Abstract

Estimates of the frequency of metameric surfaces, which appear the same to the eye under one illuminant but different under another, were obtained from 50 hyperspectral images of natural scenes. The degree of metamerism was specified with respect to a color-difference measure after allowing for full chromatic adaptation. The relative frequency of metameric pairs of surfaces, expressed as a proportion of all pairs of surfaces in a scene, was very low. Depending on the criterion degree of metamerism, it ranged from about 106 to 104 for the largest illuminant change tested, which was from a daylight of correlated color temperature 25,000K to one of 4000K. But, given pairs of surfaces that were indistinguishable under one of these illuminants, the conditional relative frequency of metamerism was much higher, from about 102 to 101, sufficiently large to affect visual inferences about material identity.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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