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Proceedings Paper

Rehabilitation of gamma
Author(s): Charles A. Poynton
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Paper Abstract

Gamma characterizes the reproduction of tone scale in an imaging system. Gamma summarizes, in a single numerical parameter, the nonlinear relationship between code value--in an 8-bit system, from 0 through 255--and physical intensity. Nearly all image coding systems are nonlinear, and so involve values of gamma different from unity. Owing to poor understanding of tone scale reproduction, and to misconceptions about nonlinear coding, gamma has acquired a terrible reputation in computer graphics and image processing. In addition, the world-wide web suffers from poor reproduction of grayscale and color images, due to poor handling of nonlinear image coding. This paper aims to make gamma respectable again.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 1998
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 3299, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging III, (17 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.320126
Show Author Affiliations
Charles A. Poynton


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3299:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging III
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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