Human observers can easily perceive various properties of materials, for example, the shininess of metal. Previous research has investigated the perception of rigid materials. However, it is unclear how the visual system creates the representation of non-rigid materials such as liquid. Here we demonstrate that the visual system recognizes several properties of liquid by exploiting image motion and deformation. We report that human observers recognize liquid from image motion flow and its smoothness, and that dynamic image deformation can trigger transparent liquid impression. Clarification of the image information that produces material perception can contribute to development of technology to easily modify the appearance of materials in a movie.
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