# Posts Tagged ‘Quasar example’

## Focal Black & White Effect

A well known Google Picasa effect is the Focal Black & White Effect. This effect preserves the color within a focal region and converts pixels outside this region to grayscale.

The algorithm is surprisingly simple: it consists of calculating a weighting factor (that depends on the focal radius), converting the pixel RGB values at each position to grayscale, and calculating a weighted average of this value with the original RGB value. Let us see how this can be achieved in Quasar:

``````function [] = __kernel__ focus_bw(x, y, focus_spot, falloff, radius, pos)

% Calculation of the weight
p = (pos - focus_spot) / max(size(x,0..1))
weight = exp(-1.0 / (0.05 + radius * (2 * dotprod(p,p)) ^ falloff))

% Conversion to grayscale & averaging
rgbval = x[pos,pos,0..2]
grayval = dotprod(rgbval,[0.3,0.59,0.11])*[1,1,1]
y[pos,pos,0..2] = lerp(grayval, rgbval, weight)

end
``````

## Code explanation

First, the kernel function `focus_bw` is defined. `__kernel__` is a special function qualifier that identifies a kernel function (similar to OpenCL’s `__kernel` or `kernel` qualifier). Kernel functions are natively compiled to any target architecture that you have in mind. This can be multi-core CPU x86/64 ELF, even ARM v9 with Neon instructions; up to NVidia PTX code. Next, a parameter list follows, the type of the parameters is (in this case) not specified.

Note the special parameter `pos`. In Quasar, `pos` is a parameter name that is reserved for kernel functions to obtain the current position in the image.

The kernel function contains two major blocks:

• In the weight calculation step, first the relative position compared to the focus spot coordinates is computed. This relative position is normalized by dividing by the maximum size in the first two dimensions (note that Quasar uses base-0), so this is the maximum of the width and the height of the image. Next, the weight is obtained as being inversely proportional to distance to the the focal spot. A special built-in function `dotprod`, that can also be found in high-level shader languages (HLSL/GLSL) and that calculates the dot product between two vectors, is used for this purpose.
• For extracting the RGB value at the position `pos`, we use a matrix slice indexer: `0..2` constructs a vector of length 3 (actually `[0,1,2]`), which vector is used for indexing. In fact:
``````x[pos,pos,0..2] = [x[pos,pos,0],x[pos,pos,1],x[pos,pos,2]]
``````

which form do you prefer, the left-handed side, or the right-handed side? You can choose. Note that it is not possible to write: `x[pos[0..1],0..2]`, because this expression would construct a matrix of size `2 x 3`.

• The gray value is calculated by performing the dot product of `[0.3,0.59,0.11]` with the original RGB value. Finally, the gray value is mixed with the original RGB value using the `lerp` “linear interpolation” function. In fact, `lerp` is nothing more than the function:
``````lerp = (x,y,a) -> (1-a) * x + a * x
``````

The resulting RGB value is written to the output image `y`. That’s it!

Finally, we still need to call the kernel function. For this, we use the `parallel_do` construct:

``````img_in = imread("quasar.jpg")
img_out = zeros(size(img_in))

parallel_do(size(img_out,0..1),img_in,img_out,[256,128],0.5,10,focus_bw)
imshow(img_out)
``````

First, an input image `img_in` is loaded using the function `imread` “image read”. Then, an output image is allocated with the same size as the input image.

The `parallel_do` function is called, with some parameters. The first parameter specifies the dimensions of the “work items” that can run in parallel. Here, each pixel of the image can be processed in parallel, hence the dimensions are the size (i.e., height + width) of the output image. The following parameters are argument values that are passed to the kernel function and that are declared in the kernel function definition. Finally, the kernel function to be called is passed.

Note that in contrast to scripting languages that are dynamically typed, the Quasar language is (mostly) statically typed and the Quasar compiler performs type inference in order to derive the data types of all the parameters. This is done based on the surrounding context. Here, Quasar will find out that `img_in` is a `cube`data type (a 3D array) and it will derive all other missing data types based on that. Consequently, efficient parallel code can be generated in a manner that is independent of the underlying platform.

Now: the complete code again:

``````function [] = __kernel__ focus_bw(x, y, focus_spot, falloff, radius, pos)
p = (pos - focus_spot) / max(size(x,0..1))
weight = exp(-1.0 / (0.05 + radius * (2 * dotprod(p,p)) ^ falloff))
rgbval = x[pos,pos,0..2]
grayval = dotprod(rgbval,[0.3,0.59,0.11])*[1,1,1]
y[pos,pos,0..2] = lerp(grayval, rgbval, weight)
end 