Integration of depth modules: Stereo and shading

Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Hanspeter A. Mallot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

268 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the integration of image disparities, edge information, and shading in the three-dimensional perception of complex yet well-controlled images generated with a computer-graphics system. The images showed end-on views of flat- and smooth-shaded ellipsoids, i.e., images with and without intensity discontinuities (edges). A map of perceived depth was measured by adjusting a small stereo depth probe interactively to the perceived surface. Our data show that disparate shading (even in the absence of disparate edges) yields a vivid stereoscopic depth perception. The perceived depth is significantly reduced if the disparities are completely removed (shape-from-shading). If edge information is available, it overrides both shape-from-shading and disparate shading. Degradations of depth perception corresponded to a reduced depth rather than to an increased scatter in the depth measurement. The results are compared with computer-vision algorithms for both single cues and their integration for three-dimensional vision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1749-1758
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1988 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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