Beginner · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Image Processing is the manipulation or modification of a digitized image, especially in order to enhance its quality. It involves techniques and algorithms designed to analyze, enhance, and optimize an image’s characteristics. This can include its sharpness, contrast, and other settings which are modifiable in image-processing software.
As more and more organizations in all sectors require a solid online presence, the need for quality images grows more important. With tools such as Photoshop, Matlab, Lightroom, and more, learners can master Image Processing to excel in artistic and scientific fields.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for an Image Processing Engineer in the United States is $148,350 per year as of May 1, 2020. Because digital images and videos are everywhere in modern times—from biomedical applications to those in consumer, industrial, and artistic sectors—learning about Image Processing can open doors to a myriad of opportunities.
Learners interested in Image Processing can explore roles such as Software Developer, Research Scientist, Graphic Designer, Animator, Imaging Scientist, Machine Learning Researcher, Software Engineer, Algorithm Engineer, Research Engineer, and others that are related.
Through Coursera, Image Processing is covered in various courses. These courses focus on the basic principles and tools used to process images and videos, and how to apply them in solving practical problems of commercial scientific interests. Learners also discover the science behind how digital images and video are made, altered, stored, and used; how computers and digital cameras form images; how digital special effects are used in movies; and more.
Lessons that include instruction on Image Processing are taught by professors from major universities such as Northwestern University, Duke University, and others. Learners can enjoy exploring Image Processing with professors specializing in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and related disciplines. Course content is delivered via video lectures, readings, quizzes, and other types of assignments.
Before starting to learn image processing, you need to have an understanding of the basic concepts of digital electronics. A foundational understanding of probability, calculus, and differential equations is also required, as are fundamental programming skills in any of the popular languages, such as Java, C++, Python, or MATLAB. It would also be helpful to have experience with a digital image processing software program, such as Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Designer so you're somewhat familiar with how image processing works. While it's not necessary, you may also benefit from having an understanding of signals and systems, since image processing is a subfield of these concepts. Having knowledge of how the human eye perceives images is also very helpful as you start to learn image processing.
People who are best suited for roles in image processing are creative as well as analytically minded. They deal with complex concepts related to preparing, constructing, rectifying, evaluating, and manipulating images so that information can be gained from it or images can be enhanced. These professionals often work with a team of specialists that might include those in software, chemistry, mechanical design, electronics, and other industries, so they need to have good communication skills and teamwork skills.
If you are an engineering or science student, a practicing scientist, or a software developer, learning image processing may be right for you so that you can use these important skills in your line of work. With image processing skills, you might be involved in capturing and analyzing images through MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, nuclear medicine, or optical imaging technologies. Or you may apply principles of engineering to develop and process images, videos, and signals for research work. You might reconstruct images from 2D to 3D or make key medical discoveries through image processing involving tumors, blood flow, or microscopic changes in the body. If any of these duties pique your interest, learning image processing may be right for you.