Fully-automatic inverse tone mapping preserving the content creator's artistic intentions


High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays can show images with higher color contrast levels and peak luminosities than the common Low Dynamic Range (LDR) displays. However, most existing video content is recorded and/or graded in LDR format. To show this LDR content on HDR displays, a dynamic range expansion by using an Inverse Tone Mapped Operator (iTMO) is required. In addition to requiring human intervention for tuning, most of the iTMOs don’t consider artistic intentions inherent to the HDR domain. Furthermore, the quality of their results decays with peak brightness above 1000 nits. In this paper, we propose a fully-automatic inverse tone mapping operator based on mid-level mapping. This allows expanding LDR images into HDR with peak brightness over 1000 nits, preserving the artistic intentions inherent to the HDR domain. We assessed our results using full-reference objective quality metrics as HDR-VDP-2.2 and DRIM. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method outperforms the current state of the art.

Proceedings of the Picture Coding Symposium 2018