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Perceptual Graphics: Integrating Perception, Computer Graphics, and Computer Vision


Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff, H. (2008). Perceptual Graphics: Integrating Perception, Computer Graphics, and Computer Vision. Talk presented at 19th Eurographics Symposium on Rendering (EGSR 2008). Sarajewo, Bosnia and Herzegowina.

In our Perceptual Graphics group at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen we combine state-of-the-art computer graphics and computer vision technology with perceptual research. This integration has two goals: first of all, the technology allows us to conduct perceptual experiments with highly controlled, yet very realistic stimuli that advance our understanding of basic perceptual phenomena such as material perception or the recognition of facial expressions. Second, the results from these perceptual experiments can be used to improve the technology and to design novel applications that are perceptually effective — examples include an intuitive material editor for creation of arbitrary materials in computer graphics or a perceptually realistic facial animation. The human face is capable of producing an astounding variety of facial movements that are able to transport a large range of communicative meanings. To date, it is largely unclear, however, which information (including visual as well as auditory information) humans use to decipher the language of the face. In order to investigate this question systematically, one needs to have a highly flexible yet at the same time very realistic computer animation system. We are currently developing such a system in our group using state-of-the-art computer graphics and computer vision methods. This animation system is then used to create stimuli for experiments on perception of facial expressions which allowus to, for example, to manipulate the spatio-temporal properties of single regions of the face in order to determine their importance for recognition of expressions. In addition — and this constitutes the second aspect of perceptual graphics — we have also used these and similar perceptual experiments to determine the perceptual quality of computer graphics. The results have given us insights into specific parameters that need to be improved in order to provide an even higher level of realism and effectiveness.