Fabricating translucent materials using continuous pigment mixtures

1Disney Research Zürich 2ETH Zürich 3Walt Disney Imagineering 4MIT CSAIL 5Cornell University

In ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH), 2013

A side-by-side comparison of real translucent materials (right) next to their silicone replicas (left) fabricated using our method.


We present a method for practical physical reproduction and design of homogeneous materials with desired subsurface scattering. Our process uses a collection of different pigments that can be suspended in a clear base material. Our goal is to determine pigment concentrations that best reproduce the appearance and subsurface scattering of a given target material. In order to achieve this task we first fabricate a collection of material samples composed of known mixtures of the available pigments with the base material. We then acquire their reflectance profiles using a custom-built measurement device. We use the same device to measure the reflectance profile of a target material. Based on the database of mappings from pigment concentrations to reflectance profiles, we use an optimization process to compute the concentration of pigments to best replicate the target material appearance. We demonstrate the practicality of our method by reproducing a variety of different translucent materials. We also present a tool that allows the user to explore the range of achievable appearances for a given set of pigments.



Marios Papas, Christian Regg, Wojciech Jarosz, Bernd Bickel, Philip Jackson, Wojciech Matusik, Steve Marschner, Markus Gross. Fabricating translucent materials using continuous pigment mixtures. ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH), 32(4), July 2013.
    author   = {Papas, Marios and Regg, Christian and Jarosz, Wojciech and Bickel, Bernd and Jackson, Philip and
                Matusik, Wojciech and Marschner, Steve and Gross, Markus},
    title    = {Fabricating Translucent Materials using Continuous Pigment Mixtures},
    journal  = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH)},
    volume   = {32},
    number   = {4},
    year     = {2013},
    month    = jul,
    doi      = {10/gbdg3p},
    keywords = {subsurface scattering, material design, fabrication}
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