Color space conversion is the process of converting color values in an image from one color space to another. Color space conversion is challenging because different color spaces have different sized gamuts. For example, when converting an image encoded in a medium-sized color gamut (e.g., AdobeRGB or Display-P3) to a small color gamut (e.g., sRGB), color values may need to be compressed in a many-to-one manner (i.e., multiple colors in the source gamut will map to a single color in the target gamut). If we try to convert this sRGB-encoded image back to a wider gamut color encoding, it can be challenging to recover the original colors due to the color fidelity loss. We propose a method to address this problem by embedding wide-gamut metadata inside saved images captured by a camera. Our key insight is that in the camera hardware, a captured image is converted to an intermediate wide-gamut color space (i.e., ProPhoto) as part of the processing pipeline. This wide-gamut image representation is then saved to a display color space and saved in an image format such as JPEG or HEIC. Our method proposes to include a small sub-sampling of the color values from the ProPhoto image state in the camera to the final saved JPEG/HEIC image. We demonstrate that having this additional wide-gamut metadata available during color space conversion greatly assists in constructing a color mapping function to convert between color spaces. Our experiments show our metadata-assisted color mapping method provides a notable improvement (up to 60% in terms of E) over conventional color space methods using perceptual rendering intent. In addition, we show how to extend our approach to perform adaptive color space conversion based spatially over the image for additional improvements.
Hoang Le, Mahmoud Afifi, Michael S. Brown, "Improving Color Space Conversion for Camera-Captured Images via Wide-Gamut Metadata" in Proc. IS&T 28th Color and Imaging Conf., 2020, pp 193 - 198, https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2169-2629.2020.28.30