Proceedings: GI 2008

A GPU-friendly method for high dynamic range texture compression using inverse tone mapping

Francesco Banterle , Kurt Debattista , Patrick Ledda , Alan Chalmers

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008: Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2008, 41-48

DOI 10.20380/GI2008.06

  • Bibtex

    author = {Banterle, Francesco and Debattista, Kurt and Ledda, Patrick and Chalmers, Alan},
    title = {A GPU-friendly method for high dynamic range texture compression using inverse tone mapping},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008},
    series = {GI 2008},
    year = {2008},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-423-0},
    location = {Windsor, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {41--48},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2008.06},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


In recent years, High Dynamic Range Textures (HDRTs) have been frequently used in real-time applications and video-games to enhance realism. Unfortunately, HDRTs consume a considerable amount of memory, and efficient compression methods are not straightforward to implement on modern GPUs. We propose a framework for efficient HDRT compression using tone mapping and its dual, inverse tone mapping. In our method, encoding is performed by compressing the dynamic range using a tone mapping operator followed by a traditional encoding method for low dynamic range imaging. Our decoding method, decodes the low dynamic range image and expands its range with the inverse tone mapping operator. We present results using the Photographic Tone Reproduction tone mapping operator and its inverse encoded with S3TC running in real-time on current programmable GPU-hardware resulting in compressed HDRTs at 4--8 bits per pixel (bpp), using a fast shader program for decoding. We show how our approach is favorable compared to other existing methods.