Light Diffusion in Multi-Layered Translucent Materials

Craig Donner
Henrik Wann Jensen

UC San Diego

Face rendered with a skin bssrdf using the multi-layered multipole diffusion model.


This paper introduces a shading model for light diffusion in multi-layered translucent materials. Previous work on diffusion in translucent materials has assumed smooth semi-infinite homoge- neous materials and solved for the scattering of light using a dipole diffusion approximation. This approximation breaks down in the case of thin translucent slabs and multi-layered materials. We present a new efficient technique based on multiple dipoles to account for diffusion in thin slabs. We enhance this multipole theory to account for mismatching indices of refraction at the top and bottom of of translucent slabs, and to model the effects of rough surfaces. To model multiple layers, we extend this single slab the- ory by convolving the diffusion profiles of the individual slabs. We account for multiple scattering between slabs by using a variant of Kubelka-Munk theory in frequency space. Our results demonstrate diffusion of light in thin slabs and multi-layered materials such as paint, paper, and human skin.

Reference: Henrik Wann Jensen, Stephen R. Marschner, Marc Levoy and Pat Hanrahan: "Light Diffusion in Multi-Layered Translucent Materials". Proceedings of SIGGRAPH'2005.

layered.pdf (6.5MB)