What object attributes determine canonical views?

Volker Blanz, Michael J. Tarr, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated preferred or canonical views for familiar and three-dimensional non-sense objects using computer-graphics psychophysics. We assessed the canonical views for objects by allowing participants to actively rotate realistically shaded three-dimensional models in real-time. Objects were viewed on a Silicon Graphics workstation and manipulated in virtual space with a three-degree-of-freedom input device. In the first experiment, participants adjusted each object to the viewpoint from which they would take a photograph if they planned to use the object to illustrate a brochure. In the second experiment, participants mentally imaged each object on the basis of the name and then adjusted the object to the viewpoint from which they imagined it. In both experiments, there was a large degree of consistency across participants in terms of the preferred view for a given object. Our results provide new insights on the geometrical, experiential, and functional attributes that determine canonical views under ecological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-597
Number of pages23
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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