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Lightness Constancy in the Presence of Specular Highlights

By James T. Todd, J. Farley Norman and Ennio Mingolla


Visible surfaces in a natural environment often have multiple components of reflectance, including a diffuse component, by which light is scattered isotropically in all possible directions, and a specular component, by which light is reflected anisotropically within a limited range of directions. The research described in the present article was designed to investigate how these different components of reflectance influence the perception of lightness. Human observers were presented with shaded images of smoothly curved surfaces and asked to compare the relative lightness of different surface regions whose diffuse and specular components of luminance were independently manipulated. The results revealed that observers are able to discount the presence of specular highlights so that the relative lightness among different regions is determined almost entirely by the diffuse component of surface reflectance

Year: 2004
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