Rating the visual interest/distraction of video sequences

Dear list,

this is not directly a Radiance question, but please allow me to post it anyway. One of you might have a friend to knows this guy who might be the right person to ask…

I am wondering whether there is some kind of perception scale that can be applied to video sequences in order to estimate how attension seeking or distracting they are. I guess the louder the colours, and the faster step changes in overall brightness and colour occur, the more they attract our attention, and the more people might find them annoying.

Compare, for instance a David Attenborough calm, blue-ish underwater scene with the bright advertising screens at Piccadilly circus (which are obviously meant to attract our attention).

Has anyone every looked into this? Are there any metrics? Any thoughts would be very welcome.

Thank you


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Hi Axel,

There is a ton (or tonne) of research in this area… Searches on “low-level visual attention” and “temporal color salience” give a lot of relevant hits, including this 2015 Ph.D. thesis by Shahrbanoo Shahrbabaki.

Here are a few others that seemed useful:


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Great. Thank you, Greg. So it’s called ‘saliency’. Welcome reading for the weekend.