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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> jpeg artifact removal?
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12/02/2002 02:08:41 AM · #1
since i like to get the official word on things before i get in trouble for using them, is the jpeg artifact removal filter legal?

i was under the impression it was not, but i see photos now and then that really look like they have used this filter. ...and it would be REALLY help full to those of us who have really crappy cameras.

for instance, my camera allows me to take pictures in a 1280x960 format, which is what i use standard. i compared a picture taken at 640x480 and a picture taken at 1280x960 and resize, and the 1280 was MUCH more clear.

well, even those are compressed all to hell by camera. i've even tried pulling images in manually, straight off the card in there, and the quality increase is so minimal you can't even tell, and jpeg artifacts are still rampant. so the compression takes place within my camera.

this a completely automatic cheapo camera. nothing like iso, aperature, focus, or exposure can be controlled.

now, normally none of this bothers me. i wanted a cheapo camera because of there kind of results, actually. but it results in a low score here. especially in the case of the jpeg artifacts.

so is there anyway i can legally clean up artifacts?

and i'm too broke right now to buy a new camera.
12/02/2002 02:19:03 AM · #2
I think you'll have to wait a week for the revised site launch. I've taken the liberty of copying the following, which was posted in another thread by Manic:

OK, time to clarify things a bit. The new rules will permit the use of "filters", but will not permit the use of "effects filters". Below is a quote from the (provisional) new rules regarding this:


The use of filters (or non-Photoshop equivalent) is strictly limited. Any filter or stand-alone utility designed and used to preserve the integrity of the image and/or reduce the effects of noise, scratches, etc, are permitted. These include but are not limited to the Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and Dust & Scratches filters, and standalone image cleanup utilities such as NeatImage. However, no effects filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian blur, the two of which are allowed. Any filter permitted by this rule must be applied uniformly to the entire image. Selective application of the filter is prohibited.

However, please note that the above rule may be subject to changes before the new site is launched.


* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 2:17:37 AM.
12/02/2002 02:50:16 AM · #3
anyone know any tricks for removing artifacts legally?
12/02/2002 05:09:03 AM · #4
There are two things that can cause JPEG artifacts - use of digital zoom, and recompressing. The former is easy to avoid - just don't use digital zoom, since it's much much better to crop an image yourself later. The latter is more tricky, depending on how you get the image from the camera, and what post processing programs you use.

The best way to copy from a camera is to get a media/card reader, and just copy the files straight to your harddrive, from there you can edit, resize/crop, and save. However, if you use TWAIN to acquire the photos via a program, saving them and reopening them in another program at this point will lower the quality immediately, so ideally you should acquire the image, do the modifications, resize/crop it down to the size you want, then save it to as close to 150k as you can.

Oh, if your camera has a poor CCD or poor JPEG compression algorithm, there isn't much you can do about it, but you can use programs such as 'NeatImage' to clean up your photos, which may help hide the artifacts.



* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 5:07:12 AM.
12/02/2002 07:10:09 AM · #5
It looks to me that Neat Image is a selection tool and therefore is illegal. See the following example page from Neat Image website:
//www.neatimage.com/examples.htmlNeatImage
Can anyone confirm that this is illegal according to the rules?
12/02/2002 07:50:38 AM · #6
Originally posted by goodtempo:
It looks to me that Neat Image is a selection tool and therefore is illegal. See the following example page from Neat Image website:
NeatImage
Can anyone confirm that this is illegal according to the rules?


NeatImage is perfectly legal if it is applied to the entire photo at once, and will probably be specifically mentioned in the new dpc2 rules as being legal.
12/02/2002 08:56:39 AM · #7
How will you be able to tell if it is applied to the whole image? The company's website says it doesn't work for detailed areas of the picture, so, it would only work on the image if there were no details!!! I have seen some photos that I wanted to recommend disqualification, including one of the top finishers in the journalism challenge, but I just wasn't sure and wanted to give the benefit of the doubt. But now I'm not so sure I did the right thing, I should have recommended disqualification. I guess I need to download it and try it, then I will know what to recommend next time.



* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 8:54:37 AM.


* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 8:55:14 AM.


* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 8:55:52 AM.
12/02/2002 10:29:41 AM · #8
I must admit to an increasing frustration. I use a DX3900. Often I am told my image is out of focus, when to my eye, it is not. That is the case with the image I am offering this week. I don't think the tree is out of focus. Anyhow, my camera does that on its own and I have no control. I am also told that I have jpeg artifact problems. I have no idea what is being talked about and when I look at the image I see nothing I can identify. Even if I could, I have no idea how to correct a problem that I don't see.
12/02/2002 12:15:06 PM · #9
Do any other Moderators/Administrators have opinions or rulings on using NeatImage? Is it a tool that only works as a selection tool as the Neat Image website suggests? //www.neatimage.com/examples.html NeatImage
12/02/2002 12:27:58 PM · #10
Neat image is ffine to use. You only select to analyse it, but the clean-up applies itself to the whole image.

I use it all the time.
12/02/2002 12:28:29 PM · #11
Originally posted by goodtempo:
Do any other Moderators/Administrators have opinions or rulings on using NeatImage? Is it a tool that only works as a selection tool as the Neat Image website suggests? //www.neatimage.com/examples.html NeatImage


The use of NeatImage is legal. An official announcement of this was made a while back but the rules were not updated. The new rules release tomorrow contains language to that effect, but use of NeatImage is legal now.

-Terry




* This message has been edited by the author on 12/2/2002 12:26:40 PM.
12/02/2002 01:42:03 PM · #12
Thanks! I'm convinced.
12/02/2002 01:59:11 PM · #13
I say this with good spirit but with a groan...

How many more tricks have the really good folks got up their sleeve that head-scratching wannabes like me are just now finding out about?

I still wonder if Photoshop has a better JPEG compression algorithm than Paint Shop Pro :-) Either that, or Photoshop has tools for removing noise that Paint Shop Pro users have no peer for???? I think the noise probably actually comes from the camera, so maybe I'm wrong. Just a thought.
12/02/2002 02:39:17 PM · #14
Originally posted by nards656:
I say this with good spirit but with a groan...

How many more tricks have the really good folks got up their sleeve that head-scratching wannabes like me are just now finding out about?


I can't answer as to how many, but the two best ways of finding out are to check out the posted tutorials, and go to the main Forums page (under the Community Menu) and enter your item of interest into the search box. You'll get a list (titles) of previous threads which contain the term, and when you go to one of the threads, the search term will be highlighted at each instance.
12/02/2002 04:11:21 PM · #15
I understand and appreciate your response, but the truth is, I never knew that there was a problem with my images until I saw what NeatImage can do to help them (based on a recommendation from a friend). I never knew to look for help because I never realized the problem was electronic - I thought my photography just stunk, if you understand. While my photography DOES stink sometimes, it is just frustrating to find something that could have helped me all along that I had no idea I should have even been trying to find.

My "groan" is because I bet there are other things that the "pros" of DPC do as a matter of habit that the "beginners" like me have no idea could even be done.

And I know Gordon, DougPaz, Setz, Shiiizzzam, and some other really good photogs pretty well (virtually, that is)! What about the poor guys and gals that are REALLY just getting into this!

Originally posted by GeneralE:
Originally posted by nards656:
[i]I say this with good spirit but with a groan...

How many more tricks have the really good folks got up their sleeve that head-scratching wannabes like me are just now finding out about?


I can't answer as to how many, but the two best ways of finding out are to check out the posted tutorials, and go to the main Forums page (under the Community Menu) and enter your item of interest into the search box. You'll get a list (titles) of previous threads which contain the term, and when you go to one of the threads, the search term will be highlighted at each instance.[/i]


12/02/2002 04:18:03 PM · #16
I guess I'll have to try NeatImage...maybe I can bump my score up into the 5's...
12/02/2002 04:36:55 PM · #17
Seriously, it improves the quality of most images, and somehow results in a lower file size. Not sure how it really accomplishes that, but apparently noise can be a huge part of file size. It has an "intelligent" sharpening feature that I'm not sure applies to the whole image, but the noise reduction features are awesome. Some might think I'm making too big a deal of this, so forgive me if I am. It just really made my stuff look better when I tried it last night. However, I was slightly unsure of the legality, so I didn't submit my pic with the filter applied. My loss :-) Mighta bumped me up two or three tenths of a point, but I would still be under 5 :-(

Originally posted by GeneralE:
I guess I'll have to try NeatImage...maybe I can bump my score up into the 5's...


12/06/2002 11:51:02 AM · #18
i have used adobe photodeluxe grain and JPEG clean up filters. the seemed to work well, but ill try the neatimage and compare.
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