Charles Poynton

I am an independent contractor specializing in the physics, mathematics, and engineering of digital colour (color!) imaging systems, including digital still cameras, digital video, HD and UHD (HDTV/UHDTV), VFX/CGI, and DI and digital cinema (D-cinema) systems. I am involved in engineering wide colour gamut (wide gamut color) systems. I am an expert in colorspaces such as DCI P3 RGB and Adobe RGB 1998. I do technology forecasting, systems modelling, algorithm development, video signal processing architecture, colour characterization and calibration, image quality assessment, and expert witness work. (More...) It was about 20 years ago that I decided that HD should have 1080 image rows, and square pixels ...

I'm a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University; my supervisor is Brian Funt. I’m ABD.

Allow me to introduce myself, in video.

I live in Toronto with my wife Barbara Morris, CTP Dipl – a psychotherapist.


home office: +1 416 535 7187
e-mail: prepend my first name and an “at” sign to the obvious domain.
Skype (intermittent user, txt/sms if I’m offline): cpoynton
Twitter: @momaku
Skype (txt/sms if I’m offline): cpoynton
[I’m using Skype more often; if you‘re a correspondant, send me a contact request]

What's new?  

In December, the Academy shipped ACES 1.0. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, Jan. 21 and 22, I presented a webinar ACES 1.0 & Scene-Linear Workflow comprising two, two-hour sessions. That webinar sold out. So, I’ll do it again, Wed. and Thu. next week. A 2-page flyer (PDF) for the webinar is available.

On Tuesday evening, Jan. 20 at 19:00, at the Toronto SMPTE chapter meeting, I presented ACES Colour Space. My pal Mark Schubin gave a talk about high frame rate video. If you’re a SMPTE member but you missed it, a video version is available through the Toronto section.

In February, I’ll travel to Palm Springs Calif. to attend the HPA Tech Retreat. On Monday Feb. 9, I’ll present the so-called Poynton Seminar, this year 5 hours in duration and entitled Physics, Optics, and Electronics of Image Sensors.

My pal Mark Schubin [Linkedin] has done some amazing research concerning baseball and opera, of all things. See his Schubin Café page. You might also be interested in his Smaller Pixels, Faster Pixels, and Better Pixels video.

With a few of my colleagues, I presented two papers at IBC (in Amsterdam, in September). One concerns display calibration; it’s co-authored by my colleague Joel Barsotti at SpectraCal. The other concerns HDR and wide gamut colour; it’s co-authored by my colleagues Jeroen Stessen and Rutger Nijland at Philips.

My friends at fxphd have posted a “fast forward” course, Introduction to Digital Colour Theory. It’s roughly a one-day course (ten classes, 30~40 minutes each), available for immediate download at USD 199. You don’t have to be a math wizard. It was fun to make, I hope that you enjoy it.

In February 2014, John Watkinson and I presented a 6‑hour course at HPA Tech Retreat 2014 (Palm Springs, Calif.): Physics, Psychophysics, and Vision for Advanced Motion Imaging. We discussed bit depth, pixel count (e.g., HD, 4K, 8K), and frame rate. We’re contemplating in-person 1-day workshops in the U.S. Drop a line if you’re interested.

Last year, I presented a webinar, Math and Colour Science for Colourists (ACES). If you’re interested in experiencing that, drop a line.

I’m hoping to do ACES seminars in Berlin and Munich, and with luck maybe even Prague and/or Budapest. (I’ll do it anywhere else that I can find 15 or 20 interested people!) If you’re interested – and particularly if you can help me to locate a suitable sponsoring organization in your city – drop a line. Watch for announcements of additional webinars.

I’m ABD – “all but dissertation.” I’ve finished my PhD program coursework, all that remains is writing and defending!

Digital Video and HD Algorithms and Interfaces, Second Edition (Burlington, Mass.: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2012), is available at Elsevier, Amazon, and other book retailers.

I continue to be flummoxed concerning BT.709/BT.1886 EOCF …

Subject to my main gigs – colour and image science, and finishing my PhD – if you have an interesting math problem maybe I can help, by offering consulting in Mathematica.

Courses, seminars &c.   Upcoming (and past) events.
Colour FAQ   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Colour (also known as Color FAQ, ColourFAQ, ColorFAQ); also, other documents concerning Colour Technology.
Gamma FAQ   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gamma (also known as GammaFAQ); also, the Gamma FQA is available.
Digital Video and HD   My book Digital Video and HD Algorithms and Interfaces, Second Edition (Burlington, Mass.: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann: 2012) has hit the streets. The Table of Contents is available.
Consulting   Hire me! I’m an independent contractor.
Video engineering   Information concerning technical aspects of video.
Typography and design   Articles I’ve written (quite some time ago) concerning typography, information design, and presentation in the digital world.
    You might be interested in The Royal Canadian Publishing House of Canada.

 Personal stuff
& biographical data

  “Humanity has a long way to go before it is civilized.” – Zmarak Shalizi


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