An adaptive tone mapping algorithm for high dynamic range images

Jian Zhang*, Sei Ichiro Kamata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common task of tone mapping algorithms is to reproduce high dynamic range images (HDR) on low dynamic range (LDR) display devices such as printers and monitors. We present a new tone mapping algorithm for the display of HDR images that was inspired by the adaptive process of the human visual system. The proposed algorithm is based on center/surround Retinex processing. Our method has two novel aspects. The input luminance image is first compressed by a global tone mapping curve. The curvature of the compression curve is adapted locally based on the pseudo-Hilbert scan technique, so it can provide a better overall impression before the subsequent local processing. Second, the local details are enhanced according to a non-linear adaptive spatial filter (Gaussian filter), whose shape (filter variance) is adapted to the high-contrast edges of the image. The proposed method takes advantage of the properties of both global and local processing while overcoming their respective disadvantages. Therefore, the algorithm can preserve visibility and contrast impression of high dynamic range scenes in standard display devices. We tested the proposed method on a variety of HDR images and also compared it to previous research. The results indicated that our method was effective for displaying images with high visual quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-860
Number of pages11
JournalKyokai Joho Imeji Zasshi/Journal of the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • Euclidean distance
  • High dynamic range
  • Hilbert scan
  • Retinex
  • Tone mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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