Banding is a type of quantisation artefact that appears when a low-texture region of an image is coded with insufficient bitdepth. Banding artefacts are well-studied for standard dynamic range (SDR), but are not well-understood for high dynamic range (HDR). To address this issue, we conducted a psychophysical experiment to characterise how well human observers see banding artefacts across a wide range of luminances (0.1 cd/m2–10,000 cd/m2). The stimuli were gradients modulated along three colour directions: black-white, red-green, and yellow-violet. The visibility threshold for banding artefacts was the highest at 0.1 cd/m2, decreased with increasing luminance up to 100 cd/m2, then remained at the same level up to 10,000 cd/m2. We used the results to develop and validate a model of banding artefact detection. The model relies on the contrast sensitivity function (CSF) of the visual system, and hence, predicts the visibility of banding artefacts in a perceptually accurate way.
Minjung Kim, Maryam Azimi, Rafał K. Mantiuk, "Perceptually motivated model for predicting banding artefacts in high-dynamic range images" in Proc. IS&T 28th Color and Imaging Conf., 2020, pp 42 - 48, https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2169-2629.2020.28.8