The primary goal of this thesis was to create a physical library of artist material samples. This collection provides necessary data for the development of a gonio-imaging system for use in museums to more accurately document their collections. A sample set was produced consisting of 25 panels and containing nearly 600 unique samples. Selected materials are representative of those commonly used by artists both past and present. These take into account the variability in visual appearance resulting from the materials and application techniques used. Five attributes of variability were identified including medium, color, substrate, application technique and overcoat. Combinations of these attributes were selected based on those commonly observed in museum collections and suggested by surveying experts in the field. For each sample material, image data is collected and used to measure an average bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). The results are available as a public-domain image and optical database of artist materials at art-si.org. Additionally, the database includes specifications for each sample along with other information useful for computer graphics rendering such as the rectified sample images and normal maps.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer graphics--Design--Databases; Art--Reproduction--Databases; Reflectance--Measurement; Colorimetry

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Berns, Roy


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013. Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at T385 .A742 2013


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes