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Image processing refers to the steps an image goes through before reaching completion. In fields such as professional photography and advertising, image processing might describe the editing and image segmentation a photograph or illustration goes through before it conveys the proper effect. When this term is used in fields such as robotics or computer science, however, it is often used to describe computer vision, a process through which a computer recognizes real world images. Most image processing courses are part of academic programs. They may also be part of professional development programs, however, which are designed for active professionals who want to learn about new technologies and practices.
When image processing courses are taken by creative professionals who would like to work in photography or design, they can be housed in either graphic design or art schools. Courses introduce students to methods for improving the resolution and overall appearance of a picture. They also teach students how to modify images to better convey certain messages. For example, an aspiring creative advertising professional might learn how to emphasize ideas common in marketing.
It is also common to find image processing courses that teach students how to use prominent software. Students learn to operate workflow and editing software. Individual classes might correspond with specific software products.
When image processing courses are focused on computer vision, they are usually held in computer science or computer engineering schools. Students who take these classes focuses on complex mathematics, such as linear algebra, and on computer modeling. These tend to be upper level courses for students who already have strong backgrounds in related fields.
In all image processing fields, technology tends to develop quickly. For this reason, professionals commonly attend classes and seminars that allow them to keep up with new developments. These image processing courses are commonly offered by professional associations. In some cases, they provide training an individual needs to earn certification. They also act as opportunities for people to network with other established professionals.
Online image processing courses are popular among students who are busy with full time jobs and other obligations. One benefit of online courses is that they are often more flexible than conventional classes since they normally don't meet at set times. Students can engage in classwork whenever they have spare time. One common downside of online image processing courses is that students might not have opportunity to train on oftentimes expensive and complex equipment. Low residency courses, on the other hand, offer courses that meet online and on campus, so students get some hands-on training.