Bring Your Photos Closer To What Your Eyes Perceive

August 20, 2012 in Photo and Video (E)

[] Singapore, Singapore - Orasis Imaging has released Orasis 2.0, its brain-inspired photo correction app for iPhone and iPad. The result of academic research, Orasis's main objective is to make your photos look closer to what your eyes perceived at the exact moment your photo was taken. Orasis will make your photos look more realistic, extracting visual information in the dark or bright areas, which was not visible in the original captured image. The name "Orasis" comes from the Greek word Vision.

What is the "sensation of appearance"?
Believe it or not, what we "see" is not just the light which reaches our eyes, but rather, the result of a very complicated spatial processing that the retina and visual cortex apply to the image captured by our eyes. Part of this processing is dedicated to form the sensation of appearance. The sensation of appearance determines how much dark or light are the objects that we perceive, what is their exact shade and their level of details.

What do cameras capture?
Cameras capture just light. As a result, photographs may differ significantly from the images that we perceive. Humans can perceive many more details in the shadows or bright areas, while, most of the time, captured photographs suffer from considerable loss of visual information in these regions. This discrepancy is much more obvious in the following three cases:

1. People/objects in front of backlight
2. Photos taken with a flash, in a dark background
3. Overall high-contrast scenes

Not convinced yet?
Make the following experiment! Use your camera or iPhone/iPad to take a picture of your window across the room, during the day. Turn off any lights. Point your camera in a way, as to capture partially the window and partially the room and then take a photo. Observe it carefully, looking at the real scene and back to your captured photograph. The dimmer the ambient room light is, the greater the discrepancy you will see.

What exactly does Orasis do?
Orasis attempts to bridge the gap between "what you see" and " the camera's output". Orasis enhances the shadow or the bright regions of an image, while keeping intact all the correct ones. The final result is a lot closer to the human perception of the scene, than the original captured image, revealing visual information that otherwise wouldn't be available to the human observer.

Orasis' algorithm is the result of years of academic research in the field of biologically-inspired image processing, and has been published in peer reviewed scientific journals. It combines the shunting characteristics of the ganglion cells of the retina, as well as, the filling-in mechanisms of the visual cortex, into an efficient spatially-processing algorithm. This means that Orasis does not globally transform the whole image, but rather locally, according to its contents. This is a major difference with other existing enhancement applications, which usually increase image brightness globally, and thus, improve some regions while deteriorate others. When pressing the "Auto" correction button, a neural network, which has been trained using psychophysical data from many observers, selects the most appropriate parameters in order for the corrected photograph to approximate, as close as possible, the image as seen by your eyes. Since however, photography is also a matter of personal taste, controls are provided for any additional manual adjustment.

So, what should you expect from Orasis?
Orasis will make your photographs look closer to what you see with your eyes, compared to what they originally looked like, when they were captured by the camera. This means that, you should not always expect "WOW" results, since there are cases where captured photographs are a quite accurate representation of what we see. These kinds of photographs are usually taken indoors, in a uniformly well lit room, without any shadows or strong light sources in the picture. In these cases, Orasis does not change the captured images significantly.

However, in cases where shadows, strong light sources (e.g. the sun), camera flash, or generally, high contrast imaging conditions are present, Orasis can significantly improve your captured images. More specifically, it will lighten all the dark areas, such as shadows or dark backgrounds caused by camera flash, and at the same time it will darken all the unnaturally bright areas, equalizing the appearance of the image and making it look "more natural". Most important though, it will do so without compromising local contrast (e.g. object details) and without affecting all the good image regions.

What you should not expect from Orasis:
Orasis is not an HDR software. It does not take multiple photographs of the same scene and combine them into one final image. Although its results can be similar to some HDR applications, Orasis uses only a single image. This can be a major advantage in many cases. With Orasis you can capture moving objects (e.g. a car) and have at the same time high quality images, whereas with HDR applications you can capture only still scenes, since you have to take multiple photos. On the other hand, the results of Orasis are bounded by the quality and the range of visual information contained in the one captured image. Particularly, image regions which are totally white, due to their very strong brightness during capturing, contain absolutely no visual information, and thus, cannot be corrected by Orasis or any other image processing software.

Supported Languages:
* English, Chinese, French, German, Greek and Spanish

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.1 or later
* 9.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Orasis 2.0 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo & Video category.

Orasis Imaging is a newly founded company which is specialized in Biologically Inspired Image Processing and more particularly in Image Enhancement. It consists of people with extensive academic background in traditional image processing and computer vision, as well as, visual neurosciences. Copyright (C) 2012 Orasis Imaging. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.