The role of texture amplitude in shape from shading

Andrew J. Schofield, Gillian Hesse, Mark A. Georgeson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


When a textured surface is modulated in depth and illuminated, parts of the surface receive different levels of illumination; the resulting variations in luminance can be used to infer the shape of the depth modulations-shape from shading. The changes in illumination also produce changes in the amplitude of the texture, although local contrast remains constant. We investigated the role of texture amplitude in supporting shape from shading. If a luminance plaid is added to a binary noise texture (LM), shape from shading produces perception of corrugations in two directions. If the amplitude of the noise is also modulated (AM) such that it is in-phase with one of the luminance sinusoids and out-of-phase with the other, the resulting surface is seen as corrugated in only one directionöthat supported by the in-phase pairing. We confirmed this subjective report experimentally, using a depth-mapping technique. Further, we asked naïve observers to indicate the direction of corrugations in plaids made up of various combinations of LM and AM. LM+AM was seen as having most depth, then LM-only, then LM-AM, and then AM-only. Our results suggest that while LM is required to see depth from shading, its phase relative to any AM component is also important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249
Number of pages1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005
EventImages, Perception, and Psychophysics. 9th Applied Vision Association Christmas Meeting - Aston University, Birmingham (UK)
Duration: 16 Dec 2004 → …


  • textured surface
  • variations in luminance
  • amplitude
  • texture
  • contrast
  • texture amplitude
  • shading
  • luminance plaid
  • binary noise texture


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