People often ask why our software still makes so many mistakes. Why won't we make software that is able to instantly distinguish a wall or a door from the rest of the picture. Why not indeed?
The short answer: Because we have no clue how the human eye sees a wall or a door.
Surprised? There's a lot we know about human perception. However, there's a lot more that we don't know about it. Perception is still largely unchartered scientific territory. Here's an example, a picture of a room with white and red walls:
Common sense says it should be easy to distinguish a red wall from a white wall. After all, the walls are clearly visible in the picture. To the computer, however, they are no more than a collection of colored pixels. If so, why not take out the white pixels and the red pixels separately? Because the white wall isn't white and the red wall isn't red. And to complicate matters even more, there's a lot of red and white to be found outside the white and red walls. Here's a random collection of pixels in the white wall:
As you can see, there are a lot of colors in the white wall, some of them even white.
But surely the red wall must be easier? After all, this is a bold color, which can clearly be distinguished from the rest. Well, here are some of the pixels in the red wall:
It's safe to say that there are almost as many colors as there are pixels in the wall. The pixels of the red wall don't even contain the shade of red it was painted with. That's because the color of the pixels result from the reflection of the light on the painted surface. Not only the paint determines the color, the light does so too. What we think of as red, is in fact not red at all. How on earth we are then able to recognise a red wall as a red wall is an enigma which still baffles science.
That said, there are ways to make things a bit easier for the computer as well as the user. The Magic Brush, built into Colorjive Lite is one of them.
How does it work? Contrary to popular belief it does not search for similarly colored pixels. Instead it uses an advanced algorithm, involving statistics, to make a calculated guess as to which pixels belong to the red wall. It is so advanced that if you use the Magic Brush on a textured surface such as a brick wall, you will find that it will interpret the brick as well as the mortar as one and the same surface. It can pull that trick by using some very cool technology that we developed in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam.