UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Perceptual considerations for displays under varying ambient illumination Rempel, Allan G.


The capabilities of visual display devices such as television sets and computer monitors have advanced dramatically over the past decade. In particular, prototype high dynamic range (HDR) displays have emerged during that time, which provide significantly greater output brightness and dynamic range than conventional currently available displays. These increased capabilities open up two new avenues of research: investigating how to take advantage of the characteristics of these displays to improve the appearance of images and video, and observing and characterizing the responses of the human visual system to the new kinds of imagery these displays are capable of producing. The contributions of this dissertation advance our understanding along both of these lines. We present a set of experiments in which subjects viewed video content on HDR displays, and observe that subjects preferred higher display brightness settings in higher ambient illumination environments, and that subjects generally preferred the highest contrast available, irrespective of brightness, with effectively no visual fatigue (compared to conventional displays) during extended viewing sessions. We then present a novel technique for enhancing the contrast of low dynamic range (LDR) legacy content to take advantage of the capabilities of HDR displays, which is an underconstrained problem with several solutions of varying effectiveness. Our technique boosts the brightness of saturated image regions while keeping darker image regions dark. Next, we present a set of experiments in which we use a prototype display with precise colour control to determine the effect of different colours of glare on vision in low-light environments. The data from these experiments provide insight into human vision in low-light environments which can improve the design of displays for such environments. Finally, we present a set of experiments showing the effect of contrast on depth perception in monocular viewing environments, and how this effect can be enhanced by adjusting the contrast between highlights and mid-tones in HDR imagery. Collectively, these contributions advance our ability to display imagery on new generations of high-contrast and high-brightness displays for more satisfying viewing experiences, and can aid in the design of future displays.

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