Generalized Image Acquisition and Analysis

Dynamic Display of BRDFs

This paper deals with the challenge of physically displaying reflectance, i.e., the appearance of a surface and its variation with the observer position and the illuminating environment. This is commonly described by the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). We provide a catalogue of criteria for the display of BRDFs, and sketch a few orthogonal approaches to solving the problem in an optically passive way. Our specific implementation is based on a liquid surface, on which we excite waves in order to achieve a varying degree of anisotropic roughness. The resulting probability density function of the surface normal is shown to follow a Gaussian distribution similar to most established BRDF models.

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