Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Texture and Directionality

In many cases, the objects or structures that need to be distinguished in images are not characterized by color or brightness values that are different from the surrounding background. Instead, the difference may be one of texture. Human vision recognizes features based on this property. In the illustrations in the Distinguishing Textures interactive tutorial, starting with an artificial texture and then in a light microscope image of cheese and an electron microscope image of liver tissue, there is no unique brightness difference in the original structures, but by calculating either the range or the variance of the pixel values in a neighborhood with radius = 2.5 pixels each distinct region is assigned a different brightness. Notice that the image histogram after processing has distinct peaks that correspond to the structures.

Interactive Tutorial
Distinguishing Textures
Discover how to convert spatial texture to brightness values. 

Texture or structure in an image may also have directionality. This can be detected as a property and used to label regions by applying the same Sobel brightness gradient vector introduced above as an edge delineation tool. The magnitude of the vector was used to outline steps and edges. The orientation angle of the vector can be used to characterize local orientation. The angle from 0 to 180 or from 0 to 360 degrees is generally scaled to the 0..255 brightness range of the display, or shown as a color, as illustrated in the Distinguishing Directionality interactive tutorial. For the directions and cloth images this shows that the visually distinct regions of the image can be separated by the procedure. For the collagen image, the histogram is a quantitative measure of the preferred orientation of the fibers.

Interactive Tutorial
Distinguishing Directionality
Explore methods for converting spatial orientation to brightness values. 

Contributing Authors

John C. Russ - Materials Science and Engineering Dept., North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695.

Matthew Parry-Hill and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.



Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2009 by Michael W. Davidson, John Russ, Olympus America Inc., and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Thursday, Sep 20, 2018 at 09:15 AM
Access Count Since July 20, 2006: 6007
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: