Image enhancement

The term ‘image enhancement’, or ‘image editing’, refers to techniques used to improve the appearance of digital, as well as analogue, images. Both raster and vector files can be manipulated using specialist software.

Changes to colour, contrast, sharpness and brightness can be applied to the entire image, or to a selected portion, to obtain the desired effect. Graphics programs usually contain a marquee or lasso tool for this purpose, and some are able to select an area of the same colour.

An important part of image enhancement is resizing an image to fit a particular space, enable it to be printed, or reduce the size of the file. It is often preferable to make any changes to a larger version of the image first, before reducing it to a smaller size, to include more detail. Image size can also be reduced using the cropping tool, which cuts out the desired portion of the image and discards the surrounding area. Similarly, the orientation of an image can be changed by flipping or rotating it.

Another method for editing images is to remove any unwanted elements. This can include ‘noise’, for example dust or scratches.

Sometimes an image can be edited by merging or superimposing another image onto the original file.

Image enhancement also incorporates the addition of special effects, such as distortion and skewing.

Often, layers can be used, which act in the same way as placing acetate sheets on top of each other. Layers can be shown or hidden, and a change to one layer does not affect the rest of the image.

Related methods include: 2D Modelling – raster, 2D Modelling – vector, Image manipulation, Image restorationand Image segmentation.

tool: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is an editor for still images. It is equipped with a diverse range of processing tools, enabling users to create or modify content through the use of drawing tools, filters, or other plug-ins.
Methods relating to this toolCategory
2d graphic designPractice-led research
2d illustrationPractice-led research
2d modelling - rasterData structuring and enhancement
2d modelling - vectorData structuring and enhancement
2d scanning and photographyData capture
3d graphic designPractice-led research
3d modelling - interactiveData structuring and enhancement
3d modelling - vectorData structuring and enhancement
3d modelling - vectorPractice-led research
3d scanningPractice-led research
Graphical interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Graphical renderingData structuring and enhancement
Image enhancementData structuring and enhancement
Image feature measurementData analysis
Image manipulationPractice-led research
Image restorationData structuring and enhancement
Image segmentationData analysis
PhotogrammetryData structuring and enhancement
PhotographyPractice-led research
PhotomontagePractice-led research
VisualisationData analysis
Lifecycle stage:
Alternate tool(s):

GraphicConverter, 36-image converter

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