Ecological Optics for Surfaces


Keywords: ecological optics, surfaces perception, remote sensing, image rendering

Start Date: 1 January 95 / Status: finished / Duration: 24 months

[ participants / contact]

Objectivies and Approach

The objective is to develop a theory and methods for the visual perception of surfaces, which would allow the extraction of physical surface properties from images which can then be used for image rendering. This will contribute to ESPRIT BRA project REALISE (8878), which is working on the extraction of 3D and surface information from sequences of images, so as to be able to recreate full 3D scenes in a virtual environment.

European links: This work contributes to ESPRIT BRA project REALISE (8878).

Progress and Results

The European group used a model for the scattering of light by rough surfaces, developed by the US team, to describe experimental data on the optical properties of building materials. An extensive lateral study of optical properties of natural materials has been completed with the high quality camera of the US group. This study will yield the most extensive collection of optical properties of natural materials available anywhere. There is a pressing need for such data because of the growing importance of such fields as remote sensing, computer graphics, virtual reality and scientific visualisation.

Information Dissemination Activities and/or Exploitation

Results of the work have been presented at international conferences and published in international journals. A list of over ten publications can be requested from the coordinator.

The data about the optical properties of the materials obtained within REALISE-NSF will be made available to the scientific community in convenient form as a database accessible via the internet.


University of Utrecht
Utrecht Biophysics Research Institute
Princetonplein 5
PO Box 80000

EU Partners

University of Utrecht, NL
Thompson - CSF/LCR, F
Fraunhofer-IGD, D

Non-EU Partners

Columbia University, New York, USA


Prof. Dr. Jan Koenderink
Tel: +31 30 53 39 85
Fax: +31 30 52 26 64

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REALISE-NSF - EC-US056, May 1997

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook