Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
ACM Transactions on Graphics

Image Enhancement by Unsharp Masking the Depth Buffer

T. Luft, C. Colditz, O. Deussen
Teaser of Image Enhancement by Unsharp Masking the Depth Buffer


Paper (.pdf, 554.5KB)


We present a simple and efficient method to enhance the perceptual quality of images that contain depth information. Similar to an unsharp mask, the difference between the original depth buffer content and a low-pass filtered copy is utilized to determine information about spatially important areas in a scene. Based on this information we locally enhance the contrast, color, and other parameters of the image. Our technique aims at improving the perception of complex scenes by introducing additional depth cues. The idea is motivated by artwork and findings in the field of neurology, and can be applied to images of any kind, ranging from complex landscape data and technical artifacts, to volume rendering, photograph, and video with depth information.


  acmid      = {1142016},
  address    = {New York, NY, USA},
  author     = {T. Luft, C. Colditz, O. Deussen},
  doi        = {10.1145/1141911.1142016},
  issn       = {0730-0301},
  issue_date = {July 2006},
  journal    = {ACM Transactions on Graphics},
  keywords   = {artistic tone reproduction, complex scenes, image enhancement, non-photorealistic rendering},
  month      = {jul},
  number     = {3},
  numpages   = {8},
  pages      = {1206--1213},
  publisher  = {ACM},
  title      = {Image Enhancement by Unsharp Masking the Depth Buffer},
  url        = {},
  volume     = {25},
  year       = {2006}