Apparent stereo: the cornsweet illusion can enhance perceived depth

Piotr Didyk, Tobias Ritschel, Elmar Eisemann, Karol Myszkowski, Hans-Peter Seidel
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVII, IS&T/SPIE's Symposium on Electronic Imaging, page 1--12 - 2012
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It is both a technical and an artistic challenge to depict three-dimensional content using stereo equipment and a at two-dimensional screen. On the one hand, the content needs to t within the limits of a given display technology and at the same time achieve a comfortable viewing experience. Given the technological advances of 3D equipment, especially the latter increases in importance. Modi cations to stereo content become necessary that aim at attening or even removing binocular disparity to adjust the 3D content to match the comfort zone in which the clash between accommodation and vergence stays acceptable. However, applying such modi cations can lead to a reduction of crucial depth details. One promising direction is backward-compatible stereo, for which the disparity is low enough that overlaid stereo pairs seem almost identical. It builds upon the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet e ect, a visual illusion, which uses so-called Cornsweet pro les to produce a local contrast that leads to a perceived brightness increase. Similarly, Cornsweet pro les in disparity can lead to an illusion of depth. Applying them skilfully at depth discontinuities allows for a reduction of the overall disparity range to ensure a comfortable yet convincing stereo experience. The present work extends the previous idea by showing that Cornsweet pro les can also be used to enhance the 3D impression. This operation can help in regions where the disparity range was compressed, but also to emphasize parts of a scene. A user study measures the performance of backward-compatible stereo and our disparity enhancement.

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BibTex references

@InProceedings { DREMS12a,
  author       = "Didyk, Piotr and Ritschel, Tobias and Eisemann, Elmar and Myszkowski, Karol and Seidel, Hans-Peter",
  title        = "Apparent stereo: the cornsweet illusion can enhance perceived depth",
  booktitle    = "Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVII, IS\&T/SPIE's Symposium on Electronic Imaging",
  pages        = "1--12",
  year         = "2012",
  address      = "Burlingame, CA",
  url          = ""

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» Piotr Didyk
» Tobias Ritschel
» Elmar Eisemann
» Karol Myszkowski
» Hans-Peter Seidel