Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance

A special issue of Journal of Imaging (ISSN 2313-433X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 8685

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Computer Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2815 Gjøvik, Norway
2. Faulty of Business and Informatics, Nagano University, Nagano 386-0032, Japan
Interests: multispectral imaging; material appearance; HDR image analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Imaging Sciences, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
Interests: color engineering; image analysis; visual information processing; material appearance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Material appearance information is a signature of quality and a criterion of object choice. Terms such as glossiness, matteness, transparency, and roughness are commonly used as the perceptual attributes of material appearance. This information not only helps us appreciate the beauty in life but also guides us to determine the value of its worth.

Material appearance has become a crucial research field in academia and industry in recent years. Consequently, interdisciplinary collaboration is often essential in material appearance research.

Furthermore, studying image information helps us to solve complex problems surpassing conventional image processing, analysis, and rendering. Material appearance study is interesting, as every object around us has a unique appearance of materials, whether natural or artificial. Therefore, the potential of material appearance study is unlimited. One example of material appearance research is studying how different types of objects interact with light and how their appearance changes under different lighting conditions. This research could include measuring properties such as reflectance, gloss, translucency, and texture to understand how they affect the way an object looks and feels. Today, material appearance research can be applied to design, engineering, psychology, physiology, medicine, rehabilitation, and many more.

This Special Issue, "Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance", aims to present the latest imaging technologies developed to understand material appearance and solve its many associated problems. All interested authors are invited to submit their latest results on material appearance research. All papers need to present original, previously unpublished work. Possible representative topics are shown in the keyword column below. All papers are welcome on any topics related to material appearance imaging technologies, not limited to the keywords.

Prof. Dr. Shoji Tominaga
Prof. Dr. Takahiko Horiuchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Imaging is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • measurement of material appearance
  • image processing for material appearance
  • image synthesis and rendering for material appearance
  • material recognition and classification
  • deep learning methods for material appearance
  • appearance control and editing
  • multi-spectral imaging for material appearance
  • HDR imaging for material appearance
  • perceptual attributes of material appearance
  • multi-modal and cross-modal processing for material appearance
  • application technologies on material app

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 9162 KiB  
Article
High Dynamic Range Image Reconstruction from Saturated Images of Metallic Objects
by Shoji Tominaga and Takahiko Horiuchi
J. Imaging 2024, 10(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging10040092 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 894
Abstract
This study considers a method for reconstructing a high dynamic range (HDR) original image from a single saturated low dynamic range (LDR) image of metallic objects. A deep neural network approach was adopted for the direct mapping of an 8-bit LDR image to [...] Read more.
This study considers a method for reconstructing a high dynamic range (HDR) original image from a single saturated low dynamic range (LDR) image of metallic objects. A deep neural network approach was adopted for the direct mapping of an 8-bit LDR image to HDR. An HDR image database was first constructed using a large number of various metallic objects with different shapes. Each captured HDR image was clipped to create a set of 8-bit LDR images. All pairs of HDR and LDR images were used to train and test the network. Subsequently, a convolutional neural network (CNN) was designed in the form of a deep U-Net-like architecture. The network consisted of an encoder, a decoder, and a skip connection to maintain high image resolution. The CNN algorithm was constructed using the learning functions in MATLAB. The entire network consisted of 32 layers and 85,900 learnable parameters. The performance of the proposed method was examined in experiments using a test image set. The proposed method was also compared with other methods and confirmed to be significantly superior in terms of reconstruction accuracy, histogram fitting, and psychological evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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35 pages, 72538 KiB  
Article
Optical and Electromechanical Design and Implementation of an Advanced Multispectral Device to Capture Material Appearance
by Majid Ansari-Asl, Markus Barbieri, Gaël Obein and Jon Yngve Hardeberg
J. Imaging 2024, 10(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging10030055 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1269
Abstract
The application of materials with changing visual properties with lighting and observation directions has found broad utility across diverse industries, from architecture and fashion to automotive and film production. The expanding array of applications and appearance reproduction requirements emphasizes the critical role of [...] Read more.
The application of materials with changing visual properties with lighting and observation directions has found broad utility across diverse industries, from architecture and fashion to automotive and film production. The expanding array of applications and appearance reproduction requirements emphasizes the critical role of material appearance measurement and surface characterization. Such measurements offer twofold benefits in soft proofing and product quality control, reducing errors and material waste while providing objective quality assessment. Some image-based setups have been proposed to capture the appearance of material surfaces with spatial variations in visual properties in terms of Spatially Varying Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Functions (SVBRDF) and Bidirectional Texture Functions (BTF). However, comprehensive exploration of optical design concerning spectral channels and per-pixel incident-reflection direction calculations, along with measurement validation, remains an unexplored domain within these systems. Therefore, we developed a novel advanced multispectral image-based device designed to measure SVBRDF and BTF, addressing these gaps in the existing literature. Central to this device is a novel rotation table as sample holder and passive multispectral imaging. In this paper, we present our compact multispectral image-based appearance measurement device, detailing its design, assembly, and optical considerations. Preliminary measurements showcase the device’s potential in capturing angular and spectral data, promising valuable insights into material appearance properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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15 pages, 4083 KiB  
Article
Automatic MTF Conversion between Different Characteristics Caused by Imaging Devices
by Midori Tanaka, Tsubasa Ando and Takahiko Horiuchi
J. Imaging 2024, 10(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging10020049 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Depending on various design conditions, including optics and circuit design, the image-forming characteristics of the modulated transfer function (MTF), which affect the spatial resolution of a digital image, may vary among image channels within or between imaging devices. In this study, we propose [...] Read more.
Depending on various design conditions, including optics and circuit design, the image-forming characteristics of the modulated transfer function (MTF), which affect the spatial resolution of a digital image, may vary among image channels within or between imaging devices. In this study, we propose a method for automatically converting the MTF to the target MTF, focusing on adjusting the MTF characteristics that affect the signals of different image channels within and between different image devices. The experimental results of MTF conversion using the proposed method for multiple image channels with different MTF characteristics indicated that the proposed method could produce sharper images by moving the source MTF of each channel closer to a target MTF with a higher MTF value. This study is expected to contribute to technological advancements in various imaging devices as follows: (1) Even if the imaging characteristics of the hardware are unknown, the MTF can be converted to the target MTF using the image after it is captured. (2) As any MTF can be converted into a target, image simulation for conversion to a different MTF is possible. (3) It is possible to generate high-definition images, thereby meeting the requirements of various industrial and research fields in which high-definition images are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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12 pages, 1549 KiB  
Article
The Reality of a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) Environment Tested via Lightness Perception
by Ichiro Kuriki, Kazuki Sato and Satoshi Shioiri
J. Imaging 2024, 10(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging10020036 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are becoming more and more popular as a device for displaying a virtual reality space, but how real are they? The present study attempted to quantitatively evaluate the degree of reality achieved with HMDs by using a perceptual phenomenon as [...] Read more.
Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are becoming more and more popular as a device for displaying a virtual reality space, but how real are they? The present study attempted to quantitatively evaluate the degree of reality achieved with HMDs by using a perceptual phenomenon as a measure. Lightness constancy is an ability that is present in human visual perception, in which the perceived reflectance (i.e., the lightness) of objects appears to stay constant across illuminant changes. Studies on color/lightness constancy in humans have shown that the degree of constancy is high, in general, when real objects are used as stimuli. We asked participants to make lightness matches between two virtual environments with different illuminant intensities, as presented in an HMD. The participants’ matches showed a high degree of lightness constancy in the HMD; our results marked no less than 74.2% (84.8% at the maximum) in terms of the constancy index, whereas the average score on the computer screen was around 65%. The effect of head-tracking ability was confirmed by disabling that function, and the result showed a significant drop in the constancy index but that it was equally effective when the virtual environment was generated by replay motions. HMDs yield a realistic environment, with the extension of the visual scene being accompanied by head motions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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18 pages, 4717 KiB  
Article
Perceptual Translucency in 3D Printing Using Surface Texture
by Kazuki Nagasawa, Kamui Ono, Wataru Arai and Norimichi Tsumura
J. Imaging 2023, 9(5), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging9050105 - 22 May 2023
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
We propose a method of reproducing perceptual translucency in three-dimensional printing. In contrast to most conventional methods, which reproduce the physical properties of translucency, we focus on the perceptual aspects of translucency. Humans are known to rely on simple cues to perceive translucency, [...] Read more.
We propose a method of reproducing perceptual translucency in three-dimensional printing. In contrast to most conventional methods, which reproduce the physical properties of translucency, we focus on the perceptual aspects of translucency. Humans are known to rely on simple cues to perceive translucency, and we develop a method of reproducing these cues using the gradation of surface textures. Textures are designed to reproduce the intensity distribution of the shading and thus provide a cue for the perception of translucency. In creating textures, we adopt computer graphics to develop an image-based optimization method. We validate the effectiveness of the method through subjective evaluation experiments using three-dimensionally printed objects. The results of the validation suggest that the proposed method using texture may increase perceptual translucency under specific conditions. As a method for translucent 3D printing, our method has the limitation that it depends on the observation conditions; however, it provides knowledge to the field of perception that the human visual system can be cheated by only surface textures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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Review

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29 pages, 2596 KiB  
Review
Visually Significant Dimensions and Parameters for Gloss
by Donatela Šarić and Aditya Suneel Sole
J. Imaging 2024, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging10010010 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1706
Abstract
The appearance of a surface depends on four main appearance attributes, namely color, gloss, texture, and translucency. Gloss is an important attribute that people use to understand surface appearance, right after color. In the past decades, extensive research has been conducted in the [...] Read more.
The appearance of a surface depends on four main appearance attributes, namely color, gloss, texture, and translucency. Gloss is an important attribute that people use to understand surface appearance, right after color. In the past decades, extensive research has been conducted in the field of gloss and gloss perception, with different aims to understand the complex nature of gloss appearance. This paper reviews the research conducted on the topic of gloss and gloss perception and discusses the results and potential future research on gloss and gloss perception. Our primary focus in this review is on research in the field of gloss and the setup of associated psychophysical experiments. However, due to the industrial and application-oriented nature of this review, the primary focus is the gloss of dielectric materials, a critical aspect in various industries. This review not only summarizes the existing research but also highlights potential avenues for future research in the pursuit of a more comprehensive understanding of gloss perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Technologies for Understanding Material Appearance)
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