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Tone mapping based HDR compression: Does it affect visual experience?
, M. Perreira Da Silva, P. Le Callet, R. Pepion
Published in
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Pages: 257 - 273
High Dynamic Range (HDR) content is visually more appealing since it can represent the real luminance of the scene. However, on the downside, this means that a large amount of data needs to be handled both during storage and processing. The other problem is that HDR content cannot be displayed on the conventional display devices due to their limited dynamic range. To overcome these two problems, dynamic range compression (or range reduction) is often used and this is accomplished by tone mapping operators (TMOs). As result of tone mapping, the HDR content is not only fit to be displayed on a regular display device but also compressed. However from an artistic intention point of view, TMOs are not necessarily transparent and might induce different viewing behavior. It is generally accepted that TMOs reduce visual quality and there have been a number of studies reported in literature which examine the impact of tone mapping from the view point of perceptual quality. In contrast to this, it is largely unclear if tone mapping will induce changes in visual attention (VA) as well and whether these are significant enough to be accounted for in HDR content processing. To our knowledge, no systematic study exists which sheds light on this issue. Given that VA is a crucial visual perception mechanism which affects the way we perceive visual signals, it is important to study the effect of tone mapping on VA deployment. Towards this goal, this paper investigates and quantifies how TMOs modify VA. Comprehensive subjective tests in the form of eye-tracking experiments have been conducted on several HDR content and using a large number of TMOs. Further non-parametric statistical analysis has been carried out to ascertain the statistical significance of the results obtained. Our studies suggest that TMOs can indeed modify human attention and fixation behavior. Based on this we believe that VA needs consideration for evaluating the overall perceptual impact of TMOs on HDR content. As mentioned, since the existing studies so far have only considered the quality or esthetic appeal angle, this study brings in a new perspective regarding the importance of VA in HDR content processing for visualization on LDR displays. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
About the journal
JournalSignal Processing: Image Communication