Adaptive contour classification of comics speech balloons

Christophe Rigaud, Dimosthenis Karatzas, Jean Christophe Burie, Jean Marc Ogier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014. Comic books digitization combined with subsequent comic book understanding give rise to a variety of new applications, including content reflowing, mobile reading and multi-modal search. Document understanding in this domain is challenging as comics are semi-structured documents, with semantic information shared between the graphical and textual parts. Speech balloon contour analysis reveals the speech tone which is an essential step towards a fully automatic comics understanding. In this paper we present the first approach for classifying speech balloon in scanned comic books where we separate and analyze their contour variations to classify them as “smooth” (normal speech), “wavy” (thought) or “zigzag” (exclamation). The experiments show a global accuracy classification of 85.2% on a wide variety of balloons from the eBDtheque dataset.


  • Contour classification
  • Contour/shape separation
  • Image processing


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