Car Paint Project

Car paint and especially metallic or pearlescent paints pose serious challenges to computer graphics. This is due to their high dynamic range, their high frequent changes of reflectance both in angular and in spatial domain as well as the angular dependent color shift behaviour of pearlescent paints which is not covered by commonplace reflectance models. In the Car Paint Project we develop new compression, rendering and editing techniques for all kinds of car paints.


M. Rump, G. Müller, R. Sarlette, D. Koch, R. Klein "Photo-realistic Rendering of Metallic Car Paint from Image-Based Measurements" (In Computer Graphics Forum, Vol. 27, No. 2, April 2008)

M. Rump, R. Sarlette, R. Klein "Efficient Resampling, Compression and Rendering of Metallic and Pearlescent Paint" (In proceedings of Vision, Modeling, and Visualization, pages 11-18, Nov. 2009)


We perform photorealistic rendering with our mental ray car paint shader. The laquer is first measured and then the large amounts of data are efficiently compressed to enable easy application in a virtual scene.


Due to the highly complex composition and the high number of material parameters of modern laquer, intuitive editing poses a severe challenge. The main idea of our system is to offer a set of carefully selected operators which allow the user to change flake distribution, flake coating as well as color pigment and binder properties of a measured laquer. Although we use only a few operators, we are able to give the user control over the visual important characteristics of a given laquer. We use a realtime OpenGL system to preview the paint while editing. The preview system includes a tonemapping operator for optimal color reproduction on standard LDR display devices.

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