Printing Beyond Color: Spectral and Specular Reproduction
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For accurate printing (reproduction), two important appearance attributes to consider are color and gloss. These attributes are related to two topics focused on in this dissertation: spectral reproduction and specular (gloss) printing. In the conventional printing workflow known as the metameric printing workflow, which we use mostly nowadays, high-quality prints -- in terms of colorimetric accuracy -- can be achieved only under a predefined illuminant (i.e. an illuminant that the printing pipeline is adjusted to; e.g. daylight). While this printing workflow is useful and sufficient for many everyday purposes, in some special cases, such as artwork (e.g. painting) reproduction, security printing, accurate industrial color communication and so on, in which accurate reproduction of an original image under a variety of illumination conditions (e.g. daylight, tungsten light, museum light, etc.) is required, metameric reproduction may produce satisfactory results only with luck. Therefore, in these cases, another printing workflow, known as spectral printing pipeline must be used, with the ideal aim of illuminant-invariant match between the original image and the reproduction. In this workflow, the reproduction of spectral raw data (i.e. reflectances in the visible wavelength range), rather than reproduction of colorimetric values (colors) alone (under a predefined illuminant) is taken into account. Due to the limitations of printing systems extant, the reproduction of all reflectances is not possible even with multi-channel (multi-colorant) printers. Therefore, practical strategies are required in order to map non-reproducible reflectances into reproducible spectra and to choose appropriate combinations of printer colorants for the reproduction of the mapped reflectances. For this purpose, an approach called Spatio-Spectral Gamut Mapping and Separation, SSGMS, was proposed, which results in almost artifact-free spectral reproduction under a set of various illuminants. The quality control stage is usually the last stage in any printing pipeline. Nowadays, the quality of the printout is usually controlled only in terms of colorimetric accuracy and common printing artifacts. However, some gloss-related artifacts, such as gloss-differential (inconsistent gloss appearance across an image, caused mostly by variations in deposited ink area coverage on different spots), are ignored, because no strategy to avoid them exists. In order to avoid such gloss-related artifacts and to control the glossiness of the printout locally, three printing strategies were proposed. In general, for perceptually accurate reproduction of color and gloss appearance attributes, understanding the relationship between measured values and perceived magnitudes of these attributes is essential. There has been much research into reproduction of colors within perceptually meaningful color spaces, but little research from the gloss perspective has been carried out. Most of these studies are based on simulated display-based images (mostly with neutral colors) and do not take real objects into account. In this dissertation, three psychophysical experiments were conducted in order to investigate the relationship between measured gloss values (objective quantities) and perceived gloss magnitudes (subjective quantities) using real colored samples printed by the aforementioned proposed printing strategies. These experiments revealed that the relationship mentioned can be explained by a Power function according to Stevens' Power Law, considering almost the entire gloss range. Another psychophysical experiment was also conducted in order to investigate the interrelation between perceived surface gloss and texture, using 2.5D samples printed in two different texture types and with various gloss levels and texture elevations. According to the results of this experiment, different macroscopic texture types and levels (in terms of texture elevation) were found to influence the perceived surface gloss level slightly. No noticeable influence of surface gloss on the perceived texture level was observed, indicating texture constancy regardless of the gloss level printed. The SSGMS approach proposed for the spectral reproduction, the three printing strategies presented for gloss printing, and the results of the psychophysical experiments conducted on gloss printing and appearance can be used to improve the overall print quality in terms of color and gloss reproduction.