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Publication numberUS20040240704 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/791,213
Publication dateDec 2, 2004
Filing dateMar 1, 2004
Priority dateApr 19, 2000
Also published asUS6590996, US6700995, US7391880, US7693300, US8155378, US8165342, US20030079130, US20040125983, US20090003648, US20100310117, US20100310164, US20120281871, WO2001082215A1
Publication number10791213, 791213, US 2004/0240704 A1, US 2004/240704 A1, US 20040240704 A1, US 20040240704A1, US 2004240704 A1, US 2004240704A1, US-A1-20040240704, US-A1-2004240704, US2004/0240704A1, US2004/240704A1, US20040240704 A1, US20040240704A1, US2004240704 A1, US2004240704A1
InventorsAlastair Reed
Original AssigneeReed Alastair M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Applying digital watermarks using printing process correction
US 20040240704 A1
Abstract
Image color values are modified in accordance with printing process characteristics. Digital watermark signal representations are determined and modified in accordance with the characteristics. The modified signal representations are combined with the original image color values. The image is then printed by the printing process. The resulting printed image includes a watermark that is not materially affected by the printing process characteristics.
Images(4)
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Claims(13)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of digital watermarking an image comprising:
adjusting the image in accordance with values in a first representation associated with a printing process;
determining values to convey a digital watermark in the adjusted image;
adjusting the values in accordance with a second representation associated with the printing process; and
combining the adjusted change values and the image to produce a digital watermarked image.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first representation comprises a forward dot gain curve.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the second representation comprises a backward dot gain curve.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein the backward dot gain curve comprises an inverse of the forward dot gain curve.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the printing process comprises an offset printing press.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the image is watermarked using a scale to black technique.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein said image is watermarked using a scale to white technique.
8. A method of steganographically hiding a signal in an image comprising:
determining change values to represent the signal in the image; and
altering color values of the image by an amount to achieve the change values,
wherein the amount includes a compensation for a variation in a relationship of an input color value and at least one of ink and dye provided by a printing process to represent the input color value, and
wherein the image includes the signal steganographically embedded therein when printed with the printing process.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the printing process comprises an offset printing process.
10. The method of claim 8, wherein the steganographically hiding comprises digital watermarking.
11. The method of claim 8, further comprising printing the image, wherein the printed image includes the signal steganographically embedded therein.
12. A method of processing an image to compensate for variation in a printing process, wherein the image includes a plurality of color values, said method comprising:
receiving a representation of a variation in a relationship of an input color value and at least one of ink and dye provided by the printing process to represent the input color value;
determining change values needed to alter the image to accommodate a digital watermark embedded therein;
adjusting the change values with the representation; and
modifying the image with the adjusted change values to accommodate the digital watermark and to compensate for the variation.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein the printing process comprises an offset printing press.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/209,053, filed Jul. 30, 2002 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,700,995). The Ser. No. 10/209,053 application is a continuation in part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/553,084, filed Apr. 19, 2000 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,590,996). Each of these patent documents is herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates steganography and more particularly to the digital watermarks.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The technology for applying digital watermarks to images and to other types of data is well developed. For example see issued U.S. Pat. No. 5,748,783, issued U.S. Pat. No. 5,768,426 issued U.S. Pat. No. 5,822,435 and the references cited in these patents. Also various commercially available products (such as the widely used image editing program Photoshop™ marketed by Adobe Corporation) have image watermarking capability. There are many other patents and much technical literature available relating to the application of digital watermarks to images and to other types of data.

[0004] Co-pending application Ser. No. 09/553,084 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,590,996) describes a technique of color adaptive watermarking. With the technique described in application Ser. No. 09/553,084 a change in an image attribute such as luminance (or chrominance) is mapped to a change in color components such that the change is less visible application Ser. No. 09/553,084 describes the “scale to black” and the “scale to white” techniques for applying watermarks. By using the scale to white method for colors with a high yellow content such as yellow, red and green, and by using the scale to black for blue, cyan and magenta a watermark with a lower visibility and the same detect ability can be embedded in an image.

[0005] It is known that when an image is printed on a standard offset press, the relationship between the digital value of a color and the amount of ink actually applied by the press is not linear. FIGS. 1 illustrates the dot gain curve for a typical standard offset printing press. The horizontal axis gives a digital value of a color and the vertical axis indicates the amount of ink actually transferred by the press. The shape of the dot gain curve of offset printing presses is well known.

[0006] As a result of the dot gain curve illustrated in FIG. 1, when an image containing a watermark is printed on an offset press, a watermark signal in the shadows (i.e. in an area with more ink) is reduced and a watermark signal in the highlights (i.e. in an area with less ink) is amplified. Note that the slope of the dot gain curve is different in the shadow area and in the highlight area. Thus, the same amount of change in color value produces a different amount of change in the ink applied in the two different areas. The present invention provides a technique which insures that a watermark signal is preserved in an printed image as accurately as possible not withstanding the fact that the dot gain curve of the printing press is not linear.

[0007] With the present invention, the image data is first modified in accordance with the forward dot gain curve of a printing press, next the watermark “tweak” values (i.e. the watermark change values) are calculated for this modified image data. The calculated “tweak” values are then modified in accordance with the backward dot gain curve of the printing press. The modified tweak values are then added to the original image data values to produce a watermarked image. The watermark image is then printed on the printing press. The result is that the “effective” tweak on printed paper is not materially affected by the dot gain curve of the printing press.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

[0008]FIG. 1A shows a forward dot gain curve.

[0009]FIG. 1B shows a backward dot gain curve.

[0010]FIG. 2 illustrates scaling to black.

[0011]FIG. 3 illustrates scaling to white.

[0012]FIG. 4 is a program block flow diagram of the operation of the preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0013] Co-pending application Ser. No. 09/553,084, filed Apr. 19, 2000 (Now U.S. Pat. No. 6,590,996) describes a system for watermarking images. The system described in application Ser. No. 09/553,084 inserts watermarks in images by selecting and modifying colors to obtain approximately equal visibility for all colors. The preferred embodiment of present invention, as described herein, is described as a modification of the system described in application Ser. No. 09/553,084. The object of the modifications is to compensate for the dot gain curve of a printer. The entire specification of application Ser. No. 09/553,084 is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

[0014] It is desirable that a watermark embedding algorithm produce luminance changes with approximately equal visibility through color space. Adaptive color embedding as described in application Ser. No. 09/553,084, selects the colors that are modified to produce a required luminance change, in a way that obtain approximately equal visibility for all colors. The dot gain correction provided by the preferred embodiment described herein approximately compensates for the non-linear effect of the printing process, so that a desired percentage change is achieved on press (that is, in the amount of ink applied to create the image). It is noted that the slope of the dot gain curve is different in the shadow area and in the highlight area. Thus, the same amount of change in color value produces a different amount of change in the ink applied in the two different areas. The preferred embodiment insures that a watermark signal (i.e. a change value) is preserved in a printed image as accurately as possible not withstanding the fact that the dot gain curve of the printing press is not linear.

[0015] As explained in application Ser. No. 09/553,084 a watermark can be applied to images using either a scale to black or a using a scale to white technique. With the scale to black technique, the image pixel is like a vector between black and the pixel color value. The vector is increased or decreased as shown in FIG. 2. That is, FIG. 2 illustrates the color changes for a luminance change utilizing the scale to black technique. The following table lists for each color, the colors that are modified as a result of a luminance change. The table also indicates the degree to which the modification is visible.

[0016] For Scale to Black:

Color Colors Modified Visibility of the change
yellow cyan/magenta high
red cyan high
green magenta medium
Blue Yellow low
Cyan Magenta/yellow low
Magenta Cyan/yellow low

[0017]FIG. 3 illustrates the color changes that occur with a scale to white technique. The scale to white technique obtains the same luminance change as the scale to black technique; however, when scaling to white the image pixel is a vector between white and the pixel color value as shown in FIG. 2. The following table lists for each color, the colors modified as the result of a luminance change. The table also indicates the degree to which the modification is visible.

[0018] For Scale to White

Color Colors Modified Visibility of change
yellow yellow low
red magenta/yellow low
green cyan/yellow medium
Blue Cyan/magenta high
Cyan Cyan high
Magenta Magenta medium

[0019] By using the scale to white method for colors with high yellow content such as yellow and red, and scale to black for blue, cyan, magenta and green a lower visibility mark can be made with the same detectability. Scaling to white results in the watermark being applied mainly to the dominant colors, and scaling to black implies that the watermark is mainly in the secondary colors.

[0020] When images are printed on an offset press, it is known that there is not a straight line relationship between the digital value of the color at any point in the image and the corresponding amount of ink applied to the paper at that point. This is known as dot gain. FIG. 1A shows the forward dot gain curve. That is the relationship between the digital value of a color and the amount of ink actually applied. FIG. 2B shows a backward dot gain curve. That is, FIG. 2 indicates the value needed in order to get a particular amount of ink on the paper.

[0021] The following is a list of 256 values that generate a curve as shown in FIGS. 1A. That is, the following is a list of 256 positions on the vertical axis for 256 positions (i.e. for 0 to 255) on the horizontal axis.

 0  7  12  18  22  26  29  32  34  37  39 42
 44  46  48  50  52  54  55  57  59  60  62 64
 65  67  68  70  71  73  74  76  77  78  80 81
 83  84  85  86  88  89  90  91  93  94  95 96
 97  99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 108 109
110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120
121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131
132 133 134 135 135 136 137 138 139 140 141
142 143 144 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 150
151 152 153 154 155 155 156 157 158 159 160
160 161 162 163 164 164 165 166 167 168 168
169 170 171 171 172 173 174 175 175 176 177
178 178 179 180 181 181 182 183 184 184 185
186 186 187 188 189 189 190 191 191 192 193
194 194 195 196 196 197 198 198 199 200 201
201 202 203 203 204 205 205 206 207 207 208
209 209 210 211 211 212 213 213 214 215 215
216 216 217 218 218 219 220 220 221 222 222
223 224 224 225 225 226 227 227 228 229 229
230 230 231 232 232 233 234 234 235 235 236
237 237 238 238 239 240 240 241 241 242 243
243 244 244 245 246 246 247 247 248 249 249
250 250 251 251 252 253 253 254 254 255

[0022] The following is a list of 256 values that generate the curve shown in FIG. 1B. That is, the following are the vertical values for 256 positions (i.e. 0 to 255) on the horizontal axis.

 0  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  2  2  2  2
 2  3  3  3  3  3  3  4  4  4  4  5
 5  5  5  6  6  6  7  7  7  8  8  9
 9  9  10  10  11  11  11  12  12  13  13 14
 14  15  15  16  16  17  17  18  19  19  20 20
 21  22  22  23  23  24  25  25  26  27  27 28
 29  29  30  31  31  32  33  34  34  35  36 36
 37  38  39  40  40  41  42  43  44  44  45 46
 47  48  49  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56 57
 57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  66  67 68
 69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  79 80
 81  82  83  84  86  87  88  89  90  91  92 93
 94  96  97  98  99 100 101 103 104 105 106
107 109 110 111 112 113 115 116 117 118 120
121 122 123 125 126 127 129 130 131 132 134
135 136 138 139 140 142 143 144 146 147 149
150 151 153 154 156 157 158 160 161 163 164
166 167 168 170 171 173 174 176 177 179 180
182 183 185 186 188 189 191 193 194 196 197
199 200 202 203 205 207 208 210 211 213 215
216 218 219 221 223 224 226 228 229 231 233
234 236 238 239 241 243 244 246 248 250 251
253 255

[0023] It is noted that different offset processes produce different amounts of dot gain; however, with most offset processes, the dot gain curve has the shape shown. For some particular offset processes, the actual values may to 50 or 75 percent of the values given above. The values used in any particular application should be the values appropriate for the particular printing process that will be used to print a particular image.

[0024]FIG. 4 is a block program flow diagram of a program for the preferred embodiment of the invention. The process begins with an image 401 which is in the CYMK color space. As indicated by block 402, the values for each color in the image are first modified in accordance with the values of the forward dot gain curve. This generates a modified image.

[0025] Next as indicated by block 403 calculations are made using the modified image to determine the “tweak” (i.e. the change) values needed to embed a particular watermark in the modified image. This calculation can be done using known watermarking techniques. In the preferred embodiment, the tweak values are calculated using the technique available in the commercially available Photoshop image editing program. However, in other embodiments, other watermarking techniques can be used.

[0026] The tweak values are next modified in accordance with the backward dot gain curve values as indicated by block 404. Next as indicated by block 405, the modified tweak values are added to the values in the original image 401, thereby producing a watermarked image. Finally as indicated by block 406 the watermarked image is printed using an offset press which has the forward and backward dot gain values used in blocks 402 and 404.

[0027] The watermark can then be read from the printed image using known watermarks reading techniques.

[0028] In an alternate embodiment of the invention, the tweak values are added to the modified image values and then the resultant image is modified in accordance with the backward dot gain curve values; however, it has been found that in most instances, the process described in FIG. 4 eliminates some rounding errors.

[0029] In some applications, it has been found desirable to add back a constant that controls the amount of the scale to black signal when a color with high yellow-blue saturation is being embedded. This is sometime necessary, since some cameras are insensitive in the blue channel, so changes in yellow are not detected very well.

[0030] In general to dot gain correction is only applied to the CMY channels, and not to K channel. However, if desired the dot gain correction can be applied to all the channels.

[0031] The preferred embodiments described above relate to the dot gain curve for offset printing processes. It is noted that other processes such as ink jet printing have a different type of dot gain curve. The invention can be applied to most types of printing processes by merely using a dot gain curve appropriate to the particular process.

[0032] Images watermarked using the embodiments described above can be read with conventional watermark reading techniques. Naturally as is conventional the watermark reading technique used should coincide with the particular technique used to generate the change values, that is, with the technique used to watermark the image.

[0033] While the invention has been described with respect to watermarking images it should be understood that the principle is applicable to other types of data.

[0034] The preferred embodiment relates to an image in the CYMK color space. Other embodiments using the same principles can operate on images in various other color spaces.

[0035] While the invention has been shown and described with respect to preferred embodiments, it should be understood that various changes in form and detail may be make without departing from the spirit and scope to the invention. The scope of the invention is limited only by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7961905 *Jun 4, 2008Jun 14, 2011Xerox CorporationEncoding invisible electronic information in a printed document
US20100328340 *Dec 1, 2009Dec 30, 2010Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.Image processing device, image processing method, and image processing program storage medium
Classifications
U.S. Classification382/100, 382/162
International ClassificationH04N7/26, H04H20/31, H04N7/16, H04N21/4627, H04N21/2389, H04N21/44, H04N21/8358, H04N1/32, G06T1/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04N19/00557, H04N19/00836, H04N2201/3233, H04N1/32309, G06T2201/0051, H04N21/23892, H04N1/32154, H04N2201/327, H04N1/32352, H04H20/31, G06T2201/0052, H04N1/32293, H04N1/32208, H04N7/163, G06T1/0021, H04N2201/3284, G06T1/0028, H04N1/32229, H04N1/32288, H04N21/4627, H04N21/8358, H04N1/32203, H04N21/44008, H04N1/32251, G06T1/0064
European ClassificationH04N7/26E10, H04N1/32C19B6, H04N7/16E2, H04N21/8358, H04N1/32C19B2, H04N1/32C19B3E, H04N1/32C19B3B, H04N21/2389B, H04N21/4627, H04N1/32C19B6B, H04N1/32C19C, H04N1/32C19B3G, G06T1/00W6G, H04N7/26H30Q, H04N21/44D, H04N1/32C19B3, G06T1/00W, H04N1/32C19B7, G06T1/00W2
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