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Research Papers

GPU-Based Local Tone Mapping in the Context of Virtual Night Driving

[+] Author and Article Information
Jan Berssenbrügge

Heinz Nixdorf Institute,
University of Paderborn,
Fürstenallee 11,
33102 Paderborn, Germany
e-mail: jan.berssenbruegge@hni.uni-paderborn.de

Erik Bonner

HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co.,
Rixbecker Straße 75,
59552 Lippstadt, Germany
e-mail: erik.bonner@hella.com

Contributed by the Computers and Information Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received October 19, 2012; final manuscript received March 12, 2013; published online April 22, 2013. Editor: Bahram Ravani.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 13(2), 021007 (Apr 22, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: JCISE-12-1192; doi: 10.1115/1.4024117 History: Received October 19, 2012; Revised March 12, 2013

Virtual prototyping of automotive headlights requires a realistic illumination model, capable of rendering scenes of high contrast in fine detail. Due to the high dynamic range (HDR) nature of headlight beam-pattern data, which is projected onto the virtual road, high dynamic range illumination models are required. These are used as the basis for illumination in simulations for automotive headlight virtual prototyping. Since high dynamic range illumination models operate on brightness ranges commensurate with the real world, a postprocessing operation, known as tone mapping, is required to map each frame into the device-specific range of the display hardware. Algorithms for tone mapping, called tone-mapping operators, can be classified as global or local. Global operators are efficient to compute at the expense of scene quality. Local operators preserve scene detail, but, due to their additional computational complexity, are rarely used with interactive applications. Local tone-mapping methods produce more usable visualization results for engineering tasks. This paper proposes a local tone-mapping method suitable for use with interactive applications. To develop a suitable tone-mapping operator, a state of the art local tone-mapping method was accelerated using modern, work-efficient GPU (graphics processing unit) algorithms. Optimal performance, both in terms of memory and speed, was achieved by means of general-purpose GPU programming with CUDA (compute unified device architecture). A prototypic implementation has shown that the method works well with high dynamic range OpenGL applications. In the near future, the tone mapper will be integrated into the virtual night driving simulator at our institute.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Computing the average of the region marked with four SAT lookups

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Fig. 2

Postprocessing GPU tone-mapping module in use with a HDR OpenGL application.

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Fig. 3

The tone-mapping operator prototyping platform, TMStudio. The user can interactively select a tone-mapping operator and modify its parameters.

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Fig. 4

The measured performance of the different tone-mapping implementations for increasing simulation resolution. All experiments were conducted on an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX GPU.

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Fig. 5

The effects of global (left) versus local (right) tone mapping on HDR night driving scenes

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Fig. 6

The effect of varying the exposure parameter α: α = 0.09 (left), α = 0.72 (center), α = 1.44 (right)

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Fig. 7

Varying the threshold ε: ε = 0.025 (top) and ε = 0.0 (base), with ϕ fixed to 8

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Fig. 8

Varying the sharpness parameter ϕ: ϕ = 6 (top) and ϕ = 10 (base), with ε fixed to 0.025

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