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The main objective of the Action is to integrate, foster and grow innovative academic and industrial activities in High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology from multiple disciplines and sectors across Europe in order to agree on a set of effective standards for the entire HDR pipeline.

The main objective will be supported in its realisation by the following secondary objectives. HDRi will deliver through its Working Groups (WGs):

  • Two File Formats: One for individual frames used in high fidelity applications, and one for complete sequences of HDR footage for distribution and delivery. 
  • Three Quality Metrics: The first one will investigate the quality of the image that is captured and stored, compared to the real world scene. The second will enable quality of the compressed footage to be judged, and the third metric will allow a detailed comparison of the image that is finally displayed to the viewer compared to the real scene that was captured. 
  • One Compression Benchmark: The very large data requirements of HDR will ensure that compression will be critical to the successful uptake of the technology. Efficient HDR compression techniques are thus likely to have substantial commercial potential. This COST Action will deliver a straightforward compression benchmark including challenging test footage, against which future commercial compression algorithms can be compared. 
  • An Uptake Plan: To be a resounding success, HDRi must bring about the widespread adoption of the HDR pipeline facilitated through the effective set of standards that will be proposed. To ensure this success, HDRi will take a pro-active approach through the development of a dedicated Uptake Plan. This plan will be flexible and continually evolve over the course of HDRi. It will serve to highlight at all stages of the project where the partners can make major contributions in support of the widespread adoption of HDR and generate substantial interest in the Action. 

In addition to these specific objectives, this COST Action will also:

  • Co-ordinate research and development activities thereby reducing unnecessary duplication of effort and through a common strategic research plan
    • Identify the gaps in the research 
    • Close these gaps through national or EU funding proposals 
  • Build a strong vibrant HDR community across the whole of Europe with: 
    • Public outreach activities to improve awareness of HDR 
    • Symposia and industrial exhibitions and workshops targeted at SMEs to enable them to incorporate HDR technology to increase their market advantage 
    • Exchange visits between teams, especially longer term visits by younger members 
    • Road-shows to encourage women to enter the field
  • Enhance the effectiveness of interdisciplinary research across the HDR by: 
    • Achieving a deeper understanding and appreciation of the research methodologies from various disciplines and sectors 
    • Making leading edge expert HDR best-practice more accessible, understandable, and reusable 
  • Widely disseminating activities and transferring knowledge by: 
    • Regular invited talks streamed via the internet to the interested public. 
    • Annual symposium, perhaps forming part of the European Graphics Association’s (Eurographics), symposia series. This would include an exhibition enabling our industrial partners to showcase their technology. 
    • Publishing the results in leading conferences and scientific, professional, and general interest journals. 

These activities will be mainly targeted at media professionals and technology companies that work in the area. However, we will also attempt to improve HDR outreach in areas that are not traditional targets for HDR technology, such as the remote sensing, and general scientific imaging communities. A well-designed HDR image format has the potential to become a universally useful and accepted, a so called “Swiss Army Knife of image storage”, for all these disparate areas, but for this to happen, they first and foremost have to know about the existence of such a universal format.

How will the objectives be achieved?

This COST Action will achieve its objectives efficiently and effectively by carefully coordinating and benefiting from existing expertise, high-quality research facilities and state-of-the-art HDR resources across Europe. Agreement on the set of high-quality standards will enable seamless exchange of results between partners for all stages of the HDR pipeline. Furthermore, open access to these standards will allow others to engage with HDRi’s activities in a straightforward manner. The primary and secondary objectives will be achieved through activities of the four WGs, the deliverables, and the training and public engagement activities.

No universal set of standards currently exists in the field. To achieve the primary objective and its widespread adoption, HDRi will work closely with the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP)’s Working Groups. This Action will also collaborate with other relevant standard bodies, including International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), CIE (International Commission on Illumination), ITU (International Telecommunication Union and European Standards Organisations, namely CEN/ISS (European Committee on Standardisation/ Information Society Standardisation System and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

HDRi will engage actively with other existing COST Actions, in particular IC 0904: “TwinTide: Towards the integration of transectorial IT design and evaluation” and especially their work on evaluation methodologies for computing artefacts. Individually, the partners have the technical knowledge to define parts of the standards. Only by working collectively will this Action be able to achieve a universally accepted set of standards for the entire HDR pipeline.

INESC TEC - Laboratório Associado   European Partners