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Simplifying/Vectorizing Aerial Photo of City

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#1
snowgage

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Good afternoon. I am working on a map that will show a small portion of a city. The map will be used to show the location of trails so it needs to be relatively accurate. I'd like to use an aerial photo as the backdrop but do not need all the detail that is present in the aerial and would like to simplify it.

I would like it to have a vectorized or with cartoony feel. I am not really sure which path I'll take but have been playing with some filters in PS. I'll ultimatley overlay vectors for the roads/trails and do a fair but of labeling.

Attached are a couple examples of filters I've been playing with. I like the boldness of the watercolor filter but also the distinction of the cutout. Maybe a hybrid is in order?

I'd love some feedback or suggestions about methods other people have used.

Cheers,

-josh

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#2
David Medeiros

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Interesting idea. I like the way the Cutout filter makes the land cover look, more graphic than image. But it loses detail in some of the paths. The Paintdobs filter has the best paths, making them appear like smooth hand painted lines. Have you tried any combinations of these filters to see what you get?

Will you screen the final image back or use it at the same saturation you are showing in these pics? One thing I'm noticing is that Cutout and Paintdobs have less contrast than the Watercolor (or the original) and that looks better to me as a background image.

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#3
snowgage

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Interesting idea. I like the way the Cutout filter makes the land cover look, more graphic than image. But it loses detail in some of the paths. The Paintdobs filter has the best paths, making them appear like smooth hand painted lines. Have you tried any combinations of these filters to see what you get?

Will you screen the final image back or use it at the same saturation you are showing in these pics? One thing I'm noticing is that Cutout and Paintdobs have less contrast than the Watercolor (or the original) and that looks better to me as a background image.


I'll definitely work my color levels, saturation etc to get the right feel.

I might use the cutout method to simplify the large areas of open space use the watercolor filter for generalizing the areas of detail with houses.

I'll post some more examples as I get further with this.

#4
l.jegou

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Hello, interesting indeed ! I'm currently looking for methods to simplify complex images like aerial and sat images, and so far i've found some potentially useful techniques in imaging research, especially image segmentation :

Here for some pointers :

- http://academic.rese...m/Paper/6304675
- http://vision.ece.uc...ation/edgeflow/
- http://www.umiacs.um.../activeSeg.html
- http://www.seas.upen...multiscale.html
- http://barissumengen.com/seg/
- http://www.kyprianidis.com/p/eg2011/ and http://code.google.com/p/cefabs/
- http://www.cs.rutger...o/abstract.html

(Or more generally, the key word "segmentation"or "abstraction" on my Delicious account: http://www.delicious...u/segmentation)

#5
DanM

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I've played around with doing similar techniques to quickly simplify an aerial photo and also was generally having the most success with the cutout and watercolor filters as well.

One thing you might try is processing the image a bit prior to applying the art filter.
I've attached some images done quickly taking the original image and applied nearly the maximum contrast, then added a sharpening mask that heavily sharpened it. In the examples on the right saturation/vibrance was also added prior to applying the cutout filter.

The amount of detail and business of the resulting image may still be too busy depending on map purpose so you could also add an opacity mask to recede the image some (as has been applied in the lower images). I've seen this technique used with success to make land cover step down in the visual hierarchy (as for shaded relief only / aerial imagery). Once the labels and line work is added, those should be easier to focus on.

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