High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) Theory and Technology

Course Number: SC14

Sunday 26 January • 15:45 – 17:45
Course Length: 2 hours
Course Level: Intermediate
Instructors: John J. McCann, McCann Imaging, and Alessandro Rizzi, University of Milano

Learning Outcomes
This course enables the attendee to:

  • Measure the optical limits in acquisition and display; in particular measure the scene dependent effects of optical glare.
  • Compare the accuracy of scene capture using single and multiple-exposures in normal and RAW formats.
  • Engage in a discussion of human spatial vision that responds to the retinal image altered by glare.
  • Engage in a discussion of current HDR TV systems and standards: tone-rendering vs. spatial HDR methods.
  • Explore the history of HDR imaging.

Leonardo da Vinci made HDR paintings. Artists, photographers, and image processors continue to capture/reproduce HDR scenes. Today’s HDR TVs use developing technologies (LCD, LED, OLED, QLED); and standards (HDR10, DolbyAtmos, TechnicolorHDR, HybridLogGamma). The key to HDR is understanding the specific goal of the image. Is it the display’s physical accuracy (radiances), or the reproduction’s appearance? Since 1500, painters have reproduced HDR scenes ignoring accurate radiances.

This course emphasizes measurements of physics (accurate reproduction) and psychophysics (visual appearance). Physics shows limits caused by optical glare; HDR does not reproduce scene radiances. Psychophysics shows that human vision’s spatial-image-processing renders scene appearance.

The course reviews successful HDR reproductions; limits of radiance reproduction; HDR TV’s technology and standards; appearance and display luminance; and appearance models. HDR technology is a complex problem controlled by optics, signal-processing, and visual limits. The solution depends on its goal: physical information or preferred appearance.

Intended Audience
Anyone interested in using HDR imaging: science, technology of displays, and applications. This includes students, color scientists, imaging researchers, medical imagers, software and hardware engineers, photographers, cinematographers, and production specialists.

John McCann worked in, and managed, Polaroid’s Vision Research Laboratory (1961-1996).  He studied Retinex theory, color constancy, color from rod/cone interactions at low light levels, image reproduction, appearance with scattered light, cataracts, and HDR imaging. He is a Fellow of IS&T and the Optical Society of America (OSA); a past president of IS&T and the Artists Foundation, Boston; IS&T/OSA 2002 Edwin Land Medalist and IS&T 2005 Honorary Member.

Alessandro Rizzi is full professor and head of MIPSLab, department of computer science, University of Milan. He researches color, HDR, and related perceptual issues. He is one of the founders of the Italian Color Group, Secretary of CIE Division 8, and IS&T Fellow and vice president, topical editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America, associate editor of the Journal of Electronic Imaging. In 2015 Rizzi received the Davies Medal from the Royal Photographic Society.


1/26/2020 3:45 PM - 1/26/2020 5:45 PM