This study reports on a psychophysical experiment with real stimuli that differ in multiple visual gloss criteria. Four samples were presented to 15 observers under different conditions of illumination, resulting in a series of 16 stimuli. Through pairwise comparisons, a gloss scale was derived and the observers’ strategy to evaluate gloss was investigated. The preference probability matrix P indicated a dichotomy among observers. A first group of observers used the distinctness-of-image as a principal cue to glossiness, while a second group evaluated gloss primarily from differences in brightness. It could therefore be questioned if surface gloss can be characterized by one single quantity, or that a set of quantities is necessary to describe differences in gloss.
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