A scalable framework for image-based material representations

Tobias Alexander Franke and Dieter Fellner Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on 3D Web Technology

Teaser Ajax bust rendered with a shiny golden ImageMaterial using the Gaussian method. Visibility through spherical harmonic encoded PRT data is multiplied. The material's standard variance and means are encoded in the lower left, and the weights used can be seen in the lower right.


Complex material-light interaction is modeled mathematically in its most basic form through the 4D BRDF or the 6D spatially varying BRDF. To alleviate the overhead of calculating correct shading with a complex BRDF consisting of many parameters, many methods resort to textures as containers for BRDF information. The most common among them is the Bidirectional Texture Function, where a set of base textures of the material under different illumination and viewing conditions is stored and used as a lookup table at runtime. A wide variety of compression algorithms have been proposed, which usually differ only in some basis notation. Also, several other schemes aside from the BTF exist that make use of multiple textures as containers for surface appearance data, which either compress the surface transfer function or the response in change of luminance with a suitable basis function. We propose a common container for image-based material descriptors, the ImageMaterial node for X3D, with a common interface to unify these different implementations and make them accessible to the X3D developer. We also introduce a new texturing node, the PolynomialTextureMap, which can display Polynomial Texture Map binary container as regular static texture or work in conjunction with an ImageMaterial appearance to unfold its full potential.



 author = {Franke, Tobias and Fellner, Dieter W.},
 title = {A scalable framework for image-based material representations},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on 3D Web Technology},
 series = {Web3D '12},
 year = {2012},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-1432-9},
 location = {Los Angeles, California},
 pages = {83--91},
 numpages = {9},
 url = {},
 doi = {10.1145/2338714.2338727},
 acmid = {2338727},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {BRDF, BTF, SVBRDF, X3D, material, radiance transfer, texturing},