In computer graphics, a complete knowledge of the interactions between light and a material is essential to obtain photorealistic pictures. Physical measurements allow us to obtain data on the material response, but are limited to industrial surfaces and depend on measure conditions. Analytic models do exist, but they are often inadequate for common use: the empiric ones are too simple to be realistic, and the physically-based ones are often to complex or too specialized to be generally useful. Therefore, we have developed a multiresolution virtual material model, that not only describes the surface of a material, but also its internal structure thanks to distribution functions of microelements, arranged in layers. Each microelement possesses its own response to an incident light, from an elementary reflection to a complex response provided by its inner structure, taking into account geometry, energy, polarization, . . ., of each light ray. This model is virtually illuminated, in order to compute its response to an incident radiance. This directional response is stored in a compressed data structure using spherical wavelets, and is destined to be used in a rendering model such as directional radiosity.