Realistic Graphics Lab

layerlab: A Computational Toolbox for Layered Materials

In SIGGRAPH 2015 Courses

A gold dragon coated with a lac­quer lay­er (both with vary­ing rough­ness). The small in­sets show the in­gredi­ent lay­ers rendered on their own. Top left: smooth base and smooth coat­ing. Top right: smooth base and rough coat­ing. Bot­tom left: rough base and smooth coat­ing. Bot­tom right: rough base and rough coat­ing.


A layered BSDF mod­el de­scribes the dir­ec­tion­al re­flect­ance prop­er­ties of a ma­ter­i­al whose in­tern­al struc­ture con­sists of a stack of scat­ter­ing and/or ab­sorb­ing lay­ers sep­ar­ated by smooth or rough in­ter­faces. The bot­tom of the stack could be an opaque in­ter­face (such as a met­al) or a trans­par­ent one. Such struc­tur­al de­com­pos­i­tions in­to lay­ers and in­ter­faces dra­mat­ic­ally en­large the size of the “lan­guage” that is avail­able to de­scribe ma­ter­i­als, and for this reas­on they have been the fo­cus of con­sid­er­able in­terest in com­puter graph­ics in the last years. 

In this doc­u­ment, we present lay­er­lab, a Py­thon-based tool­box for com­pu­ta­tions in­volving layered ma­ter­i­als that im­ple­ments a mod­el re­cently pro­posed by Jakob et al. The pur­pose of this doc­u­ment is to serve both as a gentle in­tro­duc­tion in­to the un­der­ly­ing the­ory and as a hands-on tu­tori­al on solv­ing prac­tic­al lay­er­ing prob­lems with this tool.


Text citation

Wenzel Jakob. 2015. layerlab: A Computational Toolbox for Layered Materials. In SIGGRAPH Courses.

  author = {Wenzel Jakob},
  title = {layerlab: A computational toolbox for layered materials},
  booktitle = {SIGGRAPH 2015 Courses},
  series = {SIGGRAPH '15},
  year = {2015},
  publisher = {ACM},
  doi = {10.1145/2776880.2787670},
  address = {New York, NY, USA},