What Is Video Image Processing?

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  • Written By: Mal Baxter
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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Taking digital signals that form pictures, computers can generate still or moving images for a wide range of purposes. Essentially a sequence of still images, video creates the appearance of moving action. Video image processing refers to the treatment of these digital or analog signals by direct manipulation of the video image itself. It relates to the digitization of visual information using computers.

Two varieties of video image processing can occur: real-time or postprocessing, otherwise known as postproc. Real-time uses can include computer and machine vision, optical sorting, and augmented reality. Processing may also be applied in remote sensing, as well as medical and microscopic applications.

Processing can include brightness and contrast adjustments, as well as color management; it may also comprise a whole range of post-production capabilities and formatting. Additional processes for editing and filtering video make for visually interesting footage and can add production values for amateur and professional movies.

For more real-world applications, video segmenting is a way a computer can track minute changes between still images and center on a moving subject within a frame. This process permits security applications, like monitoring traffic flows or uninvited guests. It even performs duty in intelligent military systems.


The various uses of video image processing can include work in multimedia and communications signal networks, as well as statistical modeling, motion detection, and various other enhancements. Using hardware, software, and algorithms, image and video processing encodes video signals that can later be customized to specific software applications; for example, a desktop video editing suite. An algorithm is simply a precise set of rules that allow software to break larger problems down into smaller flow charts. Powerful mathematical capabilities of a typical desktop computer permit highly complex mathematical processes to be achieved quickly with the click of a button.

For the desktop producer, these capabilities provide Hollywood-style special effects that were once the luxury of well-funded film production crews. Consumer demand for these types of capabilities has created a market for digitally compatible workflows that can take full advantage of these technologies and techniques. Digital equipment typically provides slightly less quality than analog, but greatly enhanced capabilities and compatibilities that handily offset these costs. Going digital permits creative directors power to edit and add preprogrammed and custom special effects with relative ease.

Video image processing may be employed in automated security systems. In this context, the technologies provide a vital component to security network schematics that may also consist of cameras, sensors, and recording equipment. Time-lapse still images and video may also be processed for display or digital transmission to remote devices like smartphones. This can aid in alerting operators to security issues and give them access to video feeds for live security monitoring. Using automated video image processing to alert observers can help ensure a more consistent and responsive security network.


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