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Miss November of 1972. Her name is Lena Soderberg (better known as Lenna), playmate of the month of the Playboy magazine.
((No, this blog haven't changed its thematic xD... I don't write this lines with erotics or lustful reasons... Oddly, this girl is strongly linked to the history and the evolution of the image compression algorithms.))
First in papers of image compression, later in papers of any image treatment and effects application; this photo always was presented as sample in the typical "after - before" test. When someone designed a algorithm and wrote a paper, always used it in his demonstrations.
The picture's history was described in the May 2001 newsletter of the IEEE Professional Communication Society, in an article by Jamie Hutchinson:
"Alexander Sawchuk estimates that it was in June or July of 1973 when he, then an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI), along with a graduate student and the SIPI lab manager, was hurriedly searching the lab for a good image to scan for a colleague's conference paper. They got tired of their stock of usual test images, dull stuff dating back to television standards work in the early 1960s. They wanted something glossy to ensure good output dynamic range, and they wanted a human face. Just then, somebody happened to walk in with a recent issue of Playboy.
The engineers tore away the top third of the centerfold so they could wrap it around the drum of their Muirhead wirephoto scanner, which they had outfitted with analog-to-digital converters (one each for the red, green, and blue channels) and a Hewlett Packard 2100 minicomputer. The Muirhead had a fixed resolution of 100 lines per inch and the engineers wanted a 512 × 512 image, so they limited the scan to the top 5.12 inches of the picture, effectively cropping it at the subject's shoulders."
The original fragment was this:
After the paper, other investigators ask for the picture to compare results with the same rules. At the beginning of the 90's, the picture was distributed over Internet as part of a image package for the image procesing. Since them... its popularity hasn't stopped growing.
Obviously, nobody asked to Playboy for the use of the image, but Playboy finally asked when in the July 1991, the Optical Engineering magazine included the picture in its cover. The Playboy's lawyers, after to receive a explanation about the image, gave permission to use the image with educational and scientist purposes. The picture is practically a standard in the industry, although someones criticize it claiming that it's sexist.
David C. Munson, editor-in-chief, January 1996 IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, cited two reasons for the popularity of the image in research:
"First, the image contains a nice mixture of detail, flat regions, shading, and texture that do a good job of testing various image processing algorithms. It is a good test image! Second, the Lena image is a picture of an attractive woman. It is not surprising that the (mostly male) image processing research community gravitated toward an image that they found attractive."
I talk about this, because now, I have to do a job for TIA and... it couldn't be any other way, Lenna is part of the set that the professors give us to practice.
- The Lennas Playboy number is the most seller in all history of the magazine (and it isn't chance).
- In the Woody Allen film "Sleeper", a person is frozen in 1973 and awakened 100 years later. When he wakes up has to identify some artifacts of the 20th century, and one of them it's the Playboy number with the central poster of Lena.
- For the annual conference of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) in 1997, the president invites Lenna to the conference. There she signs autographs and talk with those present. Before the conference she worked in Sweden, oddly, helping to the disable persons to use computers. She didn't know nothing about her fame, one of her firsts comments did "You must are bored of me... watching the same picture all these years!".
More Infor: www.lenna.org
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