Stereo vision is a fundamental part of our human visual system and yet this aspect is largely ignored when rendering high quality images. This paper investigates whether viewing in stereo could affect our judgements of the visual realism of computer-generated images. Three experiments concerning the visual factors of illumination directions, light source numbers, and view point position have been carried out to study the different responses between two groups of human subjects. Two groups of subjects had different conditions of viewing. One viewed stereoscopic pairs of images (different views for each eye) while the other group viewed identical pairs of images (same view for each eye). Subjects were asked to respond verbally with “Real” or “Not Real” to each visual stimulus presented. The data recorded in the experiments was the subjects’ response time. The results from the three experiments all reveal that under the stereo viewing condition, the subjects took more time to make the decision on the visual realism of the synthetic images. This outcome provides insight into how we should consider rendering highly realistic images of real scenes as opposed to images that simply approximate a photograph of that scene.
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