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Create a Binary Mask

Image Processing Toolbox™ supports four methods to generate a binary mask. The binary mask defines a region of interest (ROI) of the original image. Mask pixel values of 1 indicate the image pixel belongs to the ROI. Mask pixel values of 0 indicate the image pixel is part of the background.

Any binary image can be used as a mask, provided that the binary image is the same size as the image being filtered.

Create a Binary Mask from a Grayscale Image

You can create a mask from a grayscale image by classifying each pixel as belonging to either the region of interest or the background. For example, suppose you want to filter the grayscale image I, filtering only those pixels whose values are greater than 0.5. You can create the appropriate mask with this command:

BW = (I > 0.5)

Create Binary Mask Using an ROI Function

This example shows to create a binary mask using one of the ROI creation functions, such as drawcircle, with the mask creation function createMask.

Read an image into the workspace and display it.

img = imread('pout.tif');
h_im = imshow(img);

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type image.

Create an ROI on the image using one of the ROI creation functions.

circ = drawcircle('Center',[113,66],'Radius',60);

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type image,

Create a binary mask from the ROI using createMask. The createMask function returns a binary image the same size as the input image. The pixels inside the ROI are set to 1 and the pixel values everywhere else are set to 0.

BW = createMask(circ);

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains an object of type image.

Create Binary Mask Based on Color Values

You can use the roicolor function to define an ROI based on color or intensity range.

Create Binary Mask Without an Associated Image

You can use the poly2mask function to create a binary mask without having an associated image. Unlike the createMask method, poly2mask does not require an input image. You specify the vertices of the ROI in two vectors and specify the size of the binary mask returned. For example, the following creates a binary mask that can be used to filter an ROI in the pout.tif image.

c = [123 123 170 170]; 
r = [160 210 210 160];
m = 291;  % height of pout image
n = 240;  % width of pout image
BW = poly2mask(c,r,m,n);