This project led us to ask and run empirical studies to see how perception of lightness constancy comes into play when displaying data using color on surfaces (such as molecular surfaces) that use shading to convey a sense of three-dimensional shape.

Our work uses a sequential series of experiments to test the presence of lightness constancy, the effect of structural information, approximation of shadow darkening, the effect of luminance-encoded color ramps, and addition of optional shape cues (stereoscopic and suggestive contours). We provide a series of conclusions about supporting color constancy to ensure viewers obtain accurate judgments of shadowed data in computer-generated visualizations.

An early version of this work won SciVis best poster at IEEE Vis 2013. This paper was presented by Danielle Szafir as an out-of-band TVCG paper at SciVis 2016.