Charles Poynton, PhD

I am an independent contractor specializing in the physics, mathematics, engineering, and programming of digital colour (color!) imaging systems, including digital still cameras, digital video, HD/UHD/4K/8K (HDTV/UHDTV), VFX/CGI, and DI and digital cinema (D-cinema) systems. I am involved in engineering wide colour gamut (WCG, or wide gamut color) and high dynamic range (HDR) systems. I am an expert in colorspaces such as DCI P3 RGB, Adobe RGB 1998, ACES AP0/AP1, and BT.2020. 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 earned my PhD in July at Simon Fraser University; my supervisor was Brian Funt. My dissertation is available (PDF, 152 pages, 6.1 MiB).

Please forgive the handcrafted, artisinal, 1995-vintage html, generally horribly out of date. A hugo website is in the works.

Allow me to introduce myself, in video.

CV, in pdf format, is available.

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

I'm travelling (& working!) in Europe until Dec 4. Send email if you wish; I’ll check daily. If you have an urgent matter, send a txt/sms message to my temporary German number +49 1523 825 2577.


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

What's new?  

On Tue. Sep. 25, at HFF in Munich, I presented a 1‑day in-person workshop, -->Colour Science for Digital Cinematography.

On Mon./Tue. Sep. 25/26, 2017, at DFFB at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, I presented two 1‑day in-person workshops, Colour Pipeline Recipes for Cinema & HD/UHD, in conjunction with German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) [UP.GRADE program].

On Thu Aug 11, 2016, at Mr X Gotham (in Manhattan), I presented HDR & ACES: a 1-day Technical Seminar.

On Tue July 12, 2016, at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire (90 min or so from London), my colleague John Watkinson presented a 5-hour seminar, Practical Aspects of HDR: Implementation and Deployment, as part of the SMPTE/HPA UK Tech Retreat. John covered the material that I presented at HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs in Feb., with an update concerning emerging developments. I had planned to be there; however, a very minor medical incident – now completely treated – prevented me from flying. In the next week or two, I’ll be offering a webinar to the attendees. I also plan to offer the material as a (paid) webinar. Stay tuned.

On Tue June 21, in Toronto, I gave a talk at the SMPTE Toronto Technical Seminar: PIXELS & PACKETS – Exploring UHD, HDR and Live IP. I discussed emergent technology in D-cinema and UHD/4K, including high dynamic range, wide colour gamut, and ACES 1.0.

On Tue Feb 23, in Vancouver, I presented Emergent Technology in D-cinema and UHD/4K: High Dynamic Range (HDR), Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), and ACES 1.0. Want it in your city? Write!

On Tue Feb 15, in Palm Springs, Calif., I presented Emergent Technology in D-cinema and UHD/4K: High Dynamic Range, Wide Colour Gamut, and ACES 1.0. Want it in your city? Write!

On Thu./Fri. Oct. 29/30, 2015, at DFFB at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, I presented a 2‑day in-person workshop, ACES from Theory to Making an IDT, in conjunction with German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) [UP.GRADE program].

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.

Last year, I presented a webinar, Math and Colour Science for Colourists (ACES). It’s a more mathematical take than the ACES webinars listed above. If you’re interested in experiencing that, drop a line.

I’m hoping to do ACES seminars in 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.

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.

 Personal stuff
& biographical data

  “Minimalism is a wonderful thing, but you can have too much of it.” – Tim Friese-Greene

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