Interactive Point-and-Click Segmentation for Object Removal in Digital Images

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore the problem of deleting objects in still pictures. We present an interactive system based on a novel intuitive user-friendly interface for removing undesirable objects in digital pictures. To erase an object in an image, a user indicates which object is to be removed by simply pinpointing it with the mouse cursor. As the mouse cursor rolls over the image, the current implicit selected object’s border is highlighted, providing a visual feedback. In case the computer-segmented area does not match the users’ perception of the object, users can further provide a few inside/outside object cues by clicking on a small number of object or nonobject pixels. Experimentally, a small number of such cues is generally enough to reach a correct matching, even for complex textured images. Afterwards, the user removes the object by clicking the left mouse button, and a hole-filling technique is initiated to generate a seamless background portion. Our image manipulation system consists of two components: (i) fully automatic or partially user-steered image segmentation based on an improved fast statistical region-growing segmentation, and (ii) texture synthesis or image inpainting of irregular shaped hole regions. Experiments on a variety of photographs display the ability of the system to handle complex scenes with highly textured objects.