A fully automatic method for descreening halftone images is presented based on convolutional neural networks with end-to-end learning. Incorporating context level information, the proposed method not only removes halftone artifacts but also synthesizes the fine details lost during halftone. The method consists of two main stages. In the first stage, intrinsic features of the scene are extracted, the low-frequency reconstruction of the image is estimated, and halftone patterns are removed. For the intrinsic features, the edges and object-categories are estimated and fed to the next stage as strong visual and contextual cues. In the second stage, fine details are synthesized on top of the low-frequency output based on an adversarial generative model. In addition, the novel problem of rescreening is addressed, where a natural input image is halftoned so as to be similar to a separately given reference halftone image. To this end, a two-stage convolutional neural network is also presented. Both networks are trained with millions of before-and-after example image pairs of various halftone styles. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations are provided, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
Kim, T. H., & Park, S. I. (2018). Deep context-aware descreening and rescreening of halftone images. ACM Transactions on Graphics, 37(4). https://doi.org/10.1145/3197517.3201377