University of Oulu

Chen, W.; Ren, N.; Zhu, C.; Zhou, Q.; Seppänen, T.; Keskinarkaus, A. Screen-Cam Robust Image Watermarking with Feature-Based Synchronization. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 7494.

Screen-cam robust image watermarking with feature-based synchronization

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Author: Chen, Weitong1,2,3; Ren, Na1,2,3; Zhu, Changqing1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Nanjing Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
2State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographical Environment Evolution, Nanjing 210023, China
3Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
4Physiological Signal Analysis Team, Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 36.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-02


The screen-cam process, which is taking pictures of the content displayed on a screen with mobile phones or cameras, is one of the main ways that image information is leaked. However, traditional image watermarking methods are not resilient to screen-cam processes with severe distortion. In this paper, a screen-cam robust watermarking scheme with a feature-based synchronization method is proposed. First, the distortions caused by the screen-cam process are investigated. These distortions can be summarized into the five categories of linear distortion, gamma tweaking, geometric distortion, noise attack, and low-pass filtering attack. Then, a local square feature region (LSFR) construction method based on a Gaussian function, modified Harris–Laplace detector, and speeded-up robust feature (SURF) orientation descriptor is developed for watermark synchronization. Next, the message is repeatedly embedded in each selected LSFR by an improved embedding algorithm, which employs a non-rotating embedding method and a preprocessing method, to modulate the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) coefficients. In the process of watermark detection, we fully utilize the captured information and extract the message based on a local statistical feature. Finally, the experimental results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the method against common attacks and screen-cam attacks. Compared to the previous schemes, our scheme has not only good robustness against screen-cam attack, but is also effective against screen-cam with additional common desynchronization attacks.

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Series: Applied sciences
ISSN: 2076-3417
ISSN-E: 2076-3417
ISSN-L: 2076-3417
Volume: 10
Issue: 21
Pages: 1 - 24
Article number: 7494
DOI: 10.3390/app10217494
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number 42071362 and 41971338, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, grant number BK20191373.
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (