A photo-realistic representation of material appearance can be achieved by means of bidirectional texture function (BTF) capturing a material’s appearance for varying illumination, viewing directions, and spatial pixel coordinates. BTF captures many non-local effects in material structure such as inter-reflections, occlusions, shadowing, or scattering. The acquisition of BTF data is usually time and resource-intensive due to the high dimensionality of BTF data. This results in expensive, complex measurement setups and/or excessively long measurement times. We propose an approximate BTF acquisition setup based on a simple, affordable mechanical gantry containing a consumer camera and two LED lights. It captures a very limited subset of material surface images by shooting several video sequences. A psychophysical study comparing captured and reconstructed data with the reference BTFs of seven tested materials revealed that results of our method show a promising visual quality. Speed of the setup has been demonstrated on measurement of human skin and measurement and modeling of a glue dessication time-varying process. As it allows for fast, inexpensive, acquisition of approximate BTFs, this method can be beneficial to visualization applications demanding less accuracy, where BTF utilization has previously been limited.
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