Estimating the glossiness transfer function induced by illumination change and testing its transitivity

J Vis. 2010 Apr 20;10(4):8.1-9. doi: 10.1167/10.4.8.


The light reflected from a glossy surface depends on the reflectance properties of that surface as well as the flow of light in the scene, the light field. We asked four observers to compare the glossiness of pairs of surfaces under two different real-word light fields, and used this data to estimate a transfer function that captures how perceived glossiness is remapped in changing from one real-world light field to a second. We wished to determine the form of the transfer function and to test whether for any set of three light fields the transfer function from light field 1 to light field 2 and the transfer function from light field 2 to light field 3 could be used to predict the glossiness transfer function from light field 1 to light field 3. Observers' estimated glossiness transfer functions for three sets of light fields were best described by a linear model. The estimated transfer functions exhibited the expected transitivity pattern for three out of four observers. The failure of transitivity for one observer, while significant, was less than 12.5% of the gloss range.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Linear Models
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Psychophysics*
  • Software
  • Surface Properties
  • Visual Perception / physiology*