Experimental Analysis of BRDF Models


Addy Ngan Fredo Durand Wojciech Matusik
Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2005





The Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) describes the appearance of a material by its interaction with light at a surface point. A variety of analytical models have been proposed to represent BRDFs. However, analysis of these models has been scarce due to the lack of high-resolution measured data. In this work we evaluate several well-known analytical models in terms of their ability to fit measured BRDFs. We use an existing high-resolution data set of a hundred isotropic materials and compute the best approximation for each analytical model. Furthermore, we have built a new setup for efficient acquisition of anisotropic BRDFs, which allows us to acquire anisotropic materials at high resolution. We have measured four samples of anisotropic materials (brushed aluminum, velvet, and two satins). Based on the numerical errors, function plots, and rendered images we provide insights into the performance of the various models. We conclude that for most isotropic materials physically-based analytic reflectance models can represent their appearance quite well. We illustrate the important difference between the two common ways of defining the specular lobe: around the mirror direction and with respect to the half-vector. Our evaluation shows that the latter gives a more accurate shape for the reflection lobe. Our analysis of anisotropic materials indicates current parametric reectance models cannot represent their appearances faithfully in many cases. We show that using a sampled microfacet distribution computed from measurements improves the fit and qualitatively reproduces the measurements.



Addy Ngan, Fredo Durand, and Wojciech Matusik. Experimental Analysis of BRDF Models. Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2005.





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