Denoising image sequences does not require motion estimation

  • Buades A
  • Coll B
  • Morel J
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State of the art movie restoration methods either estimate motion and filter out the trajectories, or compensate the motion by an optical flow estimate and then filter out the compensated movie. Now, the motion estimation problem is ill posed. This fact is known as the aperture problem: trajectories are ambiguous since they could coincide with any promenade in the space-time isophote surface. In this paper, we try to show that, for denoising, the aperture problem can be taken advantage of. Indeed, by the aperture problem, many pixels in the neighboring frames are similar to the current pixel one wishes to denoise. Thus, denoising by an averaging process can use many more pixels than just the ones on a single trajectory. This observation leads to use for movies a recently introduced image denoising method, the NL-means algorithm. This static 3D algorithm outperforms motion compensated algorithms, as it does not lose movie details. It involves the whole movie isophote and not just a trajectory.

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  • A. Buades

  • B. Coll

  • J. M. Morel

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