HDR Video Encoding, HDR Image Encoding, and HDR Display Devices

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This landmark book is the first to describe HDRI technology in its entirety and covers a wide-range of topics, from capture devices to tone reproduction and image-based lighting. The techniques described enable you to produce images that have a dynamic range much closer to that found in the real world, leading to an unparalleled visual experience. As both an introduction to the field and an authoritative technical reference, it is essential to anyone working with images, whether in computer graphics, film, video, photography, or lighting design.

    • New material includes chapters on High Dynamic Range Video Encoding, High Dynamic Range Image Encoding, and High Dynammic Range Display Devices
    • Written by the inventors and initial implementors of High Dynamic Range Imaging
    • Covers the basic concepts (including just enough about human vision to explain why HDR images are necessary), image capture, image encoding, file formats, display techniques, tone mapping for lower dynamic range display, and the use of HDR images and calculations in 3D rendering
  • Range and depth of coverage is good for the knowledgeable researcher as well as those who are just starting to learn about High Dynamic Range imaging

From the Back Cover

This landmark book is the first to describe HDRI technology in its entirety and covers a wide-range of topics, from capture devices to tone reproduction and image-based lighting. The techniques described enable you to produce images that have a dynamic range much closer to that found in the real world, leading to an unparalleled visual experience. As both an introduction to the field and an authoritative technical reference, it is essential to anyone working with images, whether in computer graphics, film, video, photography, or lighting design. 

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English

From the other reviews about this book that came about via Amazon’s Vine program, you might infer a possible problem when the book is a deeply technical exposition. Frankly, it was over the heads of several reviewers, several of whom admitted as much. So let’s see what I can contribute.

The subject of High Dynamic Range imaging exists mostly because of a simple observation. When you look with your eyes at a natural scene, typically outdoors in daytime, the dynamic range of the image can vary up to 5 orders of magnitude in intensity. But when the scene is captured and then displayed, the output page or screen can often only show 2 orders of magnitude. The latter is called Low Dynamic Range imaging. The conventional 24 bit RGB representation, which allocates 8 bits each to red, green and blue, is for LDR. The 8 bits in each colour channel is that 2 orders of magnitude variation.

The book also explains clearly why 24 bit RGB is really effectively 8 bits or 2 orders of magnitude range. You might think naively that we have 24 bits of variation. But the text takes an example image, of an outdoors scene, and does scatterplots of red, green and blue pixel intensities against each other. They are strongly correlated. Which makes sense, when you realise that a pixel that is bright in red is often also bright in green and blue. The practical effect is that the information content in 24 bit pixels is actually much less than 24 bits. Which also explains why a mapping from RGB to other colour spaces that use 1 luminance channel and 2 chromatic channels is often performed. The latter 2 channels have much less information and so can be better compressed.

Anyhow, the top level understanding of this book is to appreciate the discrepancy between the 5 orders of magnitude in an actual scene and the 2 orders in an output image. This impedance mismatch accounts for most of the book’s complexity and length. Many of the algorithms strive to somehow capture more of the natural dynamic range and make it visible in the far more restrictive output.

The book seems ideal for a colour scientist or engineer who wants a deep understanding of the optical interactions as well as the physiology of human image perception. It is not meant for someone who needs a quickie tweak of an existing software imaging package. Rather, the book helps explain the science behind those packages, which might be often way more intricate than can be appreciated by the typical users of such packages.

You can see this for yourself by reading many of the other reviews. Most are cursory and utter drivel. Written by people who were clearly out of their depths in terms of understanding maths or science or engineering in the text. Several reviews were just a short paragraph of generalities. Written by people who got their books thru the Amazon Vine program and just needed to post a review to satisfy the Vine requirements. Basically so that they could continue to get more free books from Vine.

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