Computer graphic rendering of 3 vases coated with colored metallic paint

Computer Graphic Rendering of Material Surfaces

Computer graphic rendering of painted samples in a light booth

Goals and General Description of the NIST Appearance Project

As advances in material science and technology have enhanced the ability to manufacture coatings that are exciting and attractive in appearance, customer expectations for these products have increased and with this the challenge of characterizing and predicting appearance at the coatings formulation level. The ability to do this will require a much better understanding of the microstructural basis for coating appearance and the development of tools that can be used to firstly to identify important parameters in the formulation process that contribute to a desired appearance and secondly allow designers to visualize the surface appearance of a proposed formulation as part of a virtual formulation and manufacturing process. The ability to view a virtual end stage product will eventually pave the way to a computer graphics based standard for appearance. This is the vision guiding an ongoing project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The project was initiated in response to recommendations by industry , and the Council of Optical Radiation Measurements. The specific research goals are:
  • Develop advanced textural, spectral and reflectance metrologies and models for quantifying light scattering from a coating and its constituents and use the resulting measurements to generate scattering maps and validate physical models describing optical scattering from a coating and the relationship that the scattering maps have to the appearance of a coated object
  • Integrate measurements and models in making a virtual representation of the appearance of a coating system that can be used as a design tool capable of accurately predicting the appearance properties of coated objects from the optical properties of its constituents.
  • Simulate appearance of materials with specified ASTM gloss


Measurement Science for Optical Reflectance and Scattering

Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division

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