We studied the integration of image disparities, edge information, and shading in the three-dimensional perception of complex yet well-controlled images generated with a computer-graphics system. The images showed end-on views of flat- and smooth-shaded ellipsoids, i.e., images with and without intensity discontinuities (edges). A map of perceived depth was measured by adjusting a small stereo depth probe interactively to the perceived surface. Our data show that disparate shading (even in the absence of disparate edges) yields a vivid stereoscopic depth perception. The perceived depth is significantly reduced if the disparities are completely removed (shape-from-shading). If edge information is available, it overrides both shape-from-shading and disparate shading. Degradations of depth perception corresponded to a reduced depth rather than to an increased scatter in the depth measurement. The results are compared with computer-vision algorithms for both single cues and their integration for three-dimensional vision.
© 1988 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 9, 1987
Manuscript Accepted: June 3, 1988
Published: October 1, 1988
Heinrich H. Bülthoff and Hanspeter A. Mallot, "Integration of depth modules: stereo and shading," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 1749-1758 (1988)