Vista's Image Abstraction

A Vista image is a 3-dimensional array of pixels indexed by row, column, and ``band'' number. The third dimension, band, is used to represent a variety of things: the discrete frames of a motion sequence, various camera viewpoints, multiple color channels, or the real and imaginary components of complex pixel values. It is also used to represent combinations of these -- allowing, for example, a single image to represent a motion sequence of stereo pairs of RGB color images. Such images can be manipulated as easily as a single-band, grey-scale intensity image by most of Vista's subroutines and programs.

Several different pixel representations are supported. They range from a single bit to a 32-bit signed integer and a 64-bit floating point number. Again, images can be manipulated equally well regardless of pixel representation by most of Vista's subroutines and programs.

Vista includes software for translating images in both directions between ``Portable Graymap'' (PGM) file format and Vista format. The PBM+ package or its recent extension, NetPBM, can be used to reach a large variety of other formats, including raw, TIFF, GIF, and JPEG.

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