Computer Graphics

University of California - Berkeley

An Empirical BSSRDF Model


We present a new model of the homogeneous BSSRDF based on large-scale simulations. Our model captures the appearance of materials that are not accurately represented using existing single scattering models or multiple isotropic scattering models (e.g. the diffusion approximation). We use an analytic function to model the 2D hemispherical distribution of exitant light at a point on the surface, and a table of parameter values of this function computed at uniformly sampled locations over the remaining dimensions of the BSSRDF domain. This analytic function is expressed in elliptic coordinates and has six parameters which vary smoothly with surface position, incident angle, and the underlying optical properties of the material (albedo, mean free path length, phase function and the relative index of refraction). Our model agrees well with measured data, and is compact, requiring only 250MB to represent the full spatial- and angular-distribution of light across a wide spectrum of materials. In practice, rendering a single material requires only about 100KB to represent the BSSRDF.


Craig Donner, Jason Lawrence, Ravi Ramamoorthi, Toshiya Hachisuka, Henrik Jensen, and Shree Nayar. "An Empirical BSSRDF Model". ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 09), 28(3), July 2009.