MatMix 1.0: Using optical mixing to probe visual material perception

J Vis. 2016;16(6):11. doi: 10.1167/16.6.11.


MatMix 1.0 is a novel material probe we developed for quantitatively measuring visual perception of materials. We implemented optical mixing of four canonical scattering modes, represented by photographs, as the basis of the probe. In order to account for a wide range of materials, velvety and glittery (asperity and meso-facet scattering) were included besides the common matte and glossy modes (diffuse and forward scattering). To test the probe, we conducted matching experiments in which inexperienced observers were instructed to adjust the modes of the probe to match its material to that of a test stimulus. Observers were well able to handle the probe and match the perceived materials. Results were robust across individuals, across combinations of materials, and across lighting conditions. We conclude that the approach via canonical scattering modes and optical mixing works well, although the image basis of our probe still needs to be optimized. We argue that the approach is intuitive, since it combines key image characteristics in a "painterly" approach. We discuss these characteristics and how we will optimize their representations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult