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Modeling a Generic Tone-mapping Operator


Mantiuk,  Rafał
Max Planck Society;


Seidel,  Hans-Peter
Computer Graphics, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Mantiuk, R., & Seidel, H.-P. (2008). Modeling a Generic Tone-mapping Operator. In G. Drettakis, & R. Scopigno (Eds.), The European Association for Computer Graphics 29th Annual Conference, EUROGRAPHICS 2008 (pp. 699-708). Oxford: Blackwell.

Although several new tone-mapping operators are proposed each year, there is no reliable method to validate their performance or to tell how different they are from one another. In order to analyze and understand the behavior of tone-mapping operators, we model their mechanisms by fitting a generic operator to an HDR image and its tone-mapped LDR rendering. We demonstrate that the majority of both global and local tone-mapping operators can be well approximated by computationally inexpensive image processing operations, such as a perpixel tone curve, a modulation transfer function and color saturation adjustment. The results produced by such a generic tone-mapping algorithm are often visually indistinguishable from much more expensive algorithms, such as the bilateral filter. We show the usefulness of our generic tone-mapper in backward-compatible HDR image compression, the black-box analysis of existing tone mapping algorithms and the synthesis of new algorithms that are combination of existing operators.