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Scanning apparatus having image correction funciton

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20120300265 patent thumbnailZoom

Scanning apparatus having image correction funciton


A scanning apparatus includes a scanning head that scans an image of a document positioned on a stage glass, but varying in its distance therefrom. A boundary line is detected to determine an amount of skew therein. A skew line is compared with an established reference line, and a correction factor is calculated based on the result of the comparison. The original image processed to map the boundary line to the reference line and image data inside of the boundary line is similarly mapped based on the calculated correction factor. Beneficially, skews of an image produced when a thick book is scanned can be corrected simply.

Inventor: Hyeon-seok SEO
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120300265 - Class: 358448 (USPTO) - 11/29/12 - Class 358 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120300265, Scanning apparatus having image correction funciton.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation application of prior application Ser. No. 11/766,961, filed on Jun. 22, 2007 in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(a) from Korean Patent Application No. 2006-104700, filed in the Korean Intellectual Property on Oct. 26, 2006, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present general inventive concept relates to an apparatus and method, and more particularly, to a scanning apparatus and method, to correct skewing distortion in an image.

2. Description of the Related Art

In general, a scanning apparatus is a device that scans a document to produce image data with predetermined resolution. Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a general scanning apparatus 10 includes a stage glass 20 on which a document is placed and a scanning head 30 that scans the document while translating below the stage glass 20 from one end of the stage glass 20 to the other. The scanning head 30 includes a light source module 31 that irradiates the document with light and a photoelectric converting device 33 that detects light reflected by the document and converts the detected light into an image signal.

In the conventional scanning apparatus 10, when the scanning head 31 scans a thick book, a region near a folding line A of the book is positioned above the stage glass 20 by a gap d1 while a page region B of the book contacts the stage glass 20, as illustrated FIG. 1B. Accordingly, a focus distance between the light source module 31 and the photoelectric converting device 33 varies as the scanning head 30 moves from the page region B to the folding line A (I1≠I2). Due to such a focus distance difference occurring when the scanning head 30 moves, there arises a problem in that an image of the region near the folding line A has spatial distortion (or skew) or appears to be darker than the image in the page region B, as illustrated in FIG. 1C.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present general inventive concept provides a scanning apparatus which corrects distortion (or skew) included in an image.

Additional aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the present general inventive concept.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept can be achieved by providing a scanning apparatus comprising a stage glass on which a document is positioned, a scanning head that scans an image of the document while translating below the stage glass, an image processing part that processes image data produced by the scanning head, a boundary line detecting part that detects a boundary line of the image, and a controller that, if a skew line exists in the boundary line detected by the boundary line detecting part, compares the skew line with a predetermined reference line, calculates a correction factor based on a result of the comparison, and controls the image processing part to correct the skew line and image data inside of the boundary line based on the calculated correction factor.

The reference line may be determined based on a a straight line segment on the boundary line.

The controller may calculate a distance between the document image and the stage glass image and may control the image processing part to map a coordinate of the skew line onto a coordinate of the reference line based on the correction factor.

The correction factor may have a plurality of values to specify respective distances between a first boundary line including the skew line and a corresponding second boundary line.

The scanning apparatus may further comprise an image forming part that outputs the image, wherein the controller controls the image forming part to output the image processed by the image processing part.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept can be also achieved by providing an image processing method of a scanning apparatus comprising a stage glass on which a document is loaded and a scanning head that scans an image of the document while translating below the stage glass, comprising detecting a boundary line of the image, calculating a coordinate value of the boundary line and detecting a skew line whose coordinate value is not calculated, comparing the skew line with a reference line indicated by a straight line in the boundary line and calculating a correction factor to map the skew line onto the reference line based on a result of the comparison, and correcting the image and the skew line based on the calculated correction factor.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept are also achieved by providing an image forming method, comprising providing image data including a completely resolvable region thereof and a varyingly resolvable region thereof, extrapolating a linear relationship in the image data of the completely resolvable region across the varyingly resolvable region, and mapping the image data in the varyingly resolvable region to be aligned in a corrected image by the linear relationship.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept are also achieved by providing a computer-readable medium having encoded thereon computer instructions that, when decoded and executed by a processor, performs receiving image data including a completely resolvable region thereof and a varyingly resolvable region thereof, extrapolating a linear relationship in the image data of the completely resolvable region across the varyingly resolvable region, and mapping the image data in the varyingly resolvable region to be aligned in a corrected image by the linear relationship.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept are also achieved by providing an image forming apparatus, comprising a scanning head having a predefined optical depth of field with respect to a scanning plane to obtain image data of a document at least partially coplanar with the scanning plane, a controller to control the scanning head to translate across the scanning plane to acquire an original image of the document, and an image processing part to relocate skewed image data in the original image acquired from a portion of the document at least partially removed from the scanning plane while within the depth of field to a new location in a corrected image, the new location aligning the skewed image data with corresponding focused data of the original image data acquired from the portion of the document coplanar with the scanning plane.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept are also achieved by providing an image processor comprising a storage part to store an original image of a document at least partially coplanar with a plane defining an optical depth of field, an image processing part to relocate skewed image data in the original image acquired from a portion of the document at least partially removed from the plane while within the depth of field to a new location in a corrected image, the new location aligning the skewed image data with corresponding focused data of the original image data acquired from the portion of the document coplanar with the scanning plane as determined by a location of a boundary of the focused data relative to a location of a boundary of the skewed data.

The foregoing and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept are also achieved by providing an image forming apparatus, comprising a controller to receive a scanned document image, and a unit to determine a boundary and a folding line from the scanned document image, to determine a correction region of the scanned document image with respect to a center line and the folding line, and to correct a boundary line of the correction region of the scanned document image according to a distance of skew from a reference line and the folding line.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and/or other aspects and utilities of the present general inventive concept will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the exemplary embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a general scanning apparatus;

FIG. 1B is a diagram illustrating a focus distance difference in the general scanning apparatus;

FIG. 1C is an illustration of a distorted image formed by the general scanning apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a scanning apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment of the general inventive concept;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a detailed configuration of a boundary line determining part of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 4A to 4D are diagrams to explain a boundary line determining process of the boundary line determining part;

FIG. 5 is an image illustrating a result of correction on an image by the scanning apparatus according to the exemplary embodiment of the general inventive concept; and

FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating image processing of the scanning apparatus according to the exemplary embodiment of the general inventive concept.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the exemplary embodiments of the present general inventive concept, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout. The embodiments are described below so as to explain the present general inventive concept by referring to the figures.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a scanning apparatus 1 according to an exemplary embodiment of the general inventive concept. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the scanning apparatus 1 of the general inventive concept comprises an input part 100 to produce a signal indicative of a directive from a user, a stage glass 200 on which a document is placed, a scanning head 300 that scans the document while translating below the stage glass 200 between both end portions thereof, and a storing part 400 in which, among other things, an original document image produced by the scanning head 300 is stored. The scanning apparatus 1 may further comprise a boundary line determining part 500 that determines a boundary line between document and the stage glass in the produced original document image, a correction factor calculating part 600 that calculates a correction factor (CF) to correct a distorted region in the original document image, if the distorted region is present in the original document region, an image processing part 700 that corrects the distorted region of the image based on the calculated correction factor (CF), an image forming part 800 that renders the image corrected by the image processing part 700, and a controller 900 that controls the correction factor calculating part 600 and the image processing part 700 to calculate the correction factor (CF) and to correct the image of the distorted region, if the distorted region is detected in the original document image. The boundary line may be formed between the document and the stage glass 200, but other boundaries in the image may be used in conjunction with the present general inventive concept.

The exemplary system illustrated in FIG. 2 may be implemented in hardware, software, or a combination of both. For example, certain components, such as the boundary line determining part 500, the correction factor calculating part 600, and the image processing part 700, may be suited to be realized as processor instructions executing in one or more computer execution threads on one or more processors. Each of those functional components may be implemented on a dedicated processor, or may be executed on a single processor, such as a processor that implements the controller 900. Alternatively, each component illustrated in FIG. 2 may be realized in one or more application specific circuits. The present general inventive concept may be embodied through numerous configurations other than that illustrated in FIG. 2 without deviating from the spirit and intended scope thereof.

Further, it is to be understood that although the functional compartmentalization of FIG. 2 facilitates an understanding of the present general inventive concept through descriptions of the components of the illustrated exemplary embodiment, such configuration is not essential to practice the present general inventive concept. Elements other than those shown and described may be substituted therefor, functionality portrayed as carried out in multiple elements may be combined into a single component, and elements described as discrete may be distributed across multiple components. Indeed, numerous variations, alternatives and modifications will become apparent to the skilled artisan upon review of this disclosure and the present general inventive concept is intended to encompass such alternative configurations.

The exemplary input part 100 may receive a scanning signal from the user. The input part 100 may be provided with information on a region to be corrected and information on whether a region is to be corrected. The input part 100 may be implemented as a plurality of input panels by which various signals are generated responsive to user directives input thereon. A display part (not illustrated) that displays the original document image produced by the scanning head 300 may be provided on the input part 100. In certain embodiments of the present general inventive concept, the input part 100, when combined with the display part, may implement a graphical user interface (GUI).

The present general inventive concept is not limited by the type or construction of the scanning mechanism. The description below will refer to elements of FIG. 1A-1B to illustrate exemplary embodiments of those portions of a conventional scanning mechanism that may be used in conjunction with the present general inventive concept. It is to be understood that such reference to conventional elements are made for purposes of description, and not limitation.

It is to be made clear also that the conventional scanning mechanism, when used in embodiments of the present general inventive concept, is typically limited by its optics to a “depth of field,” which refers herein to the distance from the stage glass 200 up to which resolvable imagery can be obtained by the sensor. Any object placed on the stage glass 200 that is beyond the depth of field is “irresolvable” by the sensor, and will typically appear as a field of a foreign color, such as black. The imagery within the depth of field, but not in contact with the stage glass, referred to herein as the folding line (FL) region, will be “varyingly resolvable”, and will often be skewed with respect to the image data obtained from a document in contact with the stage glass 200. The imagery from portions of the document in contact with the staging glass 200 will be referred to herein as “completely resolvable.”

The stage glass 200 on which the document is placed may be made of transparent glass material through which light from a light source module 31 passes. The stage glass 200 may have the same structure and composition as conventional stage glasses, and therefore, detailed explanation thereof will be omitted for the sake of brevity.

The exemplary scanning head 300 comprises the light source module 31 that irradiates the document positioned on the stage glass 200 with light, a photoelectric converting part 33 that receives light reflected by the document and converts the received light into an image signal, and an analog/digital converting part (not illustrated) that converts the image signal into digital image data. For purposes of description and not limitation, the scanning head 300 scans the document along a Y axis (see FIG. 4A) of the stage glass 200. The scanning head 300 may be translated by means of a driving part (not illustrated) according to a control signal from the controller 900. The driving part (not illustrated) may have the same structure as those of conventional scanning heads, such as those generally embodied by a stepping motor, and may move the scanning head 300 by means of a belt-pulley assembly, a rack-pinion assembly, etc.

The light source module 31 and the photoelectric converting part 33 may be constructed into linear formation, such as by a light bar and a linear sensor array. When so embodied, image data are produced as a plurality of scan lines of the document. The scan lines are generated in a sequential order and include data points, such as pixel data, that may be sequentially ordered within each scan line. Thus, a coordinate system in the image may be defined by scan lines in the “Y” direction and pixels in the “X” direction. Beneficially, such a coordinate system allows identification of data during the scanning operation and prior to the completion thereof.

The exemplary storing part 400 stores the original document image data produced by the scanning head 300 and corrected image data corrected by the image processing part 700. In this exemplary embodiment, the storing part 400 is provided to store each scan line corresponding to each line produced by the photoelectric converting part 33 and sequentially stores image data produced in each line, as described above. For example, image data corresponding to a first scan line from the photoelectric converting part 33 may be stored in a corresponding area of the storing part 400. Accordingly, the image data partially acquired at a first scan line of the document are stored in the storing part 400 in a manner where coordinate values of locations on the document may be obtained.

Storing part 400 may store not only image data, as indicated above, but may also provide storage for processing instructions that, when executed by a processor, perform operations, such as those described below. As such, the storing part 400 may be a combination of persistent storage, such as by read-only memory (ROM), flash memory, magnetic or optical storage devices, and others, and volatile memory, such as random-access memory (RAM), and others. It is to be understood, also, that although the storing part 400 is illustrated as a discrete element in FIG. 2, the storing part 400 may be distributed among multiple devices, including as an element in the other components illustrated. For purposes of description, and not limitation, storing part 400 will be discussed below as if it were a discrete element, and, as used herein, the term “storing part 400,” or, alternatively “memory 400,” is intended to refer to the combined storage capability of the scanning apparatus 1, to include temporal storage, such as by pipelining and delay lines.

It is to be understood that in the descriptions that follow, various “lines” will be discussed as if such lines were physically drawn on the image. However, such description is for purposes of explaining certain underlying concepts of the present general inventive concept and physically rendering the lines so that they can be viewed is not essential to practice the present general inventive concept. Certain embodiments may allow a user to view, and even modify the lines described below, but even then, the lines are abstracted to be compatible to manipulation by components of the apparatus embodying the present general inventive concept. For example, the lines may be represented through data structures maintained in the storing part 400 that contain information on interconnected nodes forming endpoints of line segments. The present general inventive concept is not limited by the implementation details of manipulating line data and the storage of that data and description thereof will be omitted in the interest of brevity.

The exemplary boundary line determining part 500 determines a boundary line (BL) in the original image data stored in the storing part 400. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the boundary line determining part 500 may include a boundary line detecting part 510 that detects a boundary line (BL) of an image, a folding line detecting part 520 that detects a folding line (FL) of the image based on the boundary line (BL) detected by the boundary line detecting part 510, a skew line detecting part 530 that detects a skew line (SL) occurring in the boundary line (BL), a correction region setting part 540 that determines a correction region including the skew line (SL), and a separating line setting part 550 that determines a separating line (SL) indicating a boundary of the image in the correction region. The full definitions of the lines briefly mentioned above are given in the paragraphs that follow.

As used herein, a boundary line is one of a set of line segments that separates a document region in the image from the surrounding region that forms an image of the empty stage glass 200 beyond the depth of field of the scanning head 300, which is referred to as the “stage glass region.” Referring to FIG. 4a, the boundary line detecting part 510 detects the boundary line (BL) separating the document region from the stage glass region in the original image data. The boundary line detecting part 510 may obtain coordinates of corners of a minimal quadrilateral region that includes the document using the coordinate system defined on the original image data stored in the storing part 400, such as is described above.

A folding line (FL), as used herein, is a line in the region of the image that is defocused, e.g., where the document is furthest from the stage glass 200. In instances where the document is a book, as illustrated in 4A, the folding line (FL) is located where the pages are bound together. As indicated above, the folding line (FL) region in which the folding line (FL) resides, is a varyingly resolvable region of the image, and may include portions that are irresolvable. The exemplary folding line detecting part 520 detects the folding line (FL) in the original image data. As illustrated in FIG. 4A, the folding line (FL) my be represented by a straight line that interconnects a top folding point TFP and a bottom folding point BFP. Here, each folding point may be determined as a point on an edge in the image oriented along the Y-axis direction and located on a page a distance from another edge in the Y-axis direction that exceeds 90% of the horizontal length of one page of the book. Alternatively, the upper folding point TFP and the lower folding point BFP may be determined as being at positions at which a calculated slope of the boundary line (BL) changes sign. Other techniques to locate a point at which pages of the document form a folding region, or similar formation, may be used with the present general inventive concept without deviating from the spirit and intended scope thereof.

The boundary line (BL) may be composed of a plurality of line segments, each of which is referred to as a “partial line.” A straight partial line may be referred to as a “skew line” when constituting the boundary line (BL), and a degree of skew of pages in the left and right sides of the folding line (FL) may be calculated therewith. The boundary line (BL) will generally enclose a complex shape defining the document region therein. The shape of the document region may thus be represented by a plurality of points interconnected by partial lines. The points at which partial lines meet to form the boundary line (BL) at a portion thereof having a small curvature may be expressed by one straight line and a portion having a large curvature may be expressed by a plurality of straight lines. A straight line may be formed to extend across the folding line (FL) region to join together partial lines on either side thereof that define straight portions, or portions of low curvature. The line joining the low curvature portions of the boundary line (BL) across the folding line (FL) region is defined as a reference line (RL). Each of the partial lines of the boundary line (BL) that deviate from the reference line (RL) form an angle with respect to the reference line (RL), which is an indication of an amount of skew in the vicinity of that partial line. The exemplary skew line detecting part 530 detects the skew lines in the original image data.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120300265 A1
Publish Date
11/29/2012
Document #
13563834
File Date
08/01/2012
USPTO Class
358448
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04N1/40
Drawings
12



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