A Computational Model of Afterimages

Tobias Ritschel, Elmar Eisemann
Telecom ParisTech (CNRS-LTCI)
Comput. Graph. Forum 31(2) (Proc. Eurographics 2012), 2012


   title={A Computational Model of Afterimages},

   author={Ritschel, T. and Eisemann, E.},



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Afterimages are optical illusions, particularly well perceived when fixating an image for an extended period of time and then looking at a neutral background, where an inverted copy of the original stimulus appears. The full mechanism that produces the perceived specific colors and shapes is complex and not entirely understood, but most of the important attributes can be well explained by bleaching of retinal photoreceptors (retinal kinetics). We propose a model to compute afterimages that allows us to simulate their temporal, color and time-frequency behavior. Using this model, high dynamic range (HDR) content can be processed to add realistic afterimages to low dynamic range (LDR) media. Hereby, our approach helps in conveying the original source’s luminance and contrast. It can be applied in real-time on full-HD HDR content using standard graphics hardware. Finally, our approach is validated in a perceptual study.
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