A Data-Driven Reflectance Model

Matusik W, Pfister H, Brand M, and McMillan L.

ACM Trans. Graph., 2003.

We present a generative model for isotropic bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDFs) based on acquired reflectance data. Instead of using analytical reflectance models, we represent each BRDF as a dense set of measurements. This allows us to interpolate and extrapolate in the space of acquired BRDFs to create new BRDFs. We treat each acquired BRDF as a single high-dimensional vector taken from a space of all possible BRDFs. We apply both linear (subspace) and non-linear (manifold) dimensionality reduction tools in an effort to discover a lower-dimensional representation that characterizes our measurements. We let users define perceptually meaningful parametrization directions to navigate in the reduced-dimension BRDF space. On the low-dimensional manifold, movement along these directions produces novel but valid BRDFs.