Effects of inter-reflections in box spaces on perceived object color harmony and shape

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterScientific


The effective illumination incident on an object in a three-dimensional scene is a geometrically-weighted sum of direct and indirect light. The luminous and chromatic properties of the light field vary spatially and directionally, inducing luminance and chromatic gradients - smooth color variations over objects. When a color combination of a step or gradient produces a pleasing effect, it is said to be harmonious. Previous studies have shown that perception of color harmony is dependent on a complex interplay between hue, chroma and lightness (Ou and Luo, 2006). Further, the visual cues from luminance and chromatic gradients might assist three-dimensional shape recovery (Ruppertsberg et al., 2008). The aim of this research is to investigate the influence of chromatic furnishing materials on the perception of object color harmony and shape, through inter-reflections. Box spaces were rendered with uni-chromatic surfaces and a colored sphere, acting as a probe, in its center, illuminated by a planar white illuminant. 24 room surface colors were sampled systematically in RGB space. The sphere’s color was sampled from the 15 CIE CRI color checker samples. Participants had to rate perceived three-dimensionality (flat disk vs. sphere) and color harmony (disharmonious vs. harmonious) of the rendered sphere under carefully calibrated conditions. Before each session and between trials, participants adapted to an animated noisy mask. A short training session introduced randomly selected stimuli after which the main experiment took place. Of the tested furnishing hues, the bluish rooms resulted in the highest mean color harmony and three-dimensionality scores. Decreasing the furnishing brightness resulted in a major three-dimensionality enhancement, as expected. Reducing the saturation and even more so the brightness of the chromatic furnishing colors enhanced the perceived color harmony of the probe. These effects show the importance of 3D versions of color checkers, here we used spheres, for color testing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventVision Sciences Society Annual Meeting - Virtual Meeting
Duration: 21 May 202126 May 2021


ConferenceVision Sciences Society Annual Meeting
Internet address


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