An image is compressed by identifying edge pixels of the image; creating a filled edge array of pixels each of the pixels in the filled edge array which corresponds to an edge pixel having a value equal to the value of a pixel of the image array selected in response to the edge pixel, and each of the pixels in the filled edge array which does not correspond to an edge pixel having a value which is a weighted average of the values of surrounding pixels in the filled edge array which do correspond to edge pixels; and subtracting the filled edge array from the image array to create a difference array. The edge file and the difference array are then separately compressed and transmitted or stored. The original image is later reconstructed by creating a preliminary array in response to the received edge file, and adding the preliminary array to the received difference array. Filling is accomplished by solving Laplace's equation using a multi-grid technique. Contour and difference file coding techniques also are described. The techniques can be used in a method for processing a plurality of images by selecting a respective compression approach for each image, compressing each of the images according to the compression approach selected, and transmitting each of the images as compressed, in correspondence with an indication of the approach selected for the image.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.