Perception-based Modeling of Heterogeneous Translucent Materials for Film

Abstract: Many real world materials exhibit complex subsurface scattering of light. This internal light interaction creates the perception of translucency for the human visual system. Translucent materials and simulation of the subsurface scattering of light has become an expected necessity for generating warmth and realism in computer generated imagery. The light transport within heterogenous materials, such as marble, has proved challenging to model and render. The current material models available to digital artists have been limited to homogeneous subsurface scattering despite a few publications documenting success at simulating heterogeneous light transport. While the publications successfully simulate this complex phenomenon, the material descriptions have been highly specialized and far from intuitive. I propose combining the measurable properties of heterogeneous translucent materials with the defining properties of translucency, as perceived by the human visual system, to develop a description of heterogeneous translucent materials that is suitable for artist use in a film production pipeline. Development of the material description will focus on integration with the film pipeline, ease of use, and reasonable approximation of heterogeneous translucency based on perception. Methods of material manipulation will be explored to determine which properties should be modifiable by artists while maintaining the perception of het- erogenous translucency. The goal will be to find intuitive material property scale factors that allow simple editing of diverse translucent materials.