As some of you may know, one of the defining features of Japanese porn is that genitals are pixelated. This might seem a little odd, considering the reputation that Japan has for being slightly on the sexually depraved side, but for decades there has been a law that requires all domestic porn to be censored. Unpixelated porn is produced, but because it’s illegal (and actually policed) it’s usually only produced by smaller studios or enterprising sole traders. Now, for the discerning porn watcher, there’s finally another solution: A depixelation machine!
Depixelation is a topic that’s particularly close to ExtremeTech’s heart — not because of porn, you understand, but because of 8-bit art. To this day, an 8-bit depixelation algorithm developed by Microsoft Research was one of the site’s most popular stories of all time. Given how new technologies are nearly always first adopted by the gaming and sex industries, we’re actually rather surprised that it took this long for depixelation machines so long to appear. (And yes, I’m as curious as you about whether these machines could be used to more effectively upscale your old NES games. I’ve emailed one of the machine makers to ask for a review unit, and hope to report back with my findings soon.)
The devices, called mosaic removal machines (モザイク除去機, mozaiku jyokyo-ki), essentially consist of a video pass-through box with a bunch of knobs on. Sadly, there don’t appear to be any photos of what’s inside these boxes, but given that the boxes sport composite and coaxial input/output, we’re probably not talking about hyper-advanced tech. Going by the labels, it seems you get a targeting reticule that depixelates everything beneath it. It doesn’t appear to automatically target the pixelated regions; instead, you have to move a little joystick around and twiddle a “zoom” knob to match the size of the genital in question. (Read: Just how big are porn sites?)
Evil Bert's Super Censored spectacular (uncensored) Weavebay. Hokuto no ken the movie 1986 - CENSORED vs UNCENSORED. Starplatinum jojo. Hook Uncensored. This week in Osaka, cops busted uncensored dirty movie sellers. According to The Tokyo Reporter, police seized 140,000 uncensored DVDs. Pixelated porn is the law! And in the past, machines were.
According to Kotaku, there is a mass debate over whether these machines actually work. (Kotaku also says that Japanese porn is painstakingly censored by hand, earning the highly skilled laborers $15 per hour.) Scientifically speaking, it depends on how the original censorship mosaic is produced. Similar to how Photoshop can de-blur photos if it can work out what camera movement caused the blur, if the pixelation algorithm is known, it might be possible to rebuild the original image. Ultimately, though, the main problem with pixelation is that you can’t recreate data that doesn’t exist; if you imagine that each censored pixel has been replaced by a block of 32×32 pixels, there is no way to recover all 1024 pixels. At best, by analyzing its neighbours and using some other more complex methods, you might get a handful of pixels that are the correct color — at worst, you’ll get just a single pixel of the correct color. So, while this machine might unscramble the mosaic, it won’t miraculously restore the genitals to their original high-definition glory. One Japanese website (which doesn’t contain nudity but isn’t work-safe) claims the de-mosaic device costs almost $900; I really hope that isn’t the case.
As I wrote this story, another possible solution came to mind: Genital replacement. Rather than trying to salvage what little detail is left, it should be possible to write some software that removes the pixelated region, and then splices in a matching organ from a database of porn. It obviously wouldn’t match perfectly, but it would be easy enough to match skin tone, and perhaps a few other features.
The other option, of course, is that Japanese porn watchers should just start appending “uncensored” to their BitTorrent searches.
To remove jpeg-artifacts, you need to specify a picture no larger than 2.2 Megapixels (≈1920x1080) on your computer or phone and then click the OK button at the bottom of the page, wait a couple of seconds and download the result. All settings are already set by default.
It is recommended to use the removing of jpeg artifacts before any manipulations with the image. And after processing on this page, you can, for example, enlarge the processed image (if it is too small), slightly add color saturation or sharpness and so on, but in this case it is better to use the PNG-24 as an intermediate format, to avoid losing of image quality after each processing step. Also on this site it is possible to know, what quality level was used in already compressed jpeg image.
Example of a photo with jpeg artifacts before and after improvement, the difference is especially visible inside the flower bud, when you click on any of all examples below, you can open their copies, enlarged in 3x times for clarity:
To get the same result as in the above example on the right side, was used all settings, installed by default.
Example of artifacts with pixelization after high compression of jpeg image, before and after improvement:
To remove artifacts with pixelization (squares of 8x8 pixels), as in the above example on the left side, you need to specify next parameters: 'Artifacts removal intensity' – 'normal', 'Pixelization removal intensity' – '3', 'Denoising intensity' – '0'.
Example of photo with a light noise before and after removing on this site:
For this noise reduction you need to set the following settings: 'Artifacts removal intensity' – 'off', 'Pixelization removal intensity' – '0' and 'Denoising intensity' – '5'.
Prettyearth world atlas and maps gps. Also you can try this combination of settings: 'Artifacts removal intensity' – 'normal', 'Pixelization removal intensity' – '3', 'Denoising intensity' – '5'.
Depending on the size and quality of the original image, settings can be different and, the larger the image, the more you usually need to increase parameters, but not too much, so that the picture does not to be very smoothed.
This online tool is appropriate for thumbnails or small pictures no more than 2 megapixels, for example, with size about 1920x1080 pixels, because on the large image these artifacts are practically not visible. If you need to process bigger image, then send it along with the settings you need to e-mail – it will be done free of charge during the day. These limitations are due to the fact that this is a very overhead process and not every user will be able to sustain 5 minutes before it's completed.
The original image does not change in any way. You will be given other processed image.