How ‘Playboy’ Revolutionized Image-Processing, Accidentally Created The JPEG
By Izza Sofia, 02 Oct 2017
Playboy Magazine, Hugh Hefner and a Swedish model have played a role in the development of JPEG.
Lena Söderberg known as ‘The First Lady of the Internet,’ graced Playboy’s November 1972 issue as Miss November, and the centerfold image of her from that issue is an image that you would probably have seen before.
The photo of her became the most widely used picture in image-processing research, to the point where her image was one of the first ever uploaded to the internet due to her involvement with image compression research.
A team of researches from University of Southern California were doing pioneering work in digital image processing. They usually work on images they had on hand, but they were looking for something better, with better color, and a human face.
Someone walked in with the current Playboy edition and the centerfold was the perfect subject given the amount of detail, gradations, and by way of having an appealing and familiar subject.
The researchers needed an image to fit the 512 x 512 pixel scanner, so they cut the image at the shoulders. That scanner had to turn the image into digital line layers of red, green, and blue, and the 3 sets of colored lines became the standard that turned into JPEG. Take a look at the image that impacted the digital world below.
“Lena” is perhaps, and may remain, the most analyzed image in the history of the world. pic.twitter.com/fPeSpAIpUb— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) September 28, 2017
Every pixel, every tuft, every lash, every color gradient from its 70’s film chroma, has been quantified and endlessly compensated for.— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) September 28, 2017
A thread on how our entire electronic visual world is built on compression, and much of it was built with Lena. https://t.co/MmBd3vhXAQ— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) September 28, 2017
[via Mashable, opening image via YouTube]
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