The Relentless Pursuit of Reflection

While techniques for acquiring the geometry of objects have matured, practical techniques for recording an object’s reflectance characteristics beyond a diffuse texture map have remained elusive.  This talk will overview our group’s work to recover spatially-varying diffuse and specular reflectance properties over two decades of work, from our first efforts at Inverse Global Illumination, to Reflectometry in the first light stage, to Linear Light Source Reflectometry, Polarized Gradient Illumination Scanning, and Acquiring Reflectance from Continuous Spherical Harmonic Illumination, and Near-Instant Capture of Geometry and Reflectance.  In each case, I’ll described what inspired the approach, what was successful, what was surprising, and which limitations remained.  I’ll conclude the talk with a vision for the future where reflectance can be scanned just as reliably as geometry.