Abstract

Coatings and plastics that contain special effect pigments show angular-dependent reflection characteristics. Interference pigments, for instance, exhibit a color impression (“appearance”) that changes with the directions of illumination and observation. It is currently an open question how the appearance of such coatings can be best characterized without extensive measurements of the spectral radiance factor. In this paper, a simple and efficient approach is presented on how to characterize the appearance of surfaces composed of metallic and interference pigments. Based on the rotational symmetry of the pigment distribution around the surface normal, it is demonstrated how the appearance at any configuration of illumination and observation can be estimated from a set of in-plane measurements. For practical applications, it is shown that a rather small number of geometries (e.g., 10) are sufficient. The presented methodology is an alternative to a recent principal components analysis-based procedure and offers the advantage of being based directly on an extensible physical model while having at least the same prediction accuracy.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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