Pixelization refers to the process of blurring a portion of pixels within a frame to purposely distort an image. Used mostly as a video or audio editing tool, pixelization distorts areas of an image to prevent the viewer from seeing (or hearing) something offensive, such as nudity.
Similarly, distortion through pixelization may be used if the broadcaster needs to block out information to protect an innocent party, such as the face of the victim of a crime. Pixelization can also distort product labels, addresses or license plate numbers.
In the audio world, broadcasters use pixelization of these files to bleep out words that they don’t want their audiences to hear, such as obscenities, the Proper Names of people and locations or other inappropriate discourse.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the deceny standards of broadcast. Consequently, the images that broadcasters pixelize depend on what the FCC has deemed indecent. Cable television, such as HBO or Showtime, don’t pixelize their images, as they aren’t controlled by the FCC standards.
Graphics filters, common in bitmap editor programs, are the most common way to use pixelization.
Posterization Posterization is the process of changing the tonal gradations in certain areas of an image. While a photographer can create the effect of posterization through computer software like Photoshop, posterization ...