Digital image manipulation is a key tool in the development of multimedia presentations. This article talks about the five basic steps that are followed while digitizing images and preparing them for various output modes. This procedure can be completed with commercially available hardware and software coupled with the tools and techniques of the trade.
As radiologists migrate from the conventional slide presentations to personal computer aided multimedia presentations, they will require additional skills to manipulate digital images. This can be accomplished only if the user has some basic knowledge about the software available for the purpose and the techniques which can be used to accomplish this. Technically speaking, there is a five step approach to the basics of digitizing non-digital images and preparing digital images for publication, presentation, scanning, correction, editing and labeling, saving files, and finally producing the final output. The one software used for this purpose is Photoshop.
The first step in the digitization of non-digital images is scanning the image. The flatbed scanners used for doing this can read three types of images namely reflective, transparent and negative. Although, different scanning software interfaces differ in their looks, the three basic functions that the user needs to understand while scanning an image are the size, resolution and color mode of the image in question. The second step in the digitization process is correcting the image. After completion of the scanning stage, Photoshop software is used for all image correction, manipulation and adjustments. This is the industry standard program available for both Macintosh and Windows based PCs.
The third step in the digitization process is editing and labeling the image. The same Photoshop software used above is again used for this. The activities in Photoshop that are done in this are removing unwanted marks and data, resizing the image, labeling and adding arrows. The fourth step involves saving the edited image. All images modified by Photoshop software have to be further saved in the same software in the format that is compatible with its future use. Some of the file types in which this can be saved are .psd, .tiff, .jpeg. These different file types help us save different features of the image.
The fifth and final step in the digitization process is producing the final output. Final radiologic images may be used for print, distribution in journals and posters, computer slide presentations, traditional slide presentations, web based presentations. Thus, we see how superior computer technology has made it possible for radiologists to produce images that may be altered by an illustrator to exclude, include, or define certain clinical findings such as tumors or some other pathological conditions to be used as tools for teaching. Although, we now have tools to manipulate digital images, doing this activity on clinically shot images either from a x-ray machine or any other clinical radiological machine is considered fraudulent and is prohibited.
Thus, we see that the basics of image scanning, correction, editing and labeling, saving files and producing the final output are rather complex and therefore it requires in-depth knowledge about the tools and techniques used for the purpose. This will help us enhance our multi-media presentations. Although, modifying clinical images is considered an offence, professionals into this field are manipulating digital images everyday using the above tools and techniques by following the above method.