Affiliation: Inria (researcher)
Project-team: manao
Email: pascal dot barla at inria dot fr
Address: 200, av. de la Vieille Tour
33405 Talence, France


Ecological optics

Originally formulated by J.J. Gibson in 1961, Ecological Optics is the study of light rays converging to a single point of view, forming an optic array whose structure is pivotal to the understanding of visual perceptions of all animals (including humans). The characterization of the optic array structure requires to consider physical properties of the world, in particular optical properties of materials; but also the influence of object shape, of environment lighting in a given habitat, and of natural motion, all contributing to the formation of visual patterns that may guide animal behavior.

Connecting the interaction of light with matter at the microscopic scale, to the formation of ecologically-relevant visual patterns at the macroscopic scale, is not an easy stroll. Fortunately, Computer Graphics can offer stepping stones, provided it does not only serve as a black box for image production, but also as a tool box for image analysis. This not only includes the use of light transport to study the conjoint effects of shape, lighting and materials on visual patterns; but also the imitation of artistic painting and drawing techniques where patterns relevant to visual perception are directly produced, hence shining light on the minimal structures required for a convincing depiction.