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Intelligent Scissors Demo

(See Instructions Below)

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Intelligent Scissors

This applet demonstrates "intelligent scissors" as they automatically contour your mouse motion around an object in a digital image. To do this, you must first load an image, then click on a point on the boundary of the object (the "seed"). After you do this, move your mouse around the image and watch as the "live-wire" (the path between your mouse and the seed) automatically wraps around the object. This is the "free path". Once you are satisfied with the path, click the mouse button again. This will be a new "fixed point", and the existing path will be fixed to the image (it's now the "fixed path" and is shown in a different color). As you continue to move your mouse, you will see the path form between your mouse and the most recent fixed point.

To see a good example of the live-wire snapping to, and wrapping around an object, set the Laplacian Zero-Crossing weight to "1.0", and set the Gradient Magnitude and the Gradient Direction weights to "0.0". Then select the image "shape2.gif" from the drop-down menu.

Load an image

To load an image, either select an existing image from the drop-down menu, or type the URL of an image in the text area and press the "Choose URL" button. The applet will run slowly on large images. I've noticed that the program will run out of memory on large images, using "java" or "appletviewer". However, this doesn't seem to happen using Internet Explorer. Also, I've noticed that some URLs are not acceptable for security reasons. This works for me using "appletviewer", but not in a browser. (The .class files are available below.)

Choose image feature weights

Read the papers below to understand the image features used. They are Laplacian zero-crossing, gradient magnitude, and gradient direction. You may adjust the importance of each one by changing the values in the text fields. The weights must sum to 1.

Choose colors

You may choose the colors for the free, fixed, and frozen (cool) paths by selecting a color from the appropriate drop-down menu.

Choose cooling settings

As parts of your free path remain unchanged for a certain period of time, or over a certain number of mouse movements, it will "cool" and eventually "freeze" to the image and become part of the fixed path. To use this, check the checkbox, and set the time (in milliseconds) and iteration thresholds as you see fit.

Choose suggested path settings

As you complete your path around the object, you may have the program try to auto-complete the boundary. To use this, check the "use suggested path" checkbox, and set the distance weight as you see fit. This weight measures the importance of the distance of the suggested finishing path and the existing fixed path. It should be set between zero and positive infinity (although you can only set it so high).

Rebuild / Reset

To clear the paths, press the "Reset" button. To rebuild the image features, press the "Rebuild" button (use this to apply any changes you made to the weights or options). 

The zipped .class files.
A Demonstration of Intelligent Scissors (HTML)
A Demonstration of Intelligent Scissors (MS WORD)
Eric N. Mortensen and William A. Barrett, "Intelligent Scissors for Image Compostion", Proc. SIGGRAPH 95, 1995, 191-198.