Cornell Box [FWSP04]
Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics
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Effects of rendering on shape perception in automobile design.

James A. Ferwerda, Stephen H. Westin, Randall C. Smith, and Richard Pawlicki.

In APGV '04: Proceedings of the 1st Symposium on Applied perception in graphics and visualization, pages 107--114, New York, NY, USA, 2004. ACM Press.

The goal of this project was to determine if advanced rendering methods such as global illumination allow more accurate discrimination of shape differences than standard rendering methods such as OpenGL.

To address these questions, we conducted two psychophysical experiments to measure observers' sensitivity to shape differences between a physical model and rendered images of the model. Two results stand out:

* The rendering method used has a significant effect on the ability to discriminate shape. In particular, under the conditions tested, global illumination rendering improves sensitivity to shape differences.

* Further, viewpoint appears to have an effect on the ability to discriminate shape. In most of the cases studied, sensitivity to small shape variations was poorer when the rendering and model viewpoints were different.

The results of this work have important implications for our understanding of human shape perception and for the development of rendering tools for computer-aided design.

This paper is available as a PDF file FWSP04.pdf (491K).

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