Rendering Iridescent Colors of Optical Disks

  • Yinlong Sun
  • F. David Fracchia
  • Mark S. Drew
  • Thomas W. Calvert
Part of the Eurographics book series (EUROGRAPH)


Iridescent colors of optical disks are caused by light diffraction from their surface microstructure. This paper proposes a diffractive illumination model for optical disks based on their physical structure and the superposition principle of light waves. This model includes contributions due to diffractive and non-diffractive factors. For the diffractive part, we first model the pit periodicity for optical disks by using identical spheres and then simplify their distribution by uniform groups of spheres. We also propose and prove the condition for highlights on illuminated grooved surfaces; this condition provides the non-diffractive contribution. The rendered images using this model achieve excellent agreement with photographs of real optical disks.


iridescent colors optical disks diffraction illumination spectral rendering 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yinlong Sun
    • 1
  • F. David Fracchia
    • 1
  • Mark S. Drew
    • 1
  • Thomas W. Calvert
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computing ScienceSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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