Seam carving for content-aware image resizing

Shai Avidan, Ariel Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective resizing of images should not only use geometric constraints, but consider the image content as well. We present a simple image operator called seam carving that supports content-aware image resizing for both reduction and expansion. A seam is an optimal 8-connected path of pixels on a single image from top to bottom, or left to right, where optimality is defined by an image energy function. By repeatedly carving out or inserting seams in one direction we can change the aspect ratio of an image. By applying these operators in both directions we can retarget the image to a new size. The selection and order of seams protect the content of the image, as defined by the energy function. Seam carving can also be used for image content enhancement and object removal. We support various visual saliency measures for defining the energy of an image, and can also include user input to guide the process. By storing the order of seams in an image we create multi-size images, that are able to continuously change in real time to fit a given size.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1276390
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Content-aware image manipulation
  • Display devices
  • Image resizing
  • Image retargeting
  • Image seams


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