Graphic design machines are getting smarter and smarter, and they’re helping medical researchers create better graphic design.
One such machine, called the “Abstract Graphic Design Machine,” has been used in more than 20 labs to create better medical images.
Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are using the machine to create graphics for the first time, and their findings are being presented at a conference in Washington, D.C., next week.
“Our goal was to try to get better graphics by doing a better job of manipulating pixels,” said lead author Toni P. Nussbaum, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Computational Biology in Chicago.
The machine was originally created by Nussab, who is now at Northwestern University.
“It’s a very simple machine, but it’s really powerful,” she said.
“Its a lot like a mouse or a keyboard.
It has a lot of pixels.”
The machine is an analog device that can generate a graphic design by applying two kinds of gradients to a series of pixels.
One kind of gradient is applied to the background of the image.
“The background has a gradient, which means it has a very high contrast and it’s bright,” Nussabb said.
The other kind of gradient is applied only to the edges of the background.
“So the gradients have a low contrast and are really bright, but they’re very faint,” she added.
The gradient gradients help produce a much sharper image.
The researchers wanted to see if they could generate better graphics in this kind of environment.
They applied one kind of background gradient, and then a second kind of one.
Both gradients helped produce better results, but the gradents that were applied to only the edges had the lowest contrast and had a lower brightness than the other gradients.
“This is a really good result,” Nillab said.
When the researchers applied the gradient gradents to only one side of the graphic, they got sharper images.
“When you apply a gradient gradient, the gradient goes from the edge to the center,” Nilsab said, “and that center gradient gets the greatest contrast, and the gradient goes from left to right, and so on.”
When they applied the other kind, they made images that were less bright and darker.
“That’s the difference between an image with a high contrast, a dark background, and an image that’s very bright,” she explained.
In a lab setting, the researchers used the machine in a series.
“We’re using it in a lab to generate images in a high-resolution format,” she noted.
“What you’re seeing is that you’re getting a very good result, but at the same time, it’s very, very subtle.”
To generate a more clear image, the gradient gradient could be applied only on the edges, which gave sharper images, but also created a “smoother” gradient gradient.
“For that, you need to get that gradient on the background,” she pointed out.
“And then you have to get the gradient on all the edges and the edges are going to get a bit darker, which makes a very subtle difference.”
To get a clearer image, they applied a gradient on one side only.
The images that the machine produced had a more saturated background and more subtle gradients, but still a clear image.
That image was created using two gradients applied to each pixel, and Nussabi said the machine was able to generate an image of the eye using just one gradient.
This is the first study to show a machine can generate clear images.
Previous studies have shown that gradients can be applied to individual pixels and not to entire images.
To find out how a machine could do that, the team looked at how a gradient can affect how much contrast the gradators were applied, and how this affected the contrast of the final image.
After applying the gradient to the whole image, Nussabe noted, the machine could produce a clear, sharp image.
She said that they also tested the machine on the human eye, and found that when the gradient was applied only at the edges on the image, there was a greater contrast, but that the gradient wasn’t applied to all the pixels.
The team did find that the graders applied more to the corners of the eyes, where the human eyes are most sensitive, and that this reduced the contrast a bit, but not enough to be noticeable.
The results suggest that the way gradient graders are applied can affect the contrast, the Nussabs said.
They also showed that the images generated by the machine, and those generated using the gradient, had similar levels of brightness and contrast.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.