This reading is also available in PDF.
Summary: We examine the building blocks of one of the common kinds of algorithms used for RGB colors: Generating new colors from existing colors.
We have just started to learn about images and colors, and so the operations we might do on images and colors are somewhat basic. How will we expand what we can do, and what we can write? In part, we will learn new Scheme techniques, applicable not just to image computation, but to any computation. In part, we will learn new functions in the DrFu library that support more complex image computations. In part, we will write our own more complex functions.
So, what kinds of things might we do with images? One common algorithmic approach to images is the construction of filters, algorithms that systematically convert one image to another image. Complex filters can do a wide variety of things to an image, from making it look like the work of an impressionist painter to making it look like the image has been painted onto a sphere. However, it is possible to write simple filters with not much more Scheme than you know already.
Over the next few readings and labs we will consider filters that are constructed by transforming each color in an image using an algorithm that converts one RGB color to another. In the first RGB lab, you began to think about such algorithms as you computed the pseudo-complement of an RGB color or varied the components of the color. In this reading, we will consider the basic building blocks of filters: DrFu's basic operations for transforming colors and the ways to combine them into more complex color transformations. In the next reading, we will see how to use those transformations to transform whole images. After that, we'll explore how you write new transformations.
Rather than writing every transformation from scratch, we will start with a few basic transformations that DrFu includes.
The simplest transformations are
rgb.lighter. These operations make a color a little bit
darker and a little bit lighter. If you apply them repeatedly, you can
darker and darker (or lighter and lighter) colors.
> (define sample (cname->rgb "blue violet")) > (rgb->string sample) "159/95/159" > (define darker-sample (rgb.darker sample)) > (rgb->string darker-sample) "175/111/175" > (define lighter-sample (rgb.lighter sample)) > (rgb->string lighter-sample) "143/79/143" > (define doubly-darker-sample (rgb.darker (rgb.darker sample)))
In addition to making the color uniformly darker or lighter, we can also
increase individual components using
> (define sample (cname->rgb "blue violet")) > (rgb->string sample) "159/95/159" > (rgb->string (rgb.redder sample)) "167/95/159" > (rgb->string (rgb.greener sample)) "159/103/159" > (rgb->string (rgb.bluersample)) "159/95/167"
rgb.rotate procedure rotates the red, green, and blue
components of a color. It is intended mostly for fun, but it can also
help us think about the use of these components.
> (define sample (cname->rgb "blue violet")) > (rgb->string sample) "159/95/159" > (rgb->string (rgb.rotate sample)) "95/159/159"
rgb.phaseshift procedure is another procedure with less
clear uses. It adds 128 to each component with a value less than 128 and
subtracts 128 from each component with a value of 128 or more. While this
is somewhat like the computation of a pseudo-complement, it also differs
in some ways. Hence, DrFu also provides an
procedure that computes the pseudo-complement of an RGB color.
Now that we know some basic transformations to apply to colors, we can use those
transformations in a variety of ways. First, we can use it to change one pixel in an image. How? We get the color of the pixel, transform it, and then set the color of the pixel. For example, here's how we might phase shift the top-left pixel in the image called
in an image.
> (image.set-pixel! landscape 0 0 (rbg.phaseshift (image.get-pixel landscape 0 0)))
What if we instead wanted to make pixel at (3,2) a bit redder? We'd write something like the following.
> (image.set-pixel! landscape 2 3 (rgb.redder (image.get-pixel landscape 2 3)))
How about if we wanted to darken the top-left pixel of a different image,
portrait? It would be much the same.
> (image.set-pixel! portrait 0 0 (rgb.darker (image.get-pixel portrait 0 0)))
As we just noted, each of these examples is quite similar. The examples
differ in the image, the position, and the transformation, but the rest
of the code is the same. (For example, we need to call both
image.get-pixel in the
same way.) We also see ourselves duplicating a lot. In each case, we
need to write the name of the image twice and the position twice.
As you might guess, having to repeat the same information again and again
often leads to errors.
When computer programmers realize that they are writing nearly
identical expressions again and again and again, they tend to write new
functions that encapsulate the common portions. Many call this process
refactoring. The designers of DrFu certainly expected people
to change pixels, and did so themselves. To help programmers, they
refactored the code and devised a more concise way to change a pixel,
which they called
(image.transform-pixel! image column
row transformation). Hence, to do the same three
operations given above, using
we would write the following.
> (image.transform-pixel! landscape 0 0 rgb.phaseshift) > (image.transform-pixel! landscape 2 3 rgb.redder) > (image.transform-pixel! portrait 0 0 rgb.darker)
This code is certainly a bit more concise, and perhaps even easier to
understand. However, behind the scenes, it does exactly the same thing
that the previous code. (We'll see how one might write
image.transform-pixel! in a later lesson. For now, accept
that it's been written and does the same thing as the earlier code.)
Is there anything surprising about the
procedure? We hope you won't find it surprising, but some of you who
have programmed before may note something a bit puzzling - We've made
one procedure (
rgb.darker) a parameter to another procedure
image.transform-pixel!). Not all programming languages
permit you to make procedures parameters, but those that do can help
you write more clearly and concisely, as in this example.
If you think back to the beginning of this reading, you may recall that we
suggested that one reason to learn to transform colors is that by transforming
colors, you can also build filters. Do we have enough information to write
a filter for a four-by-three image? Certainly. Suppose we wanted to compute
the complement of this image. We could write a sequence of calls to
(image.transform-pixel! canvas 0 0 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 0 1 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 0 2 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 0 3 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 1 0 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 1 1 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 1 2 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 1 3 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 2 0 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 2 1 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 2 2 rgb.complement) (image.transform-pixel! canvas 2 3 rgb.complement)
That's certainly an awful lot of typing, even for a small image. Still, it's all we know how to do right now. In the next reading, we'll consider some disadvantages of this technique and learn how to get DrFu to automatically figure out all of the calls for an image.
So, what should you take away from what we've just learned? You now know a few new functions in DrFu, particularly functions that transform colors. You've now learned about a technique that computer scientists use, refactoring, which involves writing new functions that encapsulate common code. (You have not yet learned how to write these refactored procedures.) You've seen that Scheme permits procedures to take other procedures as parameters, and that this permission supports refactoring.
Immediately, knowing the particular transformations will be helpful. In the future, knowing about refactoring and knowing how to use procedures as parameters will be even more helpful.
I usually create these pages
on the fly, which means that I rarely
proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details.
It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for
more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.
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