Proceedings: GI 2004

View direction, surface orientation and texture orientation for perception of surface shape

Graeme Sweet , Colin Ware

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004: London, Ontario, Canada, 17 - 19 May 2004, 97-106

DOI 10.20380/GI2004.13

  • Bibtex

    author = {Sweet, Graeme and Ware, Colin},
    title = {View direction, surface orientation and texture orientation for perception of surface shape},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004},
    series = {GI 2004},
    year = {2004},
    issn = {0-89791-213-6},
    isbn = {1-56881-227-2},
    location = {London, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {97--106},
    numpages = {10},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2004.13},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},
    keywords = {Perception, Awareness, Collaboration, and Information Management},


Textures are commonly used to enhance the representation of shape in non-photorealistic rendering applications such as medical drawings. Textures that have elongated linear elements appear to be superior to random textures in that they can, by the way they conform to the surface, reveal the surface shape. We observe that shape following hache marks commonly used in cartography and copper-plate illustration are locally similar to the effect of the lines that can be generated by the intersection of a set of parallel planes with a surface. We use this as a basis for investigating the relationships between view direction, texture orientation and surface orientation in affording surface shape perception. We report two experiments using parallel plane textures. The results show that textures constructed from planes more nearly orthogonal to the line of sight tend to be better at revealing surface shape. Also, viewing surfaces from an oblique view is much better for revealing surface shape than viewing them from directly above.