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Making Things See by Greg Borenstein

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Images and Pixels

What is an image? Whether it’s a depth image from the Kinect, a frame from your computer’s built-in web cam, or a high resolution photo from the latest digital SLR, digital images are all simply collections of pixels. A pixel is the smallest unit of an image. Each pixel is a single solid color, and by arranging many pixels next to one another, digital images can create illusions such as smooth gradients and subtle shading. With enough pixels to create smooth enough images, you get the realistic digital images that we see every day.

Depending on the type of image, the variety of possible colors a pixel can be may vary. In a black and white image, each pixel is either black, white, or some shade of gray. In a color image, each pixel ...

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