The influence of depth and stutter on consumer preference for static three-dimensional lenticular-sheet images

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Virginia Tech


Lenticular-sheet (LS) images induce the sensation of object depth through motion parallax and stereopsis, which is based on retinal disparity. To achieve the three-dimensional effect, some sacrifice of image quality must be made. A study is described which investigated the tradeoff between depth and image quality that is inherent in LS imaging by asking subjects to evaluate stimuli that varied on these attributes. Four different scenes were generated as experimental stimuli to encompass a range of typical LS images. The length of camera travel in taking the 20 photographs necessary to produce a single image determined the overall amount of depth in the image, while varying the pivot point allowed the degree of foreground and background disparity to be altered. Preference evaluations were conducted using the method of free-modulus magnitude estimation.

Generally, subjects preferred images which had smaller amounts of camera travel, and they tended to dislike excessive amounts of foreground disparity. However, differences were scene-dependent, so post-hoc analyses were performed to determine sources of significance in main effects and interactions. The most preferred image was also determined for each scene by selecting the image with the highest mean rating.

In a second experiment, these most preferred LS images for each scene were shown to subjects along with their analogous two-dimensional (2D) photographic versions. Results indicate that observers from the general population looked at the LS images longer than they did at the 2D versions and rated them higher on the attributes of quality of depth and attention-getting ability, although the LS images were rated lower on sharpness. No difference was found in overall quality or likeability. When paired comparisons were made, preference results were scene-dependent. Finally, a recall task showed no difference in the ability to remember details based on the type of image.

These results show that consumers prefer LS images when they satisfy the viewer’s image quality requirements and that these images can be beneficial in attracting and maintaining consumer attention. Recommendations, in the form of design implications, are made which can help the LS image developer meet these image quality requirements.