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What is Guided Image Filtering?

The imguidedfilter function performs edge-preserving smoothing on an image, using the content of a second image, called a guidance image, to influence the filtering. The guidance image can be the image itself, a different version of the image, or a completely different image. Guided image filtering is a neighborhood operation, like other filtering operations, but takes into account the statistics of a region in the corresponding spatial neighborhood in the guidance image when calculating the value of the output pixel.

A pixel in the output image is calculated using the neighborhood around the corresponding pixel in the input image and the same neighborhood in the guidance image.

If the guidance is the same as the image to be filtered, the structures are the same—an edge in original image is the same in the guidance image. If the guidance image is different, structures in the guidance image will impact the filtered image, in effect, imprinting these structures on the original image. This effect is called structure transference.

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