About SimplyContrast and me

Hello. My name is Zefei Xuan, the designer and developer of SimplyContrast.

SimplyContrast is a personal project of mine since early 2010. Shortly after I developed my last image editing application, PicMagick.com, I became very interested in the research of HDR imaging. With a lot of help from Dr. Modersitzki, my very kindly and resourceful professor at McMaster University, I was able to develop my own general tone mapping algorithm. Unfortunately, a lot of things dragged me out of the research and I wasn't able to finish the paper at that time. This year (2010), I had some more spare time, so I spent quite some on refining the algorithm and analyzing different implementations. Though the research (the paper) is still not finished, I thought I can at least implement it so that the public can benefit from it. So here is our SimplyContrast.

SimplyContrast is a product that I'm really proud of. It is what I understand about from a scientific and technical point of view. I believe that photography is a method of preserving memories, and I want to make photos as close as possible to what were percieved

On the technical side of SimplyContrast, despite its simple looking, it is extremely complex inside. It is inheritly very hard to make Flash applications have performance compareable to desktop applications. To make SimplyContrast have a smooth user experience, At the rendering front-end, some pixel shaders are responsible for constructing This Flash application contains four main parts: the UI, a basic image processing library, the implementation of my tone mapping algorithm and two pixel shaders. The UI is written using Flex 4; the image processing library is written in C++ (with templates) to fine tune the performance of memory management and pixel operations; the tone mapping implementation is also written in C++, and they are both compiled into Flash using Alchemy (a research project from Adobe); the pixel shaders (using Pixel Bender) are used for fast color space conversion, and are the main reason that we can have live preview when dragging those sliders.

About me, I just finished my master degree at Cornell University, and I'm now trying to find a proper job. Meanwhile, I'm trying to be a good personal chef for my wife.

To contact me, my email address is zefei (dot) xuan (at) gmail (dot) com.