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Toward a Perceptually Based Metric for BRDF Modeling

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Measured materials are used in computer graphics to enhance the realism of synthetic images. They are often approximated with analytical models to improve storage efficiency and allow for importance sampling. However, the error metrics used in the optimization procedure do not have a perceptual basis and the obtained results do not always correspond to the best visual match. In this paper we present a first steps towards creating a perceptually-based metric for BRDF modeling. First, a set of measured materials were approximated with different error metrics and analytical BRDF models. Next, a psychophysical study was performed to compare the visual fidelity obtained using different error metrics and models. The results of this study show that the cube root metric leads to a better perceptual approximation than other RMS based metrics, independently of the analytical BRDF model used. More benefit of using the cube root metric compared to the RMS based metrics is obtained for sharp specular lobes, and as the specular lobe broadens the benefit of using the cube root metric decreases. The use of the cube root error metric will improve the visual fidelity of renderings made using BRDF approximations and expand the usage of measured materials in computer graphics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, a vibrant interactive (poster) papers session, and workshops. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper; there are also Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards.

    Please note: for Purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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