“Reflection from layered surfaces due to subsurface scattering” by Hanrahan and Krueger

  • ©Patrick (Pat) Hanrahan and Wolfgang Krueger




    Reflection from layered surfaces due to subsurface scattering



    The reflection of light from most materials consists of two major terms: the specular and the diffuse. Specular reflection may
    be modeled from first principles by considering a rough surface
    consisting of perfect reflectors, or micro-facets. Diffuse reflection
    is generally considered to result from multiple scattering either
    from a rough surface or from within a layer near the surface. Accounting for diffuse reflection by Lambert’s Cosine Law, as is
    universally done in computer graphics, is not a physical theory
    based on first principles.
    This paper presents a model for subsurface scattering in layered
    surfaces in terms of one-dimensional linear transport theory. We
    derive explicit formulas for backscattering and transmission that
    can be directly incorporated in most rendering systems, and a general Monte Carlo method that is easily added to a ray tracer. This
    model is particularly appropriate for common layered materials
    appearing in nature, such as biological tissues (e.g. skin, leaves,
    etc.) or inorganic materials (e.g. snow, sand, paint, varnished or
    dusty surfaces). As an application of the model, we simulate the
    appearance of a face and a cluster of leaves from experimental
    data describing their layer properties.


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