To visualize the interference effects of objects with multilayer film structures such as soap bubbles, optical lenses and Morpho butterflies is challenging and valuable in the physics-based framework, a novel multilayer film interference shader is constructed. The multi-beam interference equation is applied to effectively simulate the multiple reflection and transmission inside films, and calculate the composite reflectance and transmittance to model the amplitude and phase variations related to interference. The absorption of photons due to the film materials is accounted for by the Fresnel coefficients used for metallic and dielectric films. In addition, the irregularity of multilayer film microstructures is incorporated into the iridescent illumination model to explain the isotropic and anisotropic optical properties. The new wave bidirectional scattering distribution function is proposed and integrated into the existing ray tracer in the form of the material plugin to further enhance the photorealistically rendering capabilities. The experiments show that our interference shader gives accurate results in both visual and numerical quality.


Interference effects Interference shader Multi-beam interference equation Fresnel coefficients Isotropic and anisotropic 



We sincerely acknowledge all anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This work was funded by National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2012AA011206 and 2009AA01Z303).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Science and Technology on Integrated Information System Laboratory, Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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