The bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) represents the evolution of the reflectance with the directions of incidence and observation. Today BRDF measurements are increasingly applied and have become important to the study of the appearance of surfaces. The representation and the analysis of BRDF data are discussed, and the distortions caused by the traditional representation of the BRDF in a Fourier plane are pointed out and illustrated for two theoretical cases: an isotropic surface and a brushed surface. These considerations will help characterize either the specular peak width of an isotropic rough surface or the main directions of the light scattered by an anisotropic rough surface without misinterpretations. Finally, what is believed to be a new space is suggested for the representation of the BRDF, which avoids the geometrical deformations and in numerous cases is more convenient for BRDF analysis.
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