We present a new image editing method, particularly effective for sharpening major edges by increasing the steepness of transition while eliminating a manageable degree of low-amplitude structures. The seemingly contradictive effect is achieved in an optimization framework making use of L0 gradient minimization, which can globally control how many non-zero gradients are resulted in to approximate prominent structure in a sparsity-control manner. Unlike other edge-preserving smoothing approaches, our method does not depend on local features, but instead globally locates important edges. It, as a fundamental tool, finds many applications and is particularly beneficial to edge extraction, clip-art JPEG artifact removal, and non-photorealistic effect generation.
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