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The Challenge of our Known Knowns

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The appearances of colored objects depend not only on their spectral power distributions, but also on their temporal and geometric surroundings, and on their surface properties. These latter characteristics include: successive contrast, simultaneous contrast, assimilation (sometimes called the spreading effect), gloss, translucency, and surface texture; these characteristics can often have a profound effect. Successive contrast can result in significant changes in lightness and color balance when shotchanges occur in motion-picture films and in television. Simultaneous contrast often has appreciable effects in the design of clothing and documents. Assimilation can alter the appearance of colors in signage, woven fabrics, and tapestries, for instance. The presence or absence of gloss is an important feature in industries such as ceramics, paper-making, and paint production, and can affect not only the apparent color, but also the apparent shape, of an object. Translucency has been found to be an important property in the foodstuff industry, being one of the factors affecting consumers' perception of quality. Surface texture can affect the recognition of objects very considerably; the difference, for instance, between a woven fabric and a metallic automobile finish is recognized very largely by their different surface textures. Although these effects are well known, they are almost entirely lacking any agreed quantitative measures or standards, and this is in spite of their great importance. Some suggestions are made for the way in which such measures might be provided.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, and a vibrant interactive papers session. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper presentation.

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