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Physiologically Personalized Color Management for Motion Picture Workflows

Publication by Trevor D. Canham, David L. Long, Mark D. Fairchild, Marcelo Bertalmío
Related to the Smart Asset re-Use in Creative Environments (SAUCE) project
Published in SMPTE 2020 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 2020


One of the essential mechanisms employed by the human visual system when interpreting the natural world is that of trichromatic integration of physical scene spectra by cone photoreceptors. By extension of this, different scene spectra can result in the same color sensation in an observer, a phenomenon known as metamerism. This allows imaging systems to produce realistic reproductions of scene content by the same three channel mechanism. To predict these matches, color matching functions (CMFs) are used which aim to describe the average spectral integration behavior of observers. However, the use of a single average observer CMF has been shown to result in impactful color rendering errors, as there exists significant variation in the spectral absorption characteristics of the eye within populations of color-normal observers. When this is crossed with the growing disparity between the spectral characteristics of emerging display technology it becomes evident that this interobserver variability should be accounted for. — Asano and Fairchild present a physiologically based individual observer model, as well as a method for separating a population of observers into a limited number of categorical CMFs. Building on this work, we present a computationally simple metameric match simulation pipeline which uses these categorical functions. With this pipeline, we perform a simulation with real display spectra and natural images to observe the variability which could occur among a population as a result of observer metamerism in a motion picture viewing scenario. The results provide further evidence that interobserver metameric variability is a relevant problem in the context of natural images. Finally, we outline how this pipeline can be incorporated into one's color management strategy.