Highlight shape influences gloss perception

J J Assen, S C Pont, M W Wijntjes

Perceptual Intelligence Lab, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Contact: janjaap.vanassen@gmail.com

Gloss perception highly depends on the 3D shape and the illumination of an object. In this paper we investigated the influence of a specific property of the illumination namely the form of the highlight. A light box in combination with differently shaped masks was used to illuminate spherical stimuli that were painted with various degrees of gloss. This resulted in a stimulus set of 6 different highlights and 6 different gloss levels, a total of 36 stimuli. We performed three different experiments of which two took place with photographs on a computer monitor and one with real scenes in the light box. The observers had to perform a comparison task choosing which of two stimuli was more glossy and a rating task in which a single stimulus was given a score for glossiness. The results show that, perhaps surprisingly, more complex highlight shapes were perceived to be less glossy than simple shapes such as a circle or square. These results suggest that highlight shape complexity is not the main criterium for the “naturalness” of illumination. [This work has been funded by the EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN) project PRISM, Perceptual Representation of Illumination, Shape and Material (PITN-GA-2012-316746).]

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