Navier-Stokes, fluid dynamics, and image and video inpainting
Image inpainting involves filling in part of an image or video using information from the surrounding area. Applications include the restoration of damaged photographs and movies and the removal of selected objects. In this paper, we introduce a class of automated methods for digital inpainting. The approach uses ideas from classical fluid dynamics to propagate isophote lines continuously from the exterior into the region to be inpainted. The main idea is to think of the image intensity as a 'stream function' for a two-dimensional incompressible flow. The Laplacian of the image intensity plays the role of the vorticity of the fluid; it is transported into the region to be inpainted by a vector field defined by the stream function. The resulting algorithm is designed to continue isophotes while matching gradient vectors at the boundary of the inpainting region. The method is directly based on the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid dynamics, which has the immediate advantage of well-developed theoretical and numerical results. This is a new approach for introducing ideas from computational fluid dynamics into problems in computer vision and image analysis.