Abstract

Human observers use the information offered by various visual cues when evaluating the glossiness of a surface. Several studies have demonstrated the effect of each single cue to glossiness, but little has been reported on how multiple cues are integrated for the perception of surface gloss. This paper reports on a psychophysical study with real stimuli that are different regarding multiple visual gloss criteria. Four samples were presented to 15 observers under different conditions of illumination in a light booth, resulting in a series of 16 stimuli. Through pairwise comparisons, an overall gloss scale was derived, from which it could be concluded that both differences in the distinctness of the reflected image and differences in luminance affect gloss perception. However, an investigation of the observers’ strategy to evaluate gloss indicated a dichotomy among observers. One group of observers used the distinctness-of-image as a principal cue to glossiness, while the second group evaluated gloss primarily from differences in luminance of both the specular highlight and the diffuse background. It could therefore be questioned whether surface gloss can be characterized with one single quantity, or that a set of quantities is necessary to describe the gloss differences between objects.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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