Berbaum K, Tharp D, Mroczek K, 1983, "Depth perception of surfaces in pictures: looking for conventions of depiction in Pandora's box" Perception 12(1) 5 – 20
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Depth perception of surfaces in pictures: looking for conventions of depiction in Pandora's box
Kevin Berbaum, David Tharp, Kenneth Mroczek
Received 23 April 1982
Abstract. The perception of depth in monocularly viewed pictures has been investigated with the use of a binocular rangefinder developed by Gregory. Two experiments are reported which focus upon stimulus conditions that were identified by Haber as conventions for rendering depth in pictures. Several conclusions, which concern assumptions that must be made in interpreting pictures according to such conventions, are supported by the results. There is a default or assumed layout of background space. The interpretation of a point in a depiction depends upon the interpretation of neighboring points, so that interpretations of local features influence the interpretations of nearby 'empty' areas. In photographs, the magnitude of apparent depth depends upon the degree of discrepancy between the position of the illuminating source and the observer's supposed light-source position. Also in photographs, apparent depth increases as the contrast between highlights and attached shadows increases.
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