International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 183–197 | Cite as

A Basis Illumination Approach to BRDF Measurement

  • Abhijeet GhoshEmail author
  • Wolfgang Heidrich
  • Shruthi Achutha
  • Matthew O’Toole


Realistic descriptions of surface reflectance have long been a topic of interest in both computer vision and computer graphics research. In this paper, we describe a novel high speed approach for the acquisition of bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDFs). We develop a new theory for directly measuring BRDFs in a basis representation by projecting incident light as a sequence of basis functions from a spherical zone of directions. We derive an orthonormal basis over spherical zones that is ideally suited for this task. BRDF values outside the zonal directions are extrapolated by re-projecting the zonal measurements into a spherical harmonics basis, or by fitting analytical reflection models to the data. For specular materials, we experiment with alternative basis acquisition approaches such as compressive sensing with a random subset of the higher order orthonormal zonal basis functions, as well as measuring the response to basis defined by an analytical model as a way of optically fitting the BRDF to such a representation. We verify this approach with a compact optical setup that requires no moving parts and only a small number of image measurements. Using this approach, a BRDF can be measured in just a few minutes.


Reflectance Computational illumination Object scanning and acquisition Optics Compressive sensing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhijeet Ghosh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Heidrich
    • 1
  • Shruthi Achutha
    • 1
  • Matthew O’Toole
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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