Publication: Emotional response and visual attention to non-photorealistic images

Non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) algorithms are used to produce stylized images, and have generally been evaluated on the aesthetic qualities of the resulting images. NPR-produced images have been used for aesthetic and practical reasons in media intended to produce an emotional reaction in a consumer (e.g., computer games, films, advertisements, and web sites); however, it is not understood how non-photorealistic rendering affects the emotion portrayed in an image. We conducted a study of subjective emotional response and visual attention to five common NPR approaches, two blurring techniques, and the original image with 42 participants, and found that the NPR algorithms dampened participants' emotional responses in terms of arousal (activation) and valence (pleasure). Gaze data revealed that NPR rendering of images might reduce emotional response to an image by producing confusion, creating distracting visual artifacts, causing the loss of meaningful semantic information, or causing users to lose interest in the resulting image.


David Mould Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Hua Li


Affective Computing
Evaluation of a user's emotional experience with technology is not well understood, especially when the primary goal of a technology is to entertain (e.g., computer game) or to invoke an emotional experience (e.g., animated film).


Mould, D., Mandryk, R.L., Li, H. 2012. Emotional response and visual attention to non-photorealistic images. In Computers & Graphics, vol. 6 no. 6, 658-672. DOI=10.1016/j.cag.2012.03.039.


@article {
author= {David Mould and Regan Mandryk and Hua Li},
title= {Emotional response and visual attention to non-photorealistic images},
booktitle= {Computers & Graphics},
year= {2012},
volume= {6},
number= {6},
pages= {658-672}