Diffuse and specular reflectance from rough surfaces

Appl Opt. 1998 Jan 1;37(1):130-9. doi: 10.1364/ao.37.000130.


We present a reflection model for isotropic rough surfaces that have both specular and diffuse components. The surface is assumed to have a normal distribution of heights. Parameters of the model are the surface roughness given by the rms slope, the albedo, and the balance between diffuse and specular reflection. The effect of roughness on diffuse reflection is taken into account, instead of our modeling this component as a constant Lambertian term. The model includes geometrical effects such as masking and shadowing. The model is compared with experimental data obtained from goniophotometric measurements on samples of tiles and bricks. The model fits well to samples with very different reflection properties. Measurements of the sample profiles performed with a laser profilometer to determine the rms slope show that the assumed surface model is realistic. The model could therefore be used in machine vision and computer graphics to approximate reflection characteristics of surfaces. It could also be used to predict the texture of surfaces as a function of illumination and viewing angles.