Shape Information From Shading: A Theory About Human Perception

A.P. Pentland


I show that people assume a simple, linear reflectance function when interpreting shading information. Using this reflactance function I derive a closed form solution to the problem extracting shape information from image shading. The solution does not employ a assumptions about sruafce smoothness and so is directly applicable to complex natural surfaces such as hair or cloth. A simple biological mechanism is proposed to implement this recovery of shape. It is shown that this simple mechanism can also extract signifant shape information from line drawings.

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