Lecture Date: Monday, November 23
For the next few days, we are going to look at the algorithms behind some basic image manipulation.
First thing’s first: we need to know how to load in a picture into our Python programs. We will be using a library called
cImage that was written at Luther College specifically for use in CS 1 courses.
To get started, download these files and move them into your PyCharm project:
We are going to be working mainly with .gif files. If you would like to use something else (like .png or .jpg), you need to install the
pillow Python library. (In PyCharm, open your Preferences/Settings, and use the Project Interpreter screen to install
pillow, just like you did with the other libraries we have used.)
Drawing with Pixels
We started our programming journey by learning to draw pictures with the
Turtle. But what exactly is a “picture” in the context of a computer program?
In effect, it’s a 2D array of pixels.
Well, what’s a pixel?
A pixel is the smallest display element of a picture. It could be dots on your monitor or TV, or how small an ink jet printer can put a dot on your paper (although we still typically call that “dots”). The pixel specifies what color (or components of colors) should be used to display that particular location in accordance with a color model. “Pixel” is short for “picture element.”
Printers (and paints and crayons…) use a subtractive color model. That is, as you add more color (paint), more light is absorbed. Thus, adding in all the colors makes the color black, as shown in the CMYK model below.
However, computer monitors (and all forms of light, like stage lighting) use an additive color model, like RGB.
So, as we add more and more colored lights, we get closer to white, not black!
In RGB, each of the three primary colors (Red, Green, and Blue) can have a value from 0 to 255. This allows for 16,777,216 colors (in theory)!
For example, (255,0,0) is red. But (128,0,0) is also red. It’s just not a “saturated” or bright as the first red. If all three values of , G, and B are the same, you get some shade of gray (or white or black).
Many pixels also have a fourth value - alpha. That tells the pixel how much to blend with any images behind the one that is currently “on top” and about to be drawn.
How many pixels?
It’s a big question when you buy a new camera. “How many megapixels is this thing?”
- An old, standard TV is about 852 x 480 = 400K pixels
- A 1080p HD TV is 1920 x 1080 = 2M pixels
- Many laptop monitors are 1680 x 1050 pixels
- A “retina” MacBook has 2880 x 1800 pixels
- An 8 megapixel camera has 3264 x 2448 pixels
So, why does resolution really matter if the monitors can’t display all that information?
cImage library we will use has several objects in it that we can use to manipulate pictures:
FileImage- creates an image from a file you open
EmptyImage- creates a blank image that you can change
ImageWin- creates a window you can display an image inside
When you make an image you can use the following to manipulate it:
getPixel(col, row)- gets the pixel at that position
setPixel(col, row, pixel)- puts a new pixel at that position
See the example code for more examples!
Here are some example algorithms:
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