Image blurring effects due to depth discontinuities: blurring that creates emergent image details

Thang C. Nguyen, Thomas S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new model (called multi-component blurring- or MCB) to account for image blurring effects due to depth discontinuities is presented. We show that blurring processes operating in the vicinity of large depth discontinuties can give rise to emergent image details, quite distinguishable but nevertheless unexplained by previously available blurring models. In other words, the maximum principle for scale space1 does not hold. It is argued that blurring in high-relief 3D scenes should be more accurately modelled as a multi-component process. We present results from extensive and carefully designed experiments, with many images of real scenes taken by a CCD camera with typical parameters. These results have consistently supported our new blurring model. Due care was taken to ensure that the image phenomena observed are mainly due to de-focussing and not due to mutual illuminations2, specularity3, objects' 'finer' structures, coherent diffraction, or incidental image noises4. We also hypothesize on the role of blurring on human depth-from-blur perception, based on correlation with recent results from human blur perception5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-698
Number of pages10
JournalImage and Vision Computing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • active vision
  • depth-from-blur
  • human blur perception
  • incoherent imaging of 3D scenes
  • multi-component image blurring (MCB)
  • point-spread functions (kernels)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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