Submitted by , posted on 10 September 2004

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These images were generated using a new model for the simulation of light interaction with human skin called BioSpec. BioSpec is both a spectral and scattering model and was presented last week at Eurographics. The goal of the BioSpec model is in the predictive simulation of human skin; hence the input parameters of the model are all biologically oriented. In addition, the model was validated by comparing the spectral reflectance, transmittance and BRDF curves with that of actual measured data. The model is based on standard Monte Carlo methods. It has been incorporated into an open source renderer called Realistic Image Synthesis Engine (R.I.S.E.).

These particular set of images were generated to highlight the model's ability to capture the translucency of human skin. The human ear is quite translucent and if you place a reasonably powerful light behind the ear, you can see it glow quite a bit. In these four images we increase the amount of melanin in the epidermal layer, from lightly pigmented (light Caucasian) to heavily pigmented (dark African). In addition to translucency we have also generated images highlighting the model's ability to simulate medical conditions. Details are available on our website.

Due to the model's stochastic nature, these images took several hours to render. Areas of future work we are investigating include increasing the speed of the model and its factorization and incorporation into rendering hardware.

To learn more about BioSpec, visit:

To learn more about the Realistic Image Synthesis Engine, visit:

- Aravind

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