10 February 2009 Ecological optics of natural materials and light fields
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The appearance of objects in scenes is determined by their shape, material properties and by the light field, and, in contradistinction, the appearance of those objects provides us with cues about the shape, material properties and light field. The latter so-called inverse problem is underdetermined and therefore suffers from interesting ambiguities. Therefore, interactions in the perception of shape, material, and luminous environment are bound to occur. Textures of illuminated rough materials depend strongly on the illumination and viewing directions. Luminance histogram-based measures such as the average luminance, its variance, shadow and highlight modes, and the contrast provide robust estimates with regard to the surface structure and the light field. Human observers performance agrees well with predictions on the basis of such measures. If we also take into account the spatial structure of the texture it is possible to estimate the illumination orientation locally. Image analysis on the basis of second order statistics and human observers estimates correspond well and are both subject to the bas-relief and the convex-concave ambiguities. The systematic robust illuminance flow patterns of local illumination orientation estimates on rough 3D objects are an important entity for shape from shading and for light field estimates. Human observers are able to match and discriminate simple light field properties (e.g. average illumination direction and diffuseness) of objects and scenes, but they make systematic errors, which depend on material properties, object shapes and position in the scene. Moreover, our results show that perception of material and illumination are basically confounded. Detailed analysis of these confounds suggests that observers primarily attend to the low-pass structure of the light field. We measured and visualized this structure, which was found to vary smoothly in natural scenes in- and outdoors.
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Sylvia C. Pont, Sylvia C. Pont, } "Ecological optics of natural materials and light fields", Proc. SPIE 7240, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIV, 724009 (10 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.817162; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.817162

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