What is Gen2|HDR™?


Gen2|HDR™ Logo with Mystery Box Logo

Gen2|HDR™ is the creative’s approach to High Dynamic Range filmmaking. Gen2|HDR is not a new standard, or a new technology, but a new way of thinking about the image within the world of modern HDR technologies. Unlike previous approaches to HDR , which have taken a technical-first, ‘nits’-based, and medium-tethered mentality, Gen2|HDR is a way to think creatively about the image apart from the tools used to capture, store, transmit and reproduce it. The image is independent of the medium: it’s the colors, brightness, and dynamic range of your creative vision, as a concept separated from the digital, analog, or film medium storing and representing those values.


The image-first Medium-Independent HDR video mentality

In Gen2|HDR thought, your image does not have a color space, it has colors, that can be mapped or transformed into any given color space, like Rec. 709, P3 D65, DCI-P3, Rec. 2020, or ACES AP0, though not all color spaces may be able to encode or reproduce all of the colors found in your image.

In Gen2|HDR thought, your image does not have a gamma or a transfer function, it has dynamic range, that can be mapped or transformed into any specific gamma encoding or transfer function, like Rec. 709 / Gamma 2.4 / SDR, PQ HDR, or HLG HDR.

In Gen2|HDR thought, your image does not have an absolute black point, or white point, it has dynamic range. Black and white points are only apparent, relative to the dynamic range of the image and the technology used to reproduce it.

In Gen2|HDR thought, your image is not created by a camera, lens or a display, it is captured and textured by a camera and lens, altered by color correction & color science and the mediums it passes through, and reproduced by a display, as best as that display can do.

Gen2|HDR thought doesn’t imply that standards, cameras, lenses, displays, or other technical aspects are unimportant. No, it implies only that the creative vision should not be tied to the limits of any one standard, recommendation, camera, lens, or technical tool. Gen2|HDR thought doesn’t ignore the tools or limits though; instead, like a painter to his brushes and paints, it seeks to understand these tools, and how to make them work together to achieve a creative vision.


Our ongoing Commitment to Gen2|HDR

Mystery Box is committed to elevating the discourse around High Dynamic Range filmmaking towards an industry wide Gen2|HDR mentality. To that end, we are creating Gen2|HDR educational content for creatives, to help visual artists understand the available tools and unleash their creative potential within the new HDR paradigms. Additionally, we’re creating technical tools based on Gen2|HDR Color Science to quickly and easily work within an image & dynamic range first workflow.

Over the next few months, Mystery Box will be posting a series of articles on the Mystery Box Blog designed to help creatives and technical artists to move into this new line of Gen2|HDR thinking. These will be an expansion of the topics covered in our popular HDR Video explanation series posted in October of 2016.

In anticipation of these articles, Mystery Box has revamped and relaunched new look-up tables for managing the technical aspects of Gen2|HDR workflows, using Mystery Box’s Gen2|HDR Color Science. New tools include:

  • Dynamic Range preserving standardized transforms from Camera Log and Camera Gamut encodings into a common HDR working space

  • HDR exposure value adjustment tools for new push & pull processing methods

  • Normalized contrast tools built for HDR, to uniformly stretch dynamic range, with an exposure value / stop based thinking

  • Medium compensation tools for flawlessly mapping between HDR mediums, and conforming to or from older reduced dynamic range mediums (SDR)


Visit the Mystery Box Web Store & our post Mystery Box HDR LUTs Update with Gen2|HDR - Sept 2018 for more information on these tools and how they work.



Mystery Box & HDR

Mystery Box has been working and grading in HDR Video since October 2015. We have been privileged to work on some incredible and noteworthy HDR Video projects, including:

  • Grading & mastering NASA content for use by LG on their OLED HDR television launch in January 2016

  • Working with YouTube to launch the first HDR content on their platform

  • Working with broadcast and encoding companies to produce and design content for showcasing HDR’s capabilities

  • Working with Panasonic to create HDR content for the filmmaker-orient LUMIX GH5S camera system.

  • Working with the UltraHD Forum to test tools for HDR broadcast production

Mystery Box is fully Dolby Vision certified, with two HDR grading suites for grading and mastering HDR content.