High Dynamic Range Imaging

Acquisition, Display, and Image-Based Lighting


  • Erik Reinhard, University of Bristol, UK
  • Greg Ward, Independent Consultant, Albany, California, U.S.A.
  • Sumanta Pattanaik, University of Central Florida, Orlando, U.S.A.
  • Paul Debevec, Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, U.S.A.

High dynamic range imaging produces images with a much greater range of light and color than conventional imaging. The effect is stunning, as great as the difference between black-and-white and color television. High Dynamic Range Imaging is the first book to describe this exciting new field that is transforming the media and entertainment industries. Written by the foremost researchers in HDRI, it will explain and define this new technology for anyone who works with images, whether it is for computer graphics, film, video, photography, or lighting design.
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Researchers and developers in computer graphics and the entertainment industry; technical directors in film and photography; anyone who works with images.


Book information

  • Published: November 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-585263-0


"Although High Dynamic Range Imaging is likely a bit technical for the average game artist, it's perfect for programmers, technical artists, or technical directors who are interested in applying this fascinating technology to their games. The text is as essential on the bookshelf as the graphics gems series has been." —Dennis Crowley, Game Developer Magazine

"Here at last is the definitive guide to high dynamic range imaging—a field that is poised to revolutionize the way we view, manipulate and enjoy digital images. The authors provide a detailed review of the basic concepts and methods necessary to incorporate high dynamic range images into any practical application. This book is indispensable to researchers in computer graphics, digital design and visualization; indeed to anyone who cares about the realism and fidelity of the images they use on a daily basis." —Heinrich Bülthoff, Executive Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics

"This book is a complete and much needed treatment of high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. It is a comprehensive source for the creation, processing, use and display of HDR images. The authors are leading experts, and are the authors of many of the most commonly used methods in HDR imaging. In particular, this is the first complete collection of tone mapping and image-based lighting, which have become essential topics in computer graphics rendering. The book is written in a style that is pleasant to read, but is also detailed and thorough enough to be used as a reference. Readers will have all they need to work with HDR images, whether they are using commodity cameras and traditional low dynamic range displays, or the newest HDR capture devices and displays." —Holly Rushmeier, Professor of Computer Science, Yale University

"This is a remarkably complete book on one of the most important areas of modern computer graphics by four of the top people in the field. Its clear and detailed treatment of both theory and practice will make it an essential resource for my own work, and I would recommend it to anyone doing computer graphics or imaging." —Peter Shirley, Professor, University of Utah

High Dynamic Range Imaging" is a fantastic overview of the state of the art for some critical concepts in visual effects. It outlines the basic foundations of color theory that are the core of VFX image processing and also serves as a roadmap to the way we will be working in the future. This book should be required reading for any VFX artist doing high-end film work."
"When working on a visual effects film, any images provided by the director of photography are both sacred and fragile. This book explains why and also helps guide the reader to a better understanding of how HDR imagery can eliminate a lot of common LDR problems in the VFX pipeline." —Scott Stokdyk, Visual Effects Supervisor, Sony Pictures Imageworks

"I was very impressed with this book. It is highly topical and relevant at this pivotal time in the technology of image recording and display. Even the average consumer is well aware of monstrous changes in the film industry: digital cameras supplanting film cameras and digital projectors muscling in on film projectors at cinemas. This book is an excellent touchstone of where the industry is and where it will be going in the coming years."
"The book reads very well. It not only works as an excellent reference volume but it reads easily and teaches the subject thoroughly. There's no question that it's going on my bookshelf and I know many artists who will insist on having a copy too."
"Finally, I appreciate that a book about images and perception does not skimp on plates. This is a very pretty book and communicates the problems with images very clearly." —Doug Roble, Creative Director of Software, Digital Domain

"Last week I saw the future: a 50-inch high dynamic range video display. The authors of this book predict that HDR displays may be as little as few years away, but having seen tomorrow, my demand for the technology is now. Fortunately, this book more than satisfies my craving for information on all aspects of high dynamic range imaging. It has brought the future to my reading chair and my software development efforts. It is all that I could (and did) ask for." —Ian Ashdown, President, byHeart Consultants Limited

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 Light And Color2.1 Radiometry2.2 Photometry2.3 Colorimetry2.4 Color Spaces2.5 White Point and Illuminants2.6 Color Correction2.7 Color Opponent Spaces2.8 Color Appearance2.9 Display Gamma2.10 Brightness Encoding2.11 Standard RGB Color Spaces
3 HDR Image Encodings3.1 LDR versus HDR Encodings3.2 Applications of HDR Images3.3 HDR Image Formats3.4 HDR Encoding Comparison3.5 Conclusions
4 HDR Image Capture4.1 Photography and Light Measurement4.2 HDR Image Capture from Multiple Exposures4.3 Film Scanning4.4 Image Registration and Alignment4.5 The Mean Threshold Bitmap Alignment Technique4.6 Deriving the Camera Response Function4.7 Ghost Removal4.8 Lens Flare Removal4.9 Direct Capture of HDR Imagery4.10 Conclusions
5 Display Devices5.1 Hardcopy Devices5.2 Softcopy Devices
6 The Human Visual System and HDR Tone Mapping6.1 Tone-mapping Problem6.2 Human Visual Adaptation6.3 Visual Adaptation Models for HDR Tone Mapping6.4 Background Intensity in Complex Images6.5 Dynamics of Visual Adaptation6.6 Summary
7 Spatial Tone Reproduction7.1 Preliminaries7.2 Global Operators7.3 Local Operators7.4 Summary
8 Frequency Domain And Gradient Domain Tone Reproduction8.1 Frequency Domain Operators8.2 Gradient Domain Operators8.3 Performance8.4 Discussion
9 Image-Based Lighting9.1 Introduction9.2 Basic Image-based Lighting9.3 Capturing Light Probe Images9.4 Omnidirectional Image Mappings9.5 How a Global Illumination Renderer Computes IBL Images9.6 Sampling Incident Illumination Efficiently9.7 Simulating Shadows and Scene-Object Interreflection9.8 Useful IBL Approximations9.9 Image-based Lighting for Real Objects and People9.10 Conclusions
List of SymbolsReferencesIndex