Evaluation of HDR tone mapping methods using essential perceptual attributes

The problem of reproducing high dynamic range images on media with restricted dynamic range has gained a lot of interest in the computer graphics community. There exist various approaches to this issue, which span several research areas including computer graphics, image processing, color vision, physiological aspects, etc. These approaches assume a thorough knowledge of both the objective and subjective attributes of an image. However, no comprehensive overview and analysis of such attributes has been published so far. In this contribution, we present an overview about the effects of basic image attributes in high dynamic range tone mapping. Furthermore, we propose a scheme of relationships between these attributes, leading to the definition of an overall image quality measure. We present results of subjective psychophysical experiments that we have performed to prove the proposed relationship scheme. Moreover, we also present an evaluation of existing tone mapping methods (operators) with regard to these attributes. Finally, the execution of with reference and without a real reference perceptual experiments gave us the opportunity to relate the obtained subjective results. Our effort is not just useful to get into the tone mapping field or when implementing a tone mapping method, but it also sets the stage for well-founded quality comparisons between tone mapping methods. By providing good definitions of the different attributes, user-driven or fully automatic comparisons are made possible.

Computers & Graphics 32(3):330-349, 2008.

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