Many flagship smartphone cameras now use a dedicated neural image signal processor (ISP) to render noisy raw sensor images to the final processed output. Training nightmode ISP networks relies on large-scale datasets of image pairs with: (1) a noisy raw image captured with a short exposure and a high ISO gain; and (2) a ground truth low-noise raw image captured with a long exposure and low ISO that has been rendered through the ISP. Capturing such image pairs is tedious and time-consuming, requiring careful setup to ensure alignment between the image pairs. In addition, ground truth images are often prone to motion blur due to the long exposure. To address this problem, we propose a method that synthesizes nighttime images from daytime images. Daytime images are easy to capture, exhibit low-noise (even on smartphone cameras) and rarely suffer from motion blur. We outline a processing framework to convert daytime raw images to have the appearance of realistic nighttime raw images with different levels of noise. Our procedure allows us to easily produce aligned noisy and clean nighttime image pairs. We show the effectiveness of our synthesis framework by training neural ISPs for nightmode rendering. Furthermore, we demonstrate that using our synthetic nighttime images together with small amounts of real data (e.g., 5% to 10%) yields performance almost on par with training exclusively on real nighttime images. Our dataset and code are available at https://github.com/SamsungLabs/day-to-night.
Cameras currently allow access to two image states: (i) a minimally processed linear raw-RGB image state (i.e., raw sensor data) or (ii) a highly-processed nonlinear image state (e.g., sRGB). There are many computer vision tasks that work best with a linear image state, such as image deblurring and image dehazing. Unfortunately, the vast majority of images are saved in the nonlinear image state. Because of this, a number of methods have been proposed to "unprocess" nonlinear images back to a raw-RGB state. However, existing unprocessing methods have a drawback because raw-RGB images are sensor-specific. As a result, it is necessary to know which camera produced the sRGB output and use a method or network tailored for that sensor to properly unprocess it. This paper addresses this limitation by exploiting another camera image state that is not available as an output, but it is available inside the camera pipeline. In particular, cameras apply a colorimetric conversion step to convert the raw-RGB image to a device-independent space based on the CIE XYZ color space before they apply the nonlinear photo-finishing. Leveraging this canonical image state, we propose a deep learning framework, CIE XYZ Net, that can unprocess a nonlinear image back to the canonical CIE XYZ image. This image can then be processed by any low-level computer vision operator and re-rendered back to the nonlinear image. We demonstrate the usefulness of the CIE XYZ Net on several low-level vision tasks and show significant gains that can be obtained by this processing framework. Code and dataset are publicly available at https://github.com/mahmoudnafifi/CIE_XYZ_NET.
This paper reviews the NTIRE 2020 challenge on real image denoising with focus on the newly introduced dataset, the proposed methods and their results. The challenge is a new version of the previous NTIRE 2019 challenge on real image denoising that was based on the SIDD benchmark. This challenge is based on a newly collected validation and testing image datasets, and hence, named SIDD+. This challenge has two tracks for quantitatively evaluating image denoising performance in (1) the Bayer-pattern rawRGB and (2) the standard RGB (sRGB) color spaces. Each track ~250 registered participants. A total of 22 teams, proposing 24 methods, competed in the final phase of the challenge. The proposed methods by the participating teams represent the current state-of-the-art performance in image denoising targeting real noisy images. The newly collected SIDD+ datasets are publicly available at: https://bit.ly/siddplus_data.
Modeling and synthesizing image noise is an important aspect in many computer vision applications. The long-standing additive white Gaussian and heteroscedastic (signal-dependent) noise models widely used in the literature provide only a coarse approximation of real sensor noise. This paper introduces Noise Flow, a powerful and accurate noise model based on recent normalizing flow architectures. Noise Flow combines well-established basic parametric noise models (e.g., signal-dependent noise) with the flexibility and expressiveness of normalizing flow networks. The result is a single, comprehensive, compact noise model containing fewer than 2500 parameters yet able to represent multiple cameras and gain factors. Noise Flow dramatically outperforms existing noise models, with 0.42 nats/pixel improvement over the camera-calibrated noise level functions, which translates to 52% improvement in the likelihood of sampled noise. Noise Flow represents the first serious attempt to go beyond simple parametric models to one that leverages the power of deep learning and data-driven noise distributions.
Gender classification aims at recognizing a person's gender. Despite the high accuracy achieved by state-of-the-art methods for this task, there is still room for improvement in generalized and unrestricted datasets. In this paper, we advocate a new strategy inspired by the behavior of humans in gender recognition. Instead of dealing with the face image as a sole feature, we rely on the combination of isolated facial features and a holistic feature which we call the foggy face. Then, we use these features to train deep convolutional neural networks followed by an AdaBoost-based score fusion to infer the final gender class. We evaluate our method on four challenging datasets to demonstrate its efficacy in achieving better or on-par accuracy with state-of-the-art methods. In addition, we present a new face dataset that intensifies the challenges of occluded faces and illumination changes, which we believe to be a much-needed resource for gender classification research.