In imaging and scanning, a means of "artificially" increasing the resolution of a scanned image. The new interpolated resolution supplements the scanner's optical resolution. Essentially, interpolation works by taking the scanned pixel values and averaging sets of them, inserting new pixels between the originals. Interpolation generates varying degrees of image quality. Although it doesn't add detail to a scan, it can smooth transitions between gray or color gradations, eliminating such undesirable effects as banding. (See Scanning and Resolution.)

[This is the process of re-sizing an image by computing new pixel values as weighted averages of existing pixel values. It is slightly more complex than a simple average. This system uses interpolation, including reducing the size of files to be sent to the host. The host specifies the reduction size with a whole number called an interger interpolation factor. Thus, if the host requests an image with an integer interpolation factor of 2, the system will send the image only after it has reduced it by a factor of 2 from 4 megabytes to 2 megabytes, for example.

Computers usually store images as numbers that represent the intensity of the image at discrete points. It is frequently necessary to determine the intensity of the image between those discrete points. Interpolation is a mathematical technique that generates those in-between values by looking at the surrounding intensities.]

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