Turbid scene enhancement using multi-directional illumination fusion

Tali Treibitz, Yoav Y. Schechner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ambient light is strongly attenuated in turbid media. Moreover, natural light is often more highly attenuated in some spectral bands, relative to others. Hence, imaging in turbid media often relies heavily on artificial sources for illumination. Scenes irradiated by an off-axis single point source have enhanced local object shadow edges, which may increase object visibility. However, the images may suffer from severe nonuniformity, regions of low signal (being distant from the source), and regions of strong backscatter. On the other hand, simultaneously illuminating the scene from multiple directions increases the backscatter and fills-in shadows, both of which degrade local contrast. Some previous methods tackle backscatter by scanning the scene, either temporally or spatially, requiring a large number of frames. We suggest using a few frames, in each of which wide field scene irradiance originates from a different direction. This way, shadow contrast can be maintained and backscatter can be minimized in each frame, while the sequence at large has a wider, more spatially uniform illumination. The frames are then fused by post processing to a single, clearer image. We demonstrate significant visibility enhancement underwater using as little as two frames.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6241430
Pages (from-to)4662-4667
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received August 3, 2011; revised June 26, 2012; accepted June 26, 2012. Date of publication July 16, 2012; date of current version October 12, 2012. This work was supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation under Grant 1031/08, and was conducted in the Ollendorff Minerva Center for Vision and Image Sciences, funded through the BMBF. T. Treibitz is an Awardee of the Weizmann Institute of Science - National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science and was supported in part by NSF Grant ATM-0941760. The work of Y. Schechner was supported in part by the Department of the Navy Grant N62909-10-1-4056 issued by the Office of Naval Research Global. The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Prof. Wai-Kuen Cham.


  • Computer vision
  • image recovery
  • modeling and recovery of physical attributes
  • physics-based vision
  • vision in scattering media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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