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Chenxi Liao, Masataka Sawayama, Bei Xiao; Crystal or jelly? Effect of color on the perception of translucent materials with photographs of real-world objects. Journal of Vision 2022;22(2):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.2.6.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Translucent materials are ubiquitous in nature (e.g. teeth, food, and wax), but our understanding of translucency perception is limited. Previous work in translucency perception has mainly used monochromatic rendered images as stimuli, which are restricted by their diversity and realism. Here, we measure translucency perception with photographs of real-world objects. Specifically, we use three behavior tasks: binary classification of “translucent” versus “opaque,” semantic attribute rating of perceptual qualities (see-throughness, glossiness, softness, glow, and density), and material categorization. Two different groups of observers finish the three tasks with color or grayscale images. We find that observers’ agreements depend on the physical material properties of the objects such that translucent materials generate more interobserver disagreements. Further, there are more disagreements among observers in the grayscale condition in comparison to that in the color condition. We also discover that converting images to grayscale substantially affects the distributions of attribute ratings for some images. Furthermore, ratings of see-throughness, glossiness, and glow could predict individual observers’ binary classification of images in both grayscale and color conditions. Last, converting images to grayscale alters the perceived material categories for some images such that observers tend to misjudge images of food as non-food and vice versa. Our result demonstrates that color is informative about material property estimation and recognition. Meanwhile, our analysis shows that mid-level semantic estimation of material attributes might be closely related to high-level material recognition. We also discuss individual differences in our results and highlight the importance of such consideration in material perception.
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