Fast local Laplacian filtering of images
Increase Local Contrast of RGB Image Using Local Laplacian Filtering
Import an RGB image
A = imread('peppers.png');
Set parameters of the filter to increase details smaller than 0.4.
sigma = 0.4; alpha = 0.5;
Use fast local Laplacian filtering
B = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha);
Display the original and filtered images side-by-side.
imshowpair(A, B, 'montage')
Increase Local Contrast, Balancing Speed and Quality
Local Laplacian filtering is a computationally intensive algorithm. To speed up processing,
locallapfilt approximates the algorithm by discretizing the intensity range into a number of samples defined by the '
NumIntensityLevels' parameter. This parameter can be used to balance speed and quality.
Import an RGB image and display it.
A = imread('peppers.png'); figure imshow(A) title('Original Image')
sigma value to process the details and an
alpha value to increase the contrast, effectively enhancing the local contrast of the image.
sigma = 0.2; alpha = 0.3;
Using fewer samples increases the execution speed, but can produce visible artifacts, especially in areas of flat contrast. Time the function using only 20 intensity levels.
t_speed = timeit(@() locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'NumIntensityLevels', 20))
t_speed = 0.0583
Now, process the image and display it.
B_speed = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'NumIntensityLevels', 20); figure imshow(B_speed) title(['Enhanced with 20 intensity levels in ' num2str(t_speed) ' sec'])
A larger number of samples yields better looking results at the expense of more processing time. Time the function using 100 intensity levels.
t_quality = timeit(@() locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'NumIntensityLevels', 100))
t_quality = 0.1817
Process the image with 100 intensity levels and display it:
B_quality = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'NumIntensityLevels', 100); figure imshow(B_quality) title(['Enhancement with 100 intensity levels in ' num2str(t_quality) ' sec'])
Try varying the number of intensity levels on your own images. Try also flattening the contrast (with
alpha > 1). You will see that the optimal number of intensity levels is different for every image and varies with
alpha. By default,
locallapfilt uses a heuristic to balance speed and quality, but it cannot predict the best value for every image.
Boost Local Color Contrast Using 'ColorMode'
Import a color image, reduce its size, and display it.
A = imread('car2.jpg'); A = imresize(A, 0.25); figure imshow(A) title('Original Image')
Set the parameters of the filter to dramatically increase details smaller than 0.3 (out of a normalized range of 0 to 1).
sigma = 0.3; alpha = 0.1;
Let's compare the two different modes of color filtering. Process the image by filtering its intensity and by filtering each color channel separately:
B_luminance = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha); B_separate = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'ColorMode', 'separate');
Display the filtered images.
figure imshow(B_luminance) title('Enhanced by boosting the local luminance contrast')
figure imshow(B_separate) title('Enhanced by boosting the local color contrast')
An equal amount of contrast enhancement has been applied to each image, but colors are more saturated when setting '
ColorMode' to '
Perform Edge-Aware Noise Reduction
Import an image. Convert the image to floating point so that we can add artificial noise more easily.
A = imread('pout.tif'); A = im2single(A);
Add Gaussian noise with zero mean and 0.001 variance.
A_noisy = imnoise(A, 'gaussian', 0, 0.001); psnr_noisy = psnr(A_noisy, A); fprintf('The peak signal-to-noise ratio of the noisy image is %0.4f\n', psnr_noisy);
The peak signal-to-noise ratio of the noisy image is 30.0234
Set the amplitude of the details to smooth, then set the amount of smoothing to apply.
sigma = 0.1; alpha = 4.0;
Apply the edge-aware filter.
B = locallapfilt(A_noisy, sigma, alpha); psnr_denoised = psnr(B, A); fprintf('The peak signal-to-noise ratio of the denoised image is %0.4f\n', psnr_denoised);
The peak signal-to-noise ratio of the denoised image is 32.3362
Note an improvement in the PSNR of the image.
Display all three images side by side. Observe that details are smoothed and sharp intensity variations along edges are unchanged.
figure subplot(1,3,1), imshow(A), title('Original') subplot(1,3,2), imshow(A_noisy), title('Noisy') subplot(1,3,3), imshow(B), title('Denoised')
Smooth Image Details Without Affecting Edge Sharpness
Import the image, resize it and display it
A = imread('car1.jpg'); A = imresize(A, 0.25); figure imshow(A) title('Original Image')
The car is dirty and covered in markings. Let's try to erase the dust and markings on the body. Set the amplitude of the details to smooth, and set a large amount of smoothing to apply.
sigma = 0.2; alpha = 5.0;
When smoothing (
alpha > 1), the filter produces high quality results with a small number of intensity levels. Set a small number of intensity levels to process the image faster.
numLevels = 16;
Apply the filter.
B = locallapfilt(A, sigma, alpha, 'NumIntensityLevels', numLevels);
Display the "clean" car.
figure imshow(B) title('After smoothing details')
I — Image to filter
2-D grayscale image | 2-D truecolor image
Image to filter, specified as a 2-D grayscale image or 2-D truecolor image.
sigma — Amplitude of edges
Amplitude of edges, specified as a non-negative number.
sigma should be in
the range [0, 1] for integer images and for single images defined over the
range [0, 1]. For single images defined over a different range
should also be in the range [
alpha — Smoothing of details
Smoothing of details, specified as a positive number. Typical values of
alpha are in the range [0.01, 10].
|Increases the details of the input image, effectively enhancing the local contrast of the image without affecting edges or introducing halos.|
|Smooths details in the input image while preserving crisp edges|
|The details of the input image are left unchanged.|
beta — Dynamic range
1 (default) | non-negative number
Dynamic range, specified as a non-negative number. Typical values of beta are in the range [0,
beta affects the dynamic range of
|Reduces the amplitude of edges in the image, effectively compressing the dynamic range without affecting details.|
|Expands the dynamic range of the image.|
|Dynamic range of the image is left unchanged. This is the default value.|
Specify optional pairs of arguments as
the argument name and
Value is the corresponding value.
Name-value arguments must appear after other arguments, but the order of the
pairs does not matter.
Before R2021a, use commas to separate each name and value, and enclose
Name in quotes.
ColorMode — Method used to filter RGB images
'luminance' (default) |
Method used to filter RGB images, specified as one of the following values. This argument has no effect on grayscale images.
NumIntensityLevels — Number of intensity samples
'auto' (default) | positive integer
Number of intensity samples in the dynamic range of the input image,
'auto' or positive integer. A higher
number of samples gives results closer to exact local Laplacian
filtering. A lower number increases the execution speed. Typical values
are in the range
[10, 100]. If set to
the number of intensity levels automatically to balance quality and
speed based on other parameters of the filter.
B — Filtered image
Filtered image, returned as a numeric array the same size and data type as the input image,
 Paris, Sylvain, Samuel W. Hasinoff, and Jan Kautz. Local Laplacian filters: edge-aware image processing with a Laplacian pyramid, ACM Trans. Graph. 30.4 (2011): 68.
 Aubry, Mathieu, et al. Fast local laplacian filters: Theory and applications. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) 33.5 (2014): 167.
Version HistoryIntroduced in R2016b
R2022b: Improved performance
locallapfilt function shows improved performance. For
example, this code is about 6.8x faster than in the previous release.
function locallapfiltTimingTest A = imread("peppers.png"); locallapfilt(A,0.4,0.5); end
The approximate execution times are:
R2022a: 0.254 s
R2022b: 0.037 s
The code was timed on a Windows® 10, Intel®
Xeon® E5-2683 v4 CPU @ 2.10 GHz test system (two processors) using the