BRDF of human skin in the visible spectrum

Sohaib, A., Farooq, A., Smith, L., Smith, M. and Broadbent, L. (2017) BRDF of human skin in the visible spectrum. Sensor Review, 37 (4). pp. 390-395. ISSN 0260-2288 Available from:

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Purpose: Significant research has been carried out in terms of development of new BRDF instruments, however there is still little research available regarding spectral BRDF measurements of human skin. This study aims to investigate the variation in human skin reflectance using a new fibre optic based spectral-BRDF measurement device. Design/methodology/approach: Design of our system mainly involves use of multiple fibre optics to illuminate and detect light reflected from a sample, while a hemispherical dome was 3D printed to mount the fibres at various slant/tilt angles. In order to investigate the spectral differences in BRDF of human skin, 3 narrowband filters in the visible spectrum were used while measurements were taken from the back of the hand for Caucasian and Asian skin types. Findings: The experiments demonstrate that the BRDF of human skin varies with wavelengths in the visible spectrum and it is also different for Caucasian and Asian skin types. Both skin types exhibit off-specular reflection with increase in angle of incidence and show less variation with respect to viewing angles when the angle of incidence is normal to the surface. Research limitations/implications: A database of spectral BRDF measurements of human skin will not only help in creating realistic skin renderings but also in development of novel skin reflectance models for biomedical and machine vision applications. The measurements would also provide means to validate the predictions from existing light transport/ spectral simulation models for human skin and will ultimately help in the accurate diagnosis and simulation of various skin disorders. Practical implications: Originality/value: Our proposed system provides fast scatter measurements by utilising multiple fibres to detect light simultaneously at different angles while also allowing easy switching between incident light directions. Due to its flexible design and contact based measurements, the device is independent of errors due to sample movements and does not require any image registration. Also, measurements taken from the device show that the BRDF of skin varies significantly in the visible spectrum and it is different for Caucasian and Asian skin types.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:machine vision, reflectance, spectral analysis, rendering, BRDF
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:31692
Deposited By: Professor M. Smith
Deposited On:02 May 2017 08:40
Last Modified:21 Dec 2017 17:15

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