Pictorial surface attitude and local depth comparisons

Jan J. Koenderink*, Andrea J. van Doorn, Astrid M L Kappers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We measured local surface attitude for monocular pictorial relief and performed pairwise depth-comparison judgments on the same picture. Both measurements were subject to internal consistency checks. We found that both measurements were consistent with a relief (continuous pictorial surface) interpretation within the session-to-session scatter. We reconstructed the pictorial relief from both measurements separately, and found results that differed in detail but were quite similar in their basic structures. Formally, one expects certain geometrical identities that relate range and attitude data. Because we have independent measurements of both, we can attempt an empirical verification of such geometrical identities. Moreover, we can check whether the statistical scatter in the data indicates that, for example, the surface attitudes are derivable from a depth map or vice versa. We estimate that pairwise depth comparisons are an order of magnitude less precise than might be expected from the attitude data. Thus, the surface attitudes cannot be derived from a depth map as operationally defined by our methods, although the reverse is a possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996


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