“HDR VR” by Matsuda, Zhao, Chapiro, Smith and Lanman

  • ©Nathan Matsuda, Yang Zhao, Alexandre (Alex) Chapiro, Clinton Smith, and Douglas Lanman


Entry Number: 04


    HDR VR



    The human visual system can resolve luminances from near zero to over a million candelas per meter squared (nits), and is able to simultaneously resolve over 4 orders of magnitude without adaptation [Kunkel and Reinhard 2010]. While most traditional displays only replicate a fraction of this range, high-dynamic-range (HDR) displays aim to support ranges closer to perceptual limits [Reinhard et al. 2010] and have achieved widespread use in cinemas and home theaters, but the perceptual impact of HDR remain largely unexplored in the context of Virtual Reality (VR) displays, which are typically limited to peak luminance values below 200 nits [Mehrfard et al. 2019]. To address this, we present an HDR VR demonstrator with a display system comprised entirely of off-the-shelf parts, capable of peak luminances over 16,000 nits. We achieve this without reducing the field of view (FOV) or simultaneous contrast relative to commercially-available VR headsets, while maintaining support for binocular and motion parallax depth cues. Consequently, our prototype has the potential to achieve a higher degree of perceptual realism than existing direct-view devices like HDR televisions and other high-luminance prototypes.


    1. Kil Joong Kim, Rafal Mantiuk, and Kyoung Ho Lee. 2013. Measurements of achromatic and chromatic contrast sensitivity functions for an extended range of adaptation luminance. In Human vision and electronic imaging XVIII. SPIE.
    2. Timo Kunkel and Erik Reinhard. 2010. A reassessment of the simultaneous dynamic range of the human visual system. In Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization.
    3. Arian Mehrfard, Javad Fotouhi, Giacomo Taylor, Tess Forster, Nassir Navab, and Bernhard Fuerst. 2019. A comparative analysis of virtual reality head-mounted display systems. arXiv preprint arXiv:1912.02913(2019).
    4. Erik Reinhard, Wolfgang Heidrich, Paul Debevec, Sumanta Pattanaik, Greg Ward, and Karol Myszkowski. 2010. High dynamic range imaging: acquisition, display, and image-based lighting. Morgan Kaufmann.
    5. TJ Rhodes, Gavin Miller, Qi Sun, Daichi Ito, and Li-Yi Wei. 2019. A transparent display with per-pixel color and opacity control. In ACM SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies.
    6. Helge Seetzen, Wolfgang Heidrich, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, Greg Ward, Lorne Whitehead, Matthew Trentacoste, Abhijeet Ghosh, and Andrejs Vorozcovs. 2004. High dynamic range display systems. In ACM SIGGRAPH Papers.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: