I have been experimenting with tone mapping from a long time. I tried many different ways of implementing tonemapping & bloom and now I have finalized this feature in the engine.
Tone mapping is a technique used in image processing and computer graphics to map one set of colors to another to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images in a medium that has a more limited dynamic range.
I tried few different Global tone mapping operators with various ways to calculate scene luminance.I tried 3 major approaches (with a lot of variations in between) –
In the first approach, I calculated scene luminance by averaging log luminance values of HDR render target of the scene. I did this by rendering a screen space quad calculating log luminance values for the scene and then I used GenerateMips to average them automatically for me. I tried some different tone mapping operators including Reinhard, filmic curve and modified filmic curve (or uncharted2’s filmic curve). At the end modified filmic curve with the ability to modify the curve as need turned out to be the best approach for tone mapping operator.Problem with this method is any few extreme dark/bright spots in the scene can make the whole scene look brighter or darker beyond desired ranges.