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Journal of Electronic Imaging

Testing tone mapping operators with human-perceived reality
Author(s): Akiko Yoshida; Volker Blanz; Karol Myszkowski; Hans-Peter Seidel
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Paper Abstract

A number of successful tone mapping operators for contrast compression have been proposed due to the need to visualize high dynamic range (HDR) images on low dynamic range (LDR) devices. They were inspired by fields as diverse as image processing, photographic practice, and modeling of the human visual systems (HVS). The variety of approaches calls for a systematic perceptual evaluation of their performance. We conduct a psychophysical experiment based on a direct comparison between the appearance of real-world scenes and HDR images of these scenes displayed on an LDR monitor. In our experiment, HDR images are tone mapped by seven existing tone mapping operators. The primary interest of this psychophysical experiment is to assess the differences in how tone mapped images are perceived by human observers and to find out which attributes of image appearance account for these differences when tone mapped images are compared directly with their corresponding real-world scenes rather than with each other. The human subjects rate image naturalness, overall contrast, overall brightness, and detail reproduction in dark and bright image regions with respect to the corresponding real-world scene. The results indicate substantial differences in the perception of images produced by individual tone mapping operators. We observe a clear distinction between global and local operators—in favor of the latter—and we classify the tone mapping operators according to naturalness and appearance attributes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2007
PDF: 14 pages
J. Electron. Imag. 16(1) 013004 doi: 10.1117/1.2711822
Published in: Journal of Electronic Imaging Volume 16, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Akiko Yoshida, Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (Germany)
Volker Blanz, Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (Germany)
Karol Myszkowski, Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (Germany)
Hans-Peter Seidel, Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik (Germany)

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