Visual gamma correction for LCD displays

Kaida Xiao, Chenyang Fu, Dimosthenis Karatzas, Sophie Wuerger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


An improved method for visual gamma correction is developed for LCD displays to increase the accuracy of digital colour reproduction. Rather than utilising a photometric measurement device, we use observers' visual luminance judgements for gamma correction. Eight half tone patterns were designed to generate relative luminances from 1/9 to 8/9 for each colour channel. A psychophysical experiment was conducted on an LCD display to find the digital signals corresponding to each relative luminance by visually matching the half-tone background to a uniform colour patch. Both inter- and intra-observer variability for the eight luminance matches in each channel were assessed and the luminance matches proved to be consistent across observers (ΔE 00 < 3.5) and repeatable (ΔE00 < 2.2). Based on the individual observer judgements, the display opto-electronic transfer function (OETF) was estimated by using either a 3rd order polynomial regression or linear interpolation for each colour channel. The performance of the proposed method is evaluated by predicting the CIE tristimulus values of a set of coloured patches (using the observer-based OETFs) and comparing them to the expected CIE tristimulus values (using the OETF obtained from spectro-radiometric luminance measurements). The resulting colour differences range from 2 to 4.6 ΔE00. We conclude that this observer-based method of visual gamma correction is useful to estimate the OETF for LCD displays. Its major advantage is that no particular functional relationship between digital inputs and luminance outputs has to be assumed. © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Display calibration
  • Luminance matching
  • Observer-based calibration
  • Perceptual
  • Psychophysics
  • Visual gamma correction


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