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PhotoCD conversion II: photometric boogaloo

Way, way back in aught 7, I wrote this rarely-read piece about the trials of converting the legacy PhotoCD (.pcd) format into something useful on a modern day computing machine.  The principle problem was that since no new files were being produced in .pcd format, the knowledge of how to correctly decode them was slowly beginning to atrophy, even though the spec was open and the source code to tools like ImageMagick was open as well.

Just last week, I received an email from Ted Felix, the PhotoCD decoding ninja who did all of the groundwork for the applications I mentioned in the original article. Since the piece has gone into read-only archive mode following the transfer of from SourceForge to the Linux Foundation, I’m posting the info Ted sent to me here, instead.

The news is the launch of a new command-line tool called pcdtojpeg. Pcdtojpeg appears to use Ted’s luminance look-up-table (LUT), which correctly converts from .pcd’s weird PhotoYCC color model to standard sRGB without blasting out the highlights. I haven’t used it yet to report on any other fancy features, but it’s good to see work in this area continue.  I only wish it were pcdtotiff….

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