D. W. Hunter
School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews.
P. B. Hibbard
Department of Psychology, University of Essex.
Abstract to appear in i-Perception
Current research on binocular stereopsis in humans and non-human primates has been limited by a lack of available data-sets. Current data-sets fall into two categories; stereo-image sets with vergence but no ranging information (Hibbard, 2008, Vision Research, 48(12), 1427-1439) or combinations of depth information with binocular images and video taken from cameras in fixed fronto-parallel configurations exhibiting neither vergence or focus effects (Hirschmuller & Scharstein, 2007, IEEE Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition). The techniques for generating depth information are also imperfect. Depth information is normally inaccurate or simply missing near edges and on partially occluded surfaces. For many areas of vision research these are the most interesting parts of the image (Goutcher, Hunter, Hibbard, 2013, i-Perception, 4(7), 484; Scarfe & Hibbard, 2013, Vision Research). Using state-of-the-art open-source ray-tracing software (PBRT) as a back-end, our intention is to release a set of tools that will allow researchers in this field to generate artificial binocular stereoscopic data-sets. Although not as realistic as photographs, computer generated images have significant advantages in terms of control over the final output and ground-truth information about scene depth is easily calculated at all points in the scene, even partially occluded areas. While individual researchers have been developing similar stimuli by hand for many decades, we hope that our software will greatly reduce the time and difficulty of creating naturalistic binocular stimuli. Our intention in making this presentation is to elicit feedback from the vision community about what sort of features would be desirable in such software.