Image-based reconstruction of spatial appearance and geometric detail

Hendrik P.A. Lensch*, Jan Kautz, Michael Goesele, Wolfgang Heidrich, Hans Peter Seidel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Scopus citations


Real-world objects are usually composed of a number of different materials that often show subtle changes even within a single material. Photorealistic rendering of such objects requires accurate measurements of the reflection properties of each material, as well as the spatially varying effects. We present an image-based measuring method that robustly detects the different materials of real objects and fits an average bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) to each of them. In order to model local changes as well, we project the measured data for each surface point into a basis formed by the recovered BRDFs leading to a truly spatially varying BRDF representation. Real-world objects often also have fine geometric detail that is not represented in an acquired mesh. To increase the detail, we derive normal maps even for non-Lambertian surfaces using our measured BRDFs. A high quality model of a real object can be generated with relatively little input data. The generated model allows for rendering under arbitrary viewing and lighting conditions and realistically reproduces the appearance of the original object.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-257
Number of pages24
JournalACM transactions on graphics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • BRDF measurement
  • Normal map acquisition
  • Photometric stereo
  • Shape from shading
  • Spatially varying BRDFs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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