A type of representation of the spectral bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) is proposed that distinctly separates the spectral variable (wavelength) from the geometrical variables (spherical coordinates of the irradiation and viewing directions). Principal components analysis (PCA) is used in order to decompose the spectral BRDF in decorrelated spectral components, and the weight that they have at every geometrical configuration of irradiation/viewing is established. This method was applied to the spectral BRDF measurement of a special effect pigment sample, and four principal components with relevant variance were identified. These four components are enough to reproduce the great diversity of spectral reflectances observed at different geometrical configurations. Since this representation is able to separate spectral and geometrical variables, it facilitates the interpretation of the color variation of special effect pigments coatings versus the geometrical configuration of irradiation/viewing.
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