "I'm looking down ...

USA TODAY

USA TODAY
Fri, 25 Oct 2013 16:36:14 -0700

Remember that time LeBron James crushed everything Jason Terry ever believed in? It looked like this … jamesposter. Yes, LeBron brought the entire world down upon Terry's head on his way to another title with the Heat. Now, the fine folks of Upper ...
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