Posters 1

Geometric texture aesthetics for digital cartography

Zainab Almeraj, Craig Kaplan and Paul Asente

The creation of attractive 2D textures has long been of interest to researchers in art and design, and, more recently, to computer scientists. Automatic pattern synthesis by example has proven successful at mimicking the appearance of expressively drawn arrangements of primitives. A movement targeting vector patterns has brought us a variety of new synthesis algorithms [Passos et al.]. For comparison, they show their results along side previous examples. But how can we judge which algorithm produces the best results? Vision research has provided some ideas, but their research focuses more on understanding underlying perceptual processes. The synthesis field needs better standards for evaluating new algorithms. Recent research in computer graphics advocates for better depictions of 2D patterns and ways to effectively generate them without knowing the low-level perceptual processes involved. This ties the success of computer-generated arrangements to effective criteria for measuring their aesthetics and visual similarity. One important application area is digital cartography. A cartographer must fill large predefined spaces on maps with various lithological primitives, often using synthesis methods to save time and effort. The ques- tion naturally arises of whether these arrangements are successful. We investigate what makes arrangement 'successful', and methods for effectively evaluating new synthesis algorithms. [V. Alves dos Passos, M. Walter, and M.C. Sousa, 2010, 18th Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications, September, 109-116].

Illusory Motion in three-dimensional applications

Jessica Guinto

Illusory motion can be generated in static images by repeating asymmetric patterns of contrasting colours. While many have studied this phenomena, creating more complex images and stronger effects along the way, an understanding of its underlying perceptual mechanisms remains incomplete. This research employed a qualitative, heuristic method to broaden our understanding of the effect. Goal-oriented, the intention was to develop three-dimensional illusory motion which could be used for architectural and artistic applications. This method through its novelty, introduced variables and contexts yet to be examined regarding the effect, shedding new light on its perceptual underpinnings. Forms and techniques were developed using biological computation, 3d virtual modelling and physical prototypes to determine how the effect could be executed and exploit three-dimensional form. This research provides the first known examples of three-dimensional anomalous motion illusions, the results of which will be discussed in further detail along with new insight gained. This novel illusionary motion context offers interesting opportunities in design, but with distinct constraints differing it from two-dimensional illusionary motion images.

Is rating the aesthetic value of a composition the same as rating its balance?

Françoise Samuel and Dirk Kerzel

In the literature on aesthetics, a widespread claim is that balance contributes to the aesthetic value of art compositions. In some studies, the definition of balance seems to be equivalent to equilibrium in the physical sense: dark areas are like weights that compensate each other in comparison to a central pivot point. Recent studies challenged this claim because no preference was observed for compositions which are equilibrated. We investigated whether it was the observers' failure to perceive equilibrium which led to the lack of aesthetic appreciation of equilibrium. We also wanted to elucidate whether observers considered 'balance' a synonym of 'harmony' or 'equilibrium'. In two experiments with symmetric stimuli, asymmetric but equilibrated stimuli, and unequilibrated stimuli, all made up of two or three rectangles, we explored the relationship between aesthetic ratings, balance ratings, and weight ratings. We found that some stimulus characteristics influenced the three ratings differentially. The equilibrium state of the compositions played only a small role in the aesthetics ratings, though the equilibrium state was correctly perceived when weight was rated. The pattern of responses in the aesthetics ratings suggests that increases in aesthetic value that had been attributed to equilibrium are in fact attributable to approximate symmetry.

Using computer arts to explore the look and feel of financial planning

Kenneth C. Scott-Brown, Santiago Martinez, Rosie Henderson, Dmitrijs Cernagovs, Hugh McLaughlin, Nicolas Tanda, Omid Ahmadidarani, Jason Turner and Robin Sloan

Can artistic principles address psychological problems? Does it look expensive? Does it feel cheap? Does it look like a good investment? These are some of the economic decisions that face people in day-to-day financial planning. The current global credit crunch is evidence of a yawning disconnect between the language and mechanisms of banking and budgeting and the reality of the economic decisions people make from minute to minute, from day to day and over the longer term. We propose a set of artistic and interactive principles that can be used to establish a new paradigm for interaction with economic data to enable interaction, experimentation and ownership of financial decision. The principles involve artistic representation of abstract concepts using art, animation and multi-touch interactivity. Using a large multi-touch interface (Microsoft Surface TM) and simple gesture-scalable graphical icon techniques, we have developed an interactive savings planner that allows users to scale financial allocations using gestures and to rapidly visualise the development of future outcomes using an animated fast-forward time wheel. This technique offers the potential for touch screen interfaces to exploit embodied cognition and computer arts to engage user groups that may traditionally be excluded from financial awareness and planning tools.

Is Plato's banishment of the poets a release for mimetic art? An anamorphic interpretation for a philosophical puzzle.

Gabriele Meloni

In this paper I want to address Plato's notorious attitude toward poetry. Such a topic looks prima facie a dilemma. On the one hand he expresses hard criticism against poetry and he even banishes the poets from the ideal state he envisages in the Republic. On the other hand he constantly prizes Homer as well as many other bards. The outcome of that is a bizarre, incoherent picture. My aim is to offer a new, anamorphic interpretation of this puzzle, in order to reconstruct a consistent (and positive) picture of Plato's attitude on Art. Starting from the totally different role poets had in archaic Greece, I will draw a comparison with anamorphic painting in order to show that by adopting a different perspective it will be clear that Plato's criticisms do not regard poetry qua art, but they are rather a justified concern about the pursuit of truth through poetry. Indeed, as it widely sustained, poetry was the main source of teaching, moral value, and knowledge in the ancient Greek society. In conclusion, the present work allows solving the vexata quaestio of Plato on art by proposing an original theory based both on vision science and philosophy.

Impact of alexithymia on aesthetic preference

Francesca Baralla, Anna Maria Giannini and Emanuela Tizzani

Aim of this work is to explore the impact of alexithymia on art appreciation, and to examine the influence of emotion regulation on art judgement (Leder et al., 2004, British Journal of Psychology, 95, 489-508). While observing a painting, the viewer's cognitive structure contains several information and is the repository of personal traits, motivations and emotional dispositions. The study of how personal traits influence work of art appreciation, and especially the study of the way emotion regulation impacts on art judgement, aims at improving the comprehension of aesthetic experience costruct. In this study 100 adults, divided into two groups hight and low alexithymia scores (evaluated by SAR - Baiocco, Giannini, Laghi, 2005, SAR - Scala Alessitimica Romana, Trento, Erickson), observed 20 paintings and then were asked to give an evalutative judgement on three dimentions: cognitive, emotional, and aesthetic ones. As espected, the two groups had significant differences in their aesthetic preferences. While subjects without affective regulation disorders preferred excitation-related pictures, subjects with hight alexithymia scores appreciated painting with emotions of pleasure-inhibition. These results allow to evaluate the impact of traits personality on aesthetic preference, and suggest to include also emotional regulation in a comprehensive model of aesthetic experience.

Visual and Motor Experience in Watching Ballet

Frank Pollick and Seon Hee Jang

We were interested in how visual and motor experience influence brain response to watching ballet [Jang and Pollick, 2011, Dance Research, 29, 352-377]. To examine this question we used fMRI to measure the brain activity of 14 ballet dancers, 12 novices and 10 experienced viewers of ballet. Participants either passively viewed or imagined themselves duplicating a ballet posture or a ballet movement. Movements were 2-second clips of ballet where the dancer was represented as points of light at major joints. These point-light displays were created from capturing the motion of a skilled ballet dancer. Brain data were analysed using a random effects ANOVA with a design of Experience (dancer, novice, experienced viewer) X Display (static, moving) X Task (observe, imagine). Results showed different patterns of activation in motor and somatosensory cortex for dancers, different patterns of activation in temporal pole and orbitofrontal cortex for experienced viewers, and different patterns of activation in both dancers and experienced viewers in the temporo-parietal junction and retrosplenial cortex. These results are consistent with a view that while both dancers and experienced viewers share enhanced early perceptual representations of dance they differ in higher level representations that are more embodied in the dancer.

Central Perspective Image Geometry for Object Depth Estimation

Elodie Fourquet and William Cowan

Recently there has been speculation (e.g. [Melshner and Cavanaugh 2011, in: Art and the senses, F Bacci and D Melcher, Oxford, Oxford University Press]) that the human visual system possesses no inherent 3D representation of the visual environment, only a variety of 2D representations, on the basis of which it is easy to compute answers to the 3D questions that arise during image interpretation, motion planning, and so on. If true, this idea sheds light on the decision of so many realist artists to work in 2D despite their subject matter being 3D. Given the uncompromising nature of artists, we are correctly reluctant to attribute the decision to expedience. Artists creating realistic paintings with 3D content compose their images using construction lines drawn directly onto the 2D canvas, in effect performing perspective calculations using 2D constructive geometry. Renaissance artists, who considered themselves both visual scientists and geometers, invented the constructions, which allow artists simultaneously to compose in 2D and to arrange in 3D. Viewers easily perceive the 3D positions objects in their paintings, supporting Melshner and Cavanaugh's suggestion. We recently constructed a test framework to explore composition and arrangement using artistic constructions based on a tiled floor. Ongoing experiments show that the tiled floor, which is common in Renaissance art, when combined with vertical gravity, gives precise estimates of object position in depth.

Wild Visions: an Artistic Investigation into Animal Vision

Prue Sailer

The research informing this presentation comes from the perspective of an artist investigating and interpreting the capabilities of animal vision. While visual art traditionally represents the world from a human perspective, the approach for this project has been reversed to illustrate the varied views of the world through the eyes of selected animal species. The resulting artworks are inspired by existing scientific research that explores the visual world of animals. The focus of this paper is the visual capabilities of both the Tawny Frogmouth and Rainbow Trout, with visual interpretations of the way they see their habitats. The methodology consists of two integrated approaches. The first involves the collection of scientific data through literature searches, along with field studies in which the selected species are observed, drawn and photographed. The second consists of studio-based research, through which the scientific and visual data are processed into a series of interpretive paintings. This study provides a means by which the important and fascinating research carried out by vision scientists can be delivered to a wider audience, through visual art. Subsequent studies can be applied to a wider range of species and continue to present artistic interpretations of new findings in animal vision research.

The sensitivity of aesthetic perception

Stella Faerber and Claus Christian Carbon

The assessment of aesthetic appreciation was shown to be highly reliable in many different research fields. Ratings of facial attractiveness, for instance, have high consistency between raters indicating a general and highly developed cognitive mechanism. This mechanism, however, is not yet well understood, although many variables have been discussed to impact aesthetic processing (e.g., typicality or symmetry). Within the present study we implemented aesthetic appreciation through the variable liking along with the important moderator variable typicality questioning their sensitivity for subtle changes of the stimulus material. We tested both variables for 3D-chair-models systematically varying on two important aesthetic dimensions, proportion and colour saturation. To improve the validity of testing we used a test-adaptation-test design and calculated the sensitivity of both variables from a static (test only) as well a dynamic (test-retest) perspective. We showed that typicality was solely prone to changes in proportion while liking ratings were influenced by aspects of proportion as well as colour saturation pointing to a more complex and integrative processing mechanism. Results give first indications that the evaluative processing of liking is a highly sensitive process, which is trained everyday throughout life, which might be the reason why it works so quickly and reliably.

A painter's eye movements during creative painting

Sawako Yokochi, Takeshi Okada and Kentaro Ishibashi

How does a painter move his eyes during creative painting? Though there have been studies on painters' eye movements while sketching real objects (e.g., Miall & Tchalenko, 2001; Tchalenko & Miall, 2009), eye movements during creative painting have not been well studied. We conducted an experiment with a painter who had been painting imaginary abstract pictures for more than thirty years. We asked him to paint his style of pictures wearing a head-free eye tracker (NAC EMR-9) in two conditions: 1) Painting-Objects condition, in which he was required to paint his own imaginary pictures by transforming external objects in photographs to function as motifs; and 2) Painting-No-Object condition, in which he was required to paint his internal images without using any photographs. The results show that from the beginning of the painting process, he often observed not only the area he was painting at that moment, but also the area that he was not painting. As the painting progressed, he often viewed his painting with his eyes half-closed so that he could check the balance of colours and shapes. There were some differences between the two conditions with respect to the order of the areas of eye fixation.

Using eye-movements and verbalization to investigate spectatorship in Edouard Manet's painting (1882) 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.'

Jason Kass, Beth Harland, John Gillett, Carl Mann, Simon Liversedge and Nick Donnelly

'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère' is an image that intentionally engages with the notion of spectatorship in art, by articulating a complex and geometrically impossible relationship between objects and reflections, subtleties which take time to become apparent. The painting unsettles the conventional relationship between picture and spectator and represents a radical moment in the development of pictorial modes of address. Issues of pictorial address have been extensively theorized (see, e.g.: Fried, 1980, 'Absorption and theatricality: painting and beholder in the age of Diderot', University of California Press) and remain relevant for artists today. To explore cognitive processing generally during inspection of the picture, and to investigate whether we might gain insight into psychological processes associated with spectatorship, we recorded eye movements and verbal responses from experts and novices as they responded to questions directing them towards a specific mode of spectatorship. A systematic relationship between eye movements and utterances emerged suggesting a tightly coupled referential relationship. Particular patterns of saccades over specific elements of the scene suggest observers did engage in particular patterns of spectatorship, though this occurred differentially across novices and art experts.

What did Bernini get from Van Dyck's triple portrait of Charles I?

Andrea Van Doorn, Jan Koenderink and Johan Wagemans

In 1636 Charles I dispatched a painting by van Dyck to Bernini at Rome. The painting showed the King's countenance, as seen from three (very) different angles. The painting was meant as the data needed by Bernini to sculpt a bust of the King in his absence. The bust was delivered in 1638. Although the original of the bust was lost in a fire, contemporary pictures and copies exist. Thus, it is possible to compare van Dyck's painting to a copy of Bernini's sculpture. We are especially interested in the three dimensional shape impressions observers of the painting are able to extract from it visually. What was the quality and extent of Bernini's 'ground truth'? In order to approach the question we measured pictorial reliefs on a reproduction of the painting for a number of observers, using different methods. We present results, and discuss the quality of Bernini's ground truth.

Picasso's 'distorted' figures

Andrea Van Doorn, Jan Koenderink and Johan Wagemans

In the 1940's Picasso produced a number of remarkable drawings, mostly of female nudes, that combine a number of sometimes very different views in a single pattern. There is obviously no way to analyze such drawings as conventional perspectives of some scene. Yet observers have no trouble to come up with pictorial reliefs in immediate visual awareness. We study empirically obtained reliefs for a number of observers. These have necessarily idiosyncratic features, so much of the interest is in inter-observer comparisons. We find that observers agree only somewhat on the global level, though they tend to agree remarkably well on the level of 'natural' body parts. Here 'natural' has to be understood in terms of Picasso's graphically suggested partitions. The main differences between observers can be described as idiosyncratic 'mental movements' of such parts.

The Hue of Shapes

Liliana Albertazzi, Luisa Canal, Osvaldo Da Pos, Rocco Micciolo, Michela Malfatti and Massimo Vescovi

The association between particular shapes and colours has been explored in the artistic domain. As it is well known, Kandinsky [1947, Point and line to plane. New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation], conducting a survey among the Bauhaus members, found a relation between yellow and triangle, red end square, and blue and circle. In our study [Albertazzi et al., 2012, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, in press] we tested whether people from the general population, which usually is mostly non synaesthetic, exhibit naturally-biased associations between shape and colour [Spector and Maurer, 2011, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37(2), 484-495]. Results show that the choices of colour for each shape were not random, i.e., participants systematically established an association between shapes and colours. Correspondence analysis suggested that two main aspects determine these relationship, namely the 'warmth' and degree of 'natural lightness' of hues [Da Pos & Valenti, Proceedings of the AIC 2007 M. Meeting Color Science for Industry, Hangzhou, 41-44; Spillmann, Proceedings of the 5th AIC Congress, Montecarlo, 1-6]. As a by-product of the analysis Kandinsky's hypothesis could be tested without the constraint of a one-to-one association.

Visualization of information of a Japanese onomatopoeia as infographics

Kyo Suzuki, Yoshie Kiritani and Yoichi Tamagaki

Onomatopoeias express concretely and briefly sounds and appearance, which have a concise impact and descriptive power (Tajima, 2006). Japanese has many onomatopoeias, so that this is a feature of the language in comparison with Western languages (Ishibashi, 2007; Yoshimura, 2007). For instance, Japanese uses onomatopoeias to communicate nuances of action or motion. It can be possible, because Japanese users have a common ground of understanding of onomatopoeias. The present study expresses the meaning of onomatopoeia in real motions and visualizes the common ground of understanding. The target onomatopoeia is 'Pyon' which usually expresses bound, hopping, or jump in Japanese. Kiritani et al. (2012, ECVP) reveals the concrete style of motion of 'Pyon'. The present study visualizes the physical data as infographics that will be an artifact to shape an abstract concept of the onomatopoeia. Moreover, it will contribute to a visualization of information for communication design.

Position and orientation of faces in film: an analysis of the main male character in eight action movies.

Marco Bertamini and Carole Bode

Although studies have examined compositional biases in static images, few have extended the research to films. Specific scanning mechanisms, and a left visual field attentional bias predict that actors may be filmed in an asymmetrical way. The literature also suggests a left cheek bias (at least for females) and in relation to implied motion there is evidence for a left to right bias in paintings. We analyzed eight films by four directors of different nationalities, each with a male actor in the major role. The Directors were: Leone (A fistful of dollars; The good the bad and the ugly), Ford (The searchers; The man who shot Liberty Valance), Kurosawa (Yojimbo; Sanjuro), Chahine (Struggle in the valley; Struggle in the pier). The analysis focused on three compositional aspects: a) the facial orientation of the actor (which cheek faced the viewer), b) the position of the actor (right or left side of screen), and c) the movement of the actor. There was a general inward bias (facing towards the inside of the frame) but the orientation of the cheek, the position on screen and the movement had different patterns in Western (Ford, Leone) and non-Western films (Kurosawa, Chahine).

Magnitude and Preference Judgments of the Optimized Fraser-Wilcox illusion Type II Patterns

Jasmina Stevanov, Branka Spehar and Akiyoshi Kitaoka

Optimized Fraser-Wilcox illusion type II (Fraser&Wilcox, 1979, Nature, 281, 565 - 566; Kitaoka, 2007, DemoNight, VSS2007) belong to the category of motion illusions observed in stationary images. Using method of adjustment it was demonstrated that changes in contour (circle, square) but not in area defined by contour (radial, elliptical, parabolic arrangement of the patches) affected illusion strength (Stevanov et al., 2011, Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 200). The present study employed Paired comparison procedure (Spehar et al., 2003, Computers & graphics, 27, 813-820) to establish relative preference and perceived illusion magnitude in relationship to other images in the set. Images were shown one at a time and observers compared each new image to the immediately preceding image. In each set of images one image is paired with every other image, but all images are presented with equal frequency and in all possible combinations. The resulting overall relative frequency with which each image is chosen is a good indicator of its preference/illusion magnitude in relationship to other images in the set. Results showed that average proportions by which images were chosen are similar in preference and magnitude conditions implying that preference decreased with decrease in illusion magnitude.


Rossana Actis-Grosso and Daniele Zavagno

A growing body of evidence shows that motion is one of the core components of emotion. At a perceptual level, it has been demonstrated that biological motion is sufficient for the perception of motion [Clarke et al., 2005, 34, 1171-1180] and that some patterns of motion could increase perceived intensity and arousal related to emotional faces [Chafi et al., 2012, 3(1), 82-89]. The question arises whether some emotions are more motion-related than others, i.e. they imply the encoding of motion. We think that a first answer to this question could be found in the visual arts, where the representation of motion is often achieved by portraying unstable poses. Focusing on facial expressions, we hypothesize that some emotions (i.e. E-motions), such as anger and fear, incorporate a sense of dynamicity because their expression is unstable, whereas the expression of static emotions can last and even represent a constant facial feature. Our hypothesis implies that E-motions are used to enhance the representation of motion in static artworks: if this is true, then it should be possible to classify emotions based on the dynamicity conveyed by- and attributed to- the paintings where they are portrayed, as we are actually testing.

Laws of coloration in vision and art

Veronica Belli, Giulia Calaresu and Baingio Pinna

The aim of this work is to investigate the problem of perceptual organization of color through an integrated study based on art, vision science and biology. The color organization is approached starting from the amodal completion of shape and by introducing the phenomenal notions of modal and amodal completion of color in the three multidisciplinary domains. Just as a shape is completed amodally behind another occluding shape, so is a color behind another occluding color or behind a bright light reflected by a three-dimensional object. The modal completion of color was studied through children pictorial reproductions of artistic paintings and photographs of real objects/animals. The phenomenal results showed the effectiveness of the amodal completion of colors used by artists and by nature in biological coloration. Some general principles of the amodal completion of color, useful to understand the more general problem of phenomenal organization of color in art, vision science and biology, are suggested.