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Perception of Gloss and Matt reflection

EJ Chichilnisky ej at white.stanford.edu
Tue Feb 20 21:54:01 EST 1996

In article <233387536wnr at oimsdnp.demon.co.uk>, Peter at oimsdnp.demon.co.uk wrote:
    Seeing in 3D is solely dependant on the position of the eyes (two minimum) 
    relative to the subject and each other. 

This is absolutely wrong. People can make excellent inferences about the
3D structure of the world using information from one eye alone. Try
closing one eye and reaching out to pick things up to convince yourself -
it's not as easy, but it works. If you don't like convincing yourself,
there is a large scientific literature filled with rigorous evidence that
people can judge the location of objects in 3D well using other visual
cues. Certainly, binocular information is important, but it is there are
many other cues (generated by the spatial relationship between objects and
the geometry of illumination and projection of images onto the retina)
which give information about the 3D structure of the world. Examples:
movement, occlusion, shading. Our visual systems use this information.

One such cue could be specular information ("gloss" is the term used by
the original author in this thread). I cannot answer whether it is, but
this question is certainly valid and there may be articles in the
literature on this. Search the titles of Vision Research and Journal of
the Optical Society of America (A) in your library's database. You might
also get some references from Brian Wandell's excellent book, Foundations
of Vision (Sinauer, 1995).

    I think you've got a basic misunderstanding of the princples of 3D.
This seems an inappropriate tone considering the shortcomings of your own

EJ Chichilnisky
ej at white.stanford.edu

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