Estimating Dual-scale Properties of Glossy Surfaces from Step-edge Lighting

Chun-Po Wang Noah Snavely Steve Marschner


This paper introduces a rapid appearance capture method suited for a variety of common indoor surfaces, in which a single photograph of the reflection of a step edge is used to estimate both a BRDF and a statistical model for visible surface geometry, or mesostructure. It is applicable to surfaces with statistically stationary variation in surface height, even when these variations are large enough to produce visible texture in the image. Results are shown from a prototype system using a separate camera and LCD, demonstrating good visual matches for a range of man-made indoor materials.

Paper - SIGGRAPH Asia 2011

[PDF, 23MB]
[PowerPoint slides, PPTX, 41MB]



We would like to thank Kevin Matzen for assistance in data acquisition and creating figures in this paper, and all reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (grants IIS-0964027 and IIS- 1011919), MIT Lincoln Labs, and the Intel Science and Technology Center for Visual Computing.