Survey of Models for Acquiring the Optical Properties of Translucent Materials

J. R. Frisvad*, S. A. Jensen, J. S. Madsen, A. Correia, L. Yang, S. K.S. Gregersen, Y. Meuret, P. E. Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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The outset of realistic rendering is a desire to reproduce the appearance of the real world. Rendering techniques therefore operate at a scale corresponding to the size of objects that we observe with our naked eyes. At the same time, rendering techniques must be able to deal with objects of nearly arbitrary shapes and materials. These requirements lead to techniques that oftentimes leave the task of setting the optical properties of the materials to the user. Matching the appearance of real objects by manual adjustment of optical properties is however nearly impossible. We can render objects with a plausible appearance in this way but cannot compare the appearance of a manufactured item to that of its digital twin. This is especially true in the case of translucent objects, where we need more than a goniometric measurement of the optical properties. In this survey, we provide an overview of forward and inverse models for acquiring the optical properties of translucent materials. We map out the efforts in graphics research in this area and describe techniques available in related fields. Our objective is to provide a better understanding of the tools currently available for appearance specification when it comes to digital representations of real translucent objects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)729-755
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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