Magic sheets: Visual cryptography with common shares


Visual cryptography (VC) is an encryption technique for hiding a secret image in distributed and shared images (referred to as shares). VC schemes are employed to encrypt multiple images as meaningless, noisy patterns or meaningful images. However, decrypting multiple secret images using a unique share is difficult with traditional VC. We propose an approach to hide multiple images in meaningful shares. We can decrypt multiple images simultaneously using a common share, which we refer to as a magic sheet. The magic sheet decrypts multiple secret images depending on a given share. The shares are printed on transparencies, and decryption is performed by physically superimposing the transparencies. We evaluate the proposed method using binary, grayscale, and color images.


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We thank all reviewers for their helpful comments. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Nos. 17J04232 and 16K12433.

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Correspondence to Naoki Kita.

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Naoki Kita is a Ph.D. candidate in the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST). He received his B.S. degree in physics from Kanazawa University in 2009 and his M.S. degree in knowledge science from JAIST in 2011. His current research interests include computational design and human visual perception.

Kazunori Miyata has been a professor in the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) since 2002. Prior to joining JAIST, he was an associate professor in the Department of Imaging Art in the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics. He received his B.S. degree from Tohoku University in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1986 and 1997, respectively. His research mainly focuses on rendering and modeling natural objects, texture generation, and multimedia applications. He is a member of the ACM and IEEE.

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Kita, N., Miyata, K. Magic sheets: Visual cryptography with common shares. Comp. Visual Media 4, 185–195 (2018).

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  • visual cryptography (VC)
  • information hiding
  • secret sharing