Textures are commonly used to enhance the representation of shape in non-photorealistic rendering applications such as medical drawings. Textures that have elongated linear elements appear to be superior to random textures in that they can, by the way they conform to the surface, reveal the surface shape. We observe that shape following hache marks commonly used in cartography and copper-plate illustration are locally similar to the effect of the lines that can be generated by the intersection of a set of parallel planes with a surface. We use this as a basis for investigating the relationships between view direction, texture orientation and surface orientation in affording surface shape perception. We report two experiments using parallel plane textures. The results show that textures constructed from planes more nearly orthogonal to the line of sight tend to be better at revealing surface shape. Also, viewing surfaces from an oblique view is much better for revealing surface shape than viewing them from directly above.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Graphics Interface (GI)



Conference Date

May 1 - May 5, 2004

Publisher Place

London, UK


Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society

Document Type

Conference Proceeding