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Canon Develops Material Appearance Image-Processing Technology That Digitizes Material Appearance Information Qualities Such As Gloss And Three-Dimensional Surface Characteristics To Enable Printing Reproduction

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 8, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., has developed material appearance image-processing technology that, through the acquisition of material appearance information using digital cameras, enables printing that faithfully recreates such material appearance characteristics as gloss, plasticity and transparency, qualities that change in appearance depending on the orientation of lighting or the angle from which an object is viewed.

Material appearance characteristics are those qualities that determine an object's look and feel, such as gloss, plasticity, surface contours and transparency. The acquisition of this information, such as surface contours and reflectance, in addition to color data, is essential for reproducing an object's texture in photographs and other forms of printout.

Canon's newly developed material appearance image-processing technology makes use of multiple Canon digital cameras, which are used to capture images of the target object, facilitating the digitization of such material appearance information as subtle surface contours and gloss. The digitized material appearance information is then used to faithfully reproduce the material appearance properties of the original object using a (UV-curable*) printing technology that is optimally controlled in accordance with its print characteristics.

Capitalizing on Canon's expertise in image input and output devices, material appearance image-processing technology enables not only the high-definition representation of color characteristics, but also the printing of various material appearance qualities, such as those of metal, cloth and other materials. Additionally, as the technology is capable of faithfully recreating the material appearance characteristics of the original target object, it can be used to reproduce historically significant oil paintings and other valuable cultural properties. The creation of such reproductions could allow art enthusiasts to experience and appreciate famous works of art in new ways such as touching the reproduced artwork, while enabling the original artwork to be preserved under optimal display or storage conditions.

In addition to the high-resolution photo printing technologies the Company has cultivated to date, Canon will further strengthen the development of this technology with the aim of expanding its application in such areas as wallpaper and other interior-use materials, advertising signage and product packaging.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets. With approximately $31 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2014† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2015. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. For media inquiries, please contact pr@cusa.canon.com.


† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names and other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.

* An inkjet printing technology that uses UV-curable inks, which instantly dry and adhere to surfaces when exposed to ultraviolet light. UV-curable inks have a hard finish and are highly resistant to water and direct sunlight.

Japanese gold-leaf folding screen (Left-hand side: authentic gold leaf / right-hand side: material appearance printout)