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UCSD Computer Vision

Perception of Reflectance

Josh Wills, Sameer Agarwal, David Kriegman, Serge Belongie


We design and implement a comprehensive study of the perception of gloss. This is the largest study of its kind to date, and the first to use real material measurements. In addition, we develop a novel Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) algorithm for analyzing pairwise comparisons. The data from the psychophysics study and the MDS algorithm is used to construct a low dimensional perceptual embedding of these BRDFs. The embedding is validated by correlating it with nine gloss dimensions, fitted parameters of seven analytical BRDF models and a perceptual parameterization of Ward's model. We also introduce a novel perceptual interpolation scheme that uses the embedding to provide the user with an intuitive interface for navigating the space of gloss and constructing new materials.


Code for Generalized Non-metric MDS.

For the human subject responses please email Josh Wills at

Related Publications

Wills J., Agarwal S., Kriegman D., Belongie S., "Toward a Perceptual Space for Gloss", ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 1-15, 2009. [BibTex][pdf]
Agarwal S., Wills J., Cayton L., Lanckriet G., Kriegman D., Belongie S., "Generalized Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling", AISTATS, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2007. [BibTex][pdf]