Perceived glossiness and lightness under real-world illumination

Maria Olkkonen, David H Brainard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Color, lightness, and glossiness are perceptual attributes associated with object reflectance. For these perceptual representations to be useful, they must correlate with physical reflectance properties of objects and not be overly affected by changes in illumination or viewing context. We employed a matching paradigm to investigate the perception of lightness and glossiness under geometric changes in illumination. Stimuli were computer simulations of spheres presented on a high-dynamic-range display. Observers adjusted the diffuse and specular reflectance components of a test sphere so that its appearance matched that of a reference sphere simulated under a different light field. Diffuse component matches were close to veridical across geometric changes in light field. In contrast, specular component matches were affected by geometric changes in light field. We tested several independence principles and found (i) that the effect of changing light field geometry on the diffuse component matches was independent of the reference sphere specular component; (ii) that the effect of changing light field geometry on the specular component matches was independent of the reference sphere diffuse component; and (iii) that diffuse and specular components of the match depended only slightly on the roughness of the specular component. Finally, we found that equating simple statistics (i.e., standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis) computed from the luminance histograms of the spheres did not predict the matches: these statistics differed substantially between spheres that matched in appearance across geometric changes in the light field. © ARVO.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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