Using image-based metrics, a contrast-to-clutter model is applied to a visible imagery set and perception experiment data. To calculate the contrast metric, a new image is generated from a gray scale version of the original image by replacing the target with an expected background using the local background surrounding the target. The contrast metric is obtained from the difference of this new image and the original image. Via a simple mathematical formula, the ratio of the contrast measure to a clutter metric is used to predict performance. © 2001 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.