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The Effect of Ambient Occlusion Shading on Perception of Sign Language Animations

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, Joe Kasenga, Tiffany Jen, Bryan Colbourn


The goal of the study reported in the paper was to determine whether Ambient Occlusion Shading (AOS) has a significant effect on users' perception of American Sign Language (ASL) finger spelling animations. Seventy-one (71) subjects participated in the study; all subjects were fluent in ASL. The participants were asked to watch forty (40) sign language animation clips representing twenty (20) finger spelled words. Twenty (20) clips did not show ambient occlusion, whereas the other twenty (20) were rendered using ambient occlusion shading. After viewing each animation, subjects were asked to type the word being finger-spelled and rate its legibility. Findings show that the presence of AOS had a significant effect on the subjects perception of the signed words. Subjects were able to recognize the animated words rendered with AOS with higher level of accuracy, and the legibility ratings of the animations showing AOS were consistently higher across subjects.

Keywords: Animation, Deaf education, Sign Language, Ambient Occlusion Shading

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