“Light scattering from human hair fibers” by Marschner, Jensen, Cammarano, Worley and Hanrahan

  • ©Stephen Marschner, Henrik Wann Jensen, Mike Cammarano, Steve Worley, and Patrick (Pat) Hanrahan




    Light scattering from human hair fibers



    Light scattering from hair is normally simulated in computer graphics using Kajiya and Kay’s classic phenomenological model. We have made new measurements of scattering from individual hair fibers that exhibit visually significant effects not predicted by Kajiya and Kay’s model. Our measurements go beyond previous hair measurements by examining out-of-plane scattering, and together with this previous work they show a multiple specular highlight and variation in scattering with rotation about the fiber axis. We explain the sources of these effects using a model of a hair fiber as a transparent elliptical cylinder with an absorbing interior and a surface covered with tilted scales. Based on an analytical scattering function for a circular cylinder, we propose a practical shading model for hair that qualitatively matches the scattering behavior shown in the measurements. In a comparison between a photograph and rendered images, we demonstrate the new model’s ability to match the appearance of real hair.


    1. ADLER, C. L., LOCK, J. A., AND STONE, B. R. 1998. Rainbow scattering by a cylinder with a nearly elliptical cross section. Applied Optics 37, 9, 1540–1550.Google ScholarCross Ref
    2. AGARWAL, S., RAMAMOORTHI, R., BELONGIE, S., AND JENSEN, H. W. 2003. Structured importance sampling of environment maps. ACM Transactions on Graphics 22, 3. Google ScholarDigital Library
    3. BUSTARD, H., AND SMITH, R. 1991. Investigation into the scattering of light by human hair. Applied Optics 24, 30, 3485–3491.Google ScholarCross Ref
    4. CHANG, J., JIN, J., AND YU, Y. 2002. A practical model for hair mutual interactions. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation, ACM Press, 73–80. Google Scholar
    5. CHEN, L.-H., SAEYOR, S., DOHI, H., AND ISHIZUKA, M. 1999. A system of 3D hair style synthesis based on the wisp model. The Visual Computer 15, 4, 159–170.Google ScholarCross Ref
    6. GOLDMAN, D. B. 1997. Fake fur rendering. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 1997, ACM Press, 127–134. Google ScholarDigital Library
    7. GRAY, J. 1997. World of Hair. Hairdressing Training Board.Google Scholar
    8. HADAP, S., AND MAGNENAT-THALMANN, N. 2000. Interactive hair styler based on fluid flow. In Computer Animation and Simulation 2000, Eurographics, 87–99.Google Scholar
    9. HUMPHREYS, W. J. 1964. Physics of the Air. Dover, London.Google Scholar
    10. KAJIYA, J. T., AND KAY, T. L. 1989. Rendering fur with three dimensional textures. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 1989, 271–280. Google ScholarDigital Library
    11. KAJIYA, J. T. 1985. Anisotropic reflection models. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 85, ACM Press, 15–21. Google Scholar
    12. KIM, T.-Y., AND NEUMANN, U. 2000. A thin shell volume for modeling human hair. In Computer Animation 2000, IEEE CS Press, 104–111. Google Scholar
    13. KIM, T.-Y., AND NEUMANN, U. 2001. Opacity shadow maps. In Rendering Techniques 2001: Proceedings of Eurographics Rendering Workshop, Springer Verlag Wien, 177–182. Google ScholarDigital Library
    14. KIM, T.-Y., AND NEUMANN, U. 2002. Interactive multiresolution hair modeling and editing. ACM Transactions on Graphics 21, 3, 620–629. Google ScholarDigital Library
    15. KIM, T.-Y. 2002. Modeling, Rendering, and Animating Human Hair. PhD thesis, University of Southern California. Google Scholar
    16. KONG, W., AND NAKAJIMA, M. 2000. Hair rendering by jittering and pseudo shadow. In Computer Graphics International 2000, 287–294. Google ScholarDigital Library
    17. LOKOVIC, T., AND VEACH, E. 2000. Deep shadow maps. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2000, ACM Press, 385–392. Google ScholarDigital Library
    18. MAGNENAT-THALMANN, N., HADAP, S., AND KALRA, P. 2002. State of the art in hair simulation. In International Workshop on Human Modeling and Animation, Korea Computer Graphics Society, 3–9.Google Scholar
    19. MARCUSE, D. 1974. Light scattering from elliptical fibers. Applied Optics 13, 1903–1905.Google ScholarCross Ref
    20. MOUNT, C. M., THIESSEN, D. B., AND MARSTON, P. L. 1998. Scattering observations for tilted transparent fibers. Applied Optics 37, 9, 1534–1539.Google ScholarCross Ref
    21. POULIN, P., AND FOURNIER, A. 1990. A model for anisotropic reflection. In Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 90, 273–282. Google ScholarCross Ref
    22. ROBBINS, C. R. 1994. Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair, third ed. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
    23. SOURIN, A., PASKO, A., AND SAVCHENKO, V. 1996. Using real functions with application to hair modelling. Computers & Graphics 20, 1, 11–19.Google ScholarCross Ref
    24. STAMM, R. F., GARCIA, M. L., AND FUCHS, J. J. 1977. The optical properties of human hair I. fundamental considerations and goniophotometer curves. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem., 28, 571–600.Google Scholar
    25. TRICKER, R. A. R. 1970. Introduction to Meteorological Optics. Mills & Boon, London.Google Scholar
    26. WATANABE, Y., AND SUENAGA, Y. 1992. A trigonal prism-based method for hair image generation. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications 12, 1, 47–53. Google ScholarDigital Library

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: