Johnston A, Passmore P J, 1994, "Shape from shading. I: Surface curvature and orientation" Perception 23(2) 169 – 189
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Shape from shading. I: Surface curvature and orientation
Alan Johnston, Peter J Passmore
Received 16 September 1992, in revised form 22 May 1993
Abstract. The human visual system makes effective use of shading alone in recovering the shape of objects. Pictures of sculptures are readily interpreted -- a situation where shading provides virtually the sole cue to shape. However, shading has been considered a poor cue to depth in comparison with retinal disparity and kinetic cues. Curvature discrimination thresholds were measured with the use of a surface-alignment task for a range of surface curvatures from
The psychophysical findings have been used to evaluate whether current algorithms for shape from shading in computer vision could serve as models of human three-dimensional shape analysis and to highlight low-level intramodular interactions between depth cues. It is demonstrated that, in the case of surfaces defined by shading, curvature descriptions are primary and do not depend upon the prior encoding of surface orientation, and Koenderink's local-shape index is suggested as an alternative intermediate representation of surface shape in the human visual system.
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