Compositorial ‘Weight’ & ‘Luminance’

In: Art & Perception
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  • 1 University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
  • | 2 Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • | 3 Justus-Liebig Universität, Germany

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Compositorial weight might be understood as an operational definition of salience. It is not a psychophysical entity, but holds a key position between psychophysics and aesthetics. Several factors ranging over raw photometric/colorimetric parameters, various kinds of psychophysical contrast, image geometry, even semantic properties are readily shown to influence weight. A down-to-earth proposition is that luminance might play a dominant role. We investigate this notion and show that luminance per se is hardly important, except in certain paradigms like the ones considered here. We find that observers indeed readily judge weight based on luminance in such paradigms, although there are strong idiosyncratic differences. Our results have some generic implications for graphical design.

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