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James T. Todd, J. Farley Norman; Reflections on glass. Journal of Vision 2019;19(4):26. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.4.26.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
An important phenomenon in the study of human perception is the ability of observers to identify different types of surface materials. The present article will consider a wide range of factors that can influence the perceptual identification of glass, including the structural complexity of an object, whether it is hollow or solid, and the pattern of illumination. Several illumination techniques used in the field of photography are described, and examples are provided to show how they interact with structural complexity. A single psychophysical experiment is reported to evaluate the perceptions of naïve observers using a novel categorization task designed to assess potential confusions among multiple material categories. Finally, the paper will enumerate a number of specific image features that are potentially diagnostic for the identification of glass, and it will evaluate their relative importance for human perception.
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