Problem Definition

The concept of an image spreadsheet was introduced in the paper "Spreadsheets for Images" by Marc Levoy. Our project was to investigate the issues involved in a spreadsheet which could display and process images paying particular attention to the problems specific to large images, these cause delays on a normal image processing package but a spreadsheet will need to produce many more images. A further issue was manipulating sequences of data values which would allow for movie editing. From this investigation we would produce a prototype spreadsheet guided by our findings.

In order to produce a clearer aim we produced several scenarios of use for our spreadsheet.

A video editor which could take a scanned film and allow editing and manipulation. Some of the sequences may have to be trimmed, others reordered and some touched up.

An animation tool which can organise drawings which have been made. Images will then have to be composed in layers to produce each frame and the sequence stored. Some special effects are added to parts of the cartoon but not others. The animation will be built up in stages, first with line drawings then with inked versions. The absolute order and size of each part may change with each version.

A photographic studio offers a digitisation and image manipulation service. One of the staff will be available to use the tool effects system which must take a number of images and apply a range of different filters. The customer will direct the process, experimenting with different images and effects. Calculations must be done quickly and previous results may be available to return to if the customer changes their mind.

An image browser is needed to hunt through a large number of images scattered throughout a number of directories. A presentation is being made and suitable pictures must be selected and made available.

These scenarios could all be fulfilled by an image processing spreadsheet if with appropriate features. We will investigate what features would provide these services, what interaction issues these bring up, and which are implementable within a single spreadsheet.