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J. Farley Norman, James T. Todd, Flip Phillips; Effects of illumination on the categorization of shiny materials. Journal of Vision 2020;20(5):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.5.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The present research was designed to examine how patterns of illumination influence the perceptual categorization of metal, shiny black, and shiny white materials. The stimuli depicted three possible objects that were illuminated by five possible high-dynamic-range imaging light maps, which varied in their overall distributions of illuminant directions and intensities. The surfaces included a low roughness chrome material, a shiny black material, and a shiny white material with both diffuse and specular components. Observers rated each stimulus by adjusting four sliders to indicate their confidence that the depicted material was metal, shiny black, shiny white, or something else, and these adjustments were constrained so that the sum of all four settings was always 100%. The results revealed that the metal and shiny black categories are easily confused. For example, metal materials with low intensity light maps or a narrow range of illuminant directions are often judged as shiny black, whereas shiny black materials with high intensity light maps or a wide range of illuminant directions are often judged as metal. To discover the visual information on which these judgements are based, we measured several possible image statistics, and we found two that were highly correlated with the observers’ confidence ratings in appropriate contexts. We also performed a spherical harmonic analysis on the different light maps to quantitatively predict how they would bias observers’ judgments of metal and shiny black surfaces.
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