We investigated shape constancy in human shape from shading under variations of illuminant direction using a local attitude probe in conjunction with a perturbation analysis. Stimuli were computer generated and depicted ellipsoids in a structured setting. Even with these simple shapes subjects settings were systematically biased in the illuminant direction and were consistent with a regression to image luminance gradients. These biases were reduced for high albedo scenes where interreflections make image illuminance more dependent on scene geometry. Adding texture to the surface reduced but did not eliminate this bias. These results suggest that we can expect little constancy in shape from shading under variations of illuminant direction without constraints from other cues.
- Surface orientation
- Surface shading