AMP is a new camera technology by Contrast Optical that captures three simultaneous images and produces real-time HDR video. It is currently scheduled for end of summer 2011. However, the AMP Gen II cameras will not be available to the public, due to the limited production run.
Contrast Optical Design & Engineering, Inc. (CODE) and the Advanced Graphics Lab present their SIGGRAPH 2011 submission video that accompanies the Technical Paper of the same name. This camera system captures a true HDR image for every frame of video, and then it’s up to the user to tonemap it however they want. We used a variety of commercially-available tonemappers with the video data shown here.
A fun video that introduces the AMP Camera Technology and gives a sneak preview of the GEN II camera features. AMP captures three images with the exact same exposure time, at the exact same moment in time. A custom blending algorithm is used to combine the images to produce a true HDR image for each frame in the video. Of course, we can’t display true HDR images (yet) so tonemapping is left to the user. For this video, we chose a wide variety of commercially-available tonemappers, just to get the idea across that all the HDR data really is there for every frame. AMP is a trademark of Contrast Optical Design & Engineering, Inc.
This video shows how a single frame of AMP HDR video can be tonemapped many different ways, giving the artist complete tone control over the image. A couple of selected tonemappers are then applied to the entire video.
“Melting Snow” is test footage that shows the distinct difference between creating an HDR image (which cannot be displayed on today’s computer or TV monitors) and the tonemapping process (which essentially “crushes” all the HDR data down to an image that can be displayed on a monitor). This “data crushing” process is very artistic, and it’s straightforward to use commercially-available software to produce a variety of tonemapped looks running from very natural, to washed out, to completely cartoon-like.
In addition to putting out a “natural” tonemapped video stream via HDMI, the AMP camera generates and saves a true HDR image for every frame in a video, with complete color tone information from the darkest areas of the scene all the way up to the brightest areas. After the AMP camera produces the HDR frames, it is up to the artist to choose how to tonemap the frames for display.