Effects of Highlights on Gloss Perception
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The perception of a glossy surface in a static monochromatic image can occur when a bright highlight is embedded in a compatible context of shading and a bounding contour. Some images naturally give rise to the impression that a surface has a uniform reflectance, characteristic of a shiny object, even though the highlight may only cover a small portion of the surface. Nonetheless, an observer may adopt an attitude of scrutiny in viewing a glossy surface, whereby the impression of gloss is partial and nonuniform at image regions outside of a higlight. Using a rating scale and small probe points to indicate image locations, differential perception of gloss within a single object is investigate in the present study. Observers' gloss ratings are not uniform across the surface, but decrease as a function of distance from highlight. When, by design, the distance from a highlight is uncoupled from the luminance value at corresponding probe points, the decrease in rated gloss correlates more with the distance than with the luminance change. Experiments also indicate that gloss ratings change as a function of estimated surface distance, rather than as a function of image distance. Surface continuity affects gloss ratings, suggesting that apprehension of 3D surface structure is crucial for gloss perception.