Tone Reproduction Using Photographic Principles

Since it's inception, one of the major goals of computer graphics has been the quest for photorealism in the synthesis of computer generated imagery. In pursuit of this goal, the field has relied on a photographic metaphor whereby the transport of light is traced from a scene, through a camera and onto an image plane. In the final stage of the synthesis process, the tone reproduction stage, simulated illuminance values are converted to appropriate pixel values for eventual display.

Most work in tone reproduction for computer graphics has focused on modeling of the human visual system.  In this work, an alternate means of tone reproduction based on photography is described.  In this work, we specifie a system that models individual components of a photographic system (including the camera, enlarger and photographic materials) and simulates the mechanisms by which photographic prints are created.

The system enables tone reproduction to be applied to computer generated imagery using the same parameter space available to photographers. As such, the system can be used to experiment with different photographic parameters, immediately illustrating the results of a set of photographic choices.

  • F Kenton MusgravePandromeda 
  • Publications
  • J. M. Geigel. Tone reproduction for computer graphics using photographic principles. PhD thesis, The George Washington University, 2000. AAI9961552.. Doctoral Thesis. UMI Order Number: AAI9961552.

  • J. Geigel and F. K. Musgrave. A model for simulating the photographic development process on digital images. In Proceedings of the 24th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, SIGGRAPH ?97, pages 135?142, New York, NY, USA, 1997. ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

  • J. Geigel and F. K. Musgrave. Simulated photographic development of synthetic images. In ACM SIGGRAPH 96 Visual Proceedings: The art and interdisciplinary programs of SIGGRAPH ?96, SIGGRAPH ?96, pages 152?, New York, NY, USA, 1996. ACM.
  • Presentations
  • Joe Geigel, A media based framework for tone and color reproduction in Computer Graphics, RIT Colloquium Series, November 4, 2004.

  • Joe Geigel, Rethinking Digital Photography: Beyond 24 Bit RGB, IEEE 2004 Western New York Image Processing Workshop, September 2004.

  • Joe Geigel, Tone reproduction for Computer Graphics using photographic Principles, RIT Colloquium Series, February 17, 1999.

  • Joe Geigel, Photographic Tone Reproduction, Cornell Program of Computer Graphics, March 1999.

  • Links
  • The Virtual Darkroom -- Applet implementing the model.  Originally introduced at the  SIGGRAPH 97 Createive Applications Lab as a comapnion to the paper.

  • Full resolution versions of the images in the SIGGRAPH 97 paper