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PDF moves ahead with HDR

The Imaging Model Technical Working Group (TWG) will now focus on the research, specification, and prototyping at the very core of the PDF imaging model, with special focus on HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering in PDF and support for new raster image formats (possibilities include AVIF and JPEG XL) and other color-related topics.
About the author: The PDF Association staff delivers a vendor-neutral platform for PDF’s stakeholders, facilitating the development of open specifications and ISO standards for PDF technology. The staff are located in Germany, the … Read more
PDF Association staff

PDF Association staff
December 10, 2023

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SDR vs HDR image of grass and sky.
SDR (left) and HDR (right, simulated). Credit: Ben Fordyce

The PDF Association has settled on an initial “select and focus” strategy for proceeding with the development of new features for PDF’s imaging model, as discussed at the public Symposium on Advancing the PDF Imaging Model in October 2023 in San Francisco.

“Select and focus”

Lake and cliffs in winter.
An Adobe blog post explains the difference between HDR and SDR images and provides several examples. An HDR-capable monitor is required to view the comparisons.

Based on feedback from the Symposium attendees, the PDF Association’s Board of Directors has decided to move forward by way of topic prioritization. This approach enables technical experts from participating organizations to avoid being stretched too thinly across many diverse technical topics while facilitating deep engagement by smaller organizations and individuals. Each prioritized topic will be led by a champion who commits to leading the development of the specification, and facilitating implementations, ensuring that outcomes are feasible, demonstrable, and measurable.

The Imaging Model Technical Working Group (TWG) will now focus on research, specification, and prototyping at the very core of PDF’s imaging model, with special focus on HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering in PDF and support for new raster image formats (possibilities include AVIF and JPEG XL). It is expected that in the pursuit of those goals, other topics will also be addressed.

This work involves defining how today’s SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) content and HDR content can coexist, including supporting alpha compositing and transparency blending with advanced color management, to continue to deliver PDFs' prime objective of reliable and predictable appearance everywhere. Addressing backward compatibility will be a key objective.

The PDF TWG will begin to take up some independent proposals for new streaming capabilities, and advancing general compression in PDF.

The Rich Media TWG will drive further discussion on animation and other rich media capabilities for future generations of PDF as discussed in the Symposium session “The future of electronic documents: 3D, rich media, animation and more”.

Once these TWG’s have achieved significant progress, a new TWG focusing on the next major topic proposed during the Symposium will be established.

Call for participation

Participation in Technical Working Groups is limited to PDF Association members and is conducted under the Association’s IPR policy and publication processes. As with other standards development organizations, draft specifications and internal TWG discussion documents will not be publicly distributed, however each TWG will provide regular summaries of their progress.

Organizations and individuals with interests in this work are encouraged to join these technical working groups to participate in the research, development and prototyping processes.

Existing PDF Association members, if not already members of the respective working groups, can sign up via the Member Area on pdfa.org. Non-members wishing to monitor, influence or actively participate in the process can join the PDF Association.

 

Featured image credit: Michelle

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