PhD abstract

The aim of this thesis is to provide the French Metrology with a reference instrument that can be used for measuring the appearance of objects. Several physical properties of object appearance are used not only to identify the object itself but also determine its quality. These include color, gloss, texture and translucency. This work describes the design, characterization and the implementation of an instrument that has been built particularly to measure the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of planar surfaces. BRDF is a physical quantity that enables measuring the surface color and gloss. Accordingly it is important to ensure accurate and traceable measurements of such a quantity in order for a comprehensive understanding of surface properties to be fulfilled. Some surfaces show pigmented, metallic, sparkling or pearlescent appearance. These surfaces, called goniochromatic surfaces, have the ability to change their appearance depending on the viewing angle. To characterize them, it is necessary to deliver surface reflectance measurements at several directions and under different illumination conditions. The instrument that enables these measurements is called gonioreflectometer. The experimental setup we have designed consists of two separate detection lines. The first line, called "spectral line", is used to study the color. It consists of a stationary illumination source that uses a xenon lamp spectrally resolved by a monochromator. The light coming out from the source is focused on the surface under investigation. The reflected light by the surface is collected by using a lens and directed onto a photodiode by a mirror. This detection system can be moved over a wide angular range so as to measure the BRDF. The second line, called "spatial line", is used to measure the gloss of the surface. In order to be very close to the average human observer, high angular resolution is required. In this line the detection part is stationary. It consists of a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) camera of 512 x 512 pixels. The source used to illuminate the surface is an incandescent tungsten lamp. Angular measurements in this line are provided by the movement of the illumination source itself. Both color and gloss lines share a robot sample-holder that provides six degrees of freedom. This of course facilitates measurements over varies detection and illumination directions of the sample.

Key words

Color, Gloss, BRDF, Goniochromatisme, Specular pic