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  Orientation fields in the perception of 3D shape and material properties

Fleming, R. (2004). Orientation fields in the perception of 3D shape and material properties. Poster presented at 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004), Tübingen, Germany.

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Fleming, RW1, 2, Author           
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              


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 Abstract: I present a theoretical analysis that explains how the visual system could solve two key perceptual problems. The rst problem is our ability to distinguish reections from texture markings.
The second problem is the estimation of 3D object shape from monocular images.
Textures and reections both lead to stochastic patterns in images. How can we tell them
apart? We have argued previously [1] that textures and reections have different statistical
properties (e.g. specular reections of the real world have heavily skewed pixel histograms).
However, there is an additional cue, which results from the way that patterns are distorted by
3D shape.
As a textured plane is oriented away from frontoparallel, the image of the texture becomes
compressed. This provides a cue for 3D shape: if the visual system can measure the compression
of the texture at each image location, it can recover the rst derivative of the surface
(i.e. local orientation) and thus shape. I argue that specular reections can be treated a bit
like textures, because they also lead to stochastic image patterns with well-conserved statistics.
When the world is reected in a specular surface, the reection is distorted by the shape of
the object. The pattern of distortion is a function of the 3D shape, just as it is with textures.
Crucially, however, for specularities the compression is a function of the second rather than the
rst derivative of the surface (i.e. surface curvature as well as orientation). Hence, the mapping
from image compression to 3D shape follows different rules for specular vs. textured surfaces.
I show that the compressions produced by 3D curvatures reliably lead to characteristic
`elds' of orientation energy across the image of a specular surface. These orientation elds
are diagnostic of 3D shape but remain surprisingly stable across changes in the scene reected
in the surface. Furthermore, I show that these characteristic orientation elds can be easily
extracted from the image by populations of linear lters that resemble the oriented receptive
elds of V1 cells. I show how orientation elds could allow the visual system to distinguish
between reections and textures, even when they are present simultaneously. Finally, I discuss
the generalization of these principles to surfaces with arbitrary reectance properties.


 Dates: 2004-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: BibTex Citekey: 2561
 Degree: -


Title: 7th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2004)
Place of Event: Tübingen, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2004-01-30 - 2004-02-01

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Title: 7th Tübingen Perception Conference: TWK 2004
Source Genre: Proceedings
Bülthoff, HH1, Editor           
Mallot, HA, Editor           
Ulrich, RD, Editor
Wichmann, FA1, Editor           
1 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794            
Publ. Info: Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany : Knirsch
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 164 Identifier: ISBN: 3-927091-68-5