Fabric is one of the most common materials in our everyday lives, and accurately simulating the appearance of cloth is a critical problem in graphics, design, and virtual prototyping. But modeling and rendering fabric is very challenging because fabrics have a very complex structure, and this structure plays an important role in their visual appearance—cloth is made of fibers that are twisted into yarns which are woven into patterns. Light interacting with this complex structure produce the characteristic visual appearance that humans recognize as silk, cotton, or wool.
In this paper we present an end-to-end pipeline to model and render fabrics: we introduce a novel modality to create volume models of fabric at micron resolution using CT technology coupled with photographs; a new technique to synthesize models of user-specified designs from such CT scans; and finally, an efficient algorithm to render these complex volumetric models for practical applications. This pipeline produces the most realistic images of virtual cloth to date, and opens the way to bridging the gap between real and virtual fabric appearance.