I am implementing anisotropic GGX BRDF and have encountered strange behaviour of my implementation. I thought that if I compare the microfacet distribution function I have with the one of an isotropic GGX, then they should be equal when the anisotropy parameter is 0. I haven't been able to do that, though.

Here is the GGX formula I have used:

enter image description here

Here is the anisotropic GGX formula I have used:

enter image description here

If anisotropy is 0, then \alpha_x is equal to \alpha_y, therefore I can get the following from the second formula:

enter image description here

Problem 1

The problem now is that the third formula can never match the first one because of the negative 1 in the first one.

Problem 2

The specific issue I have when rendering using my anisotropic GGX is that the normals seem to be ignored in the result.

Here is a visualization of the distribution function of isotropic GGX on a flat material patch with normal mapping:

enter image description here

And here is the anisotropic one:

enter image description here


To complete the explanation of my solution, I use H for the half-vector, N for the normal, \alpha for roughness, X for the tangent and Y for the bi-tangent (in my case these are simply aligned with the x and y axes respectively). \alpha_x and \alpha_y represent roughness in the corresponding directions.


  1. Is there a mistake in my reasoning? Is my anisotropic GGX correct?
  2. What is the relationship between the two? Is there a simple explanation for the extension from GGX to anisotropic GGX?
  3. Do you have any general tips for verifying the correctness of one's BRDF implementation?


Here are my main references:

  • $\begingroup$ Try substituting $1/\alpha^2$ with $\cos^2\phi/\alpha^2_x + \sin^2\phi/\alpha^2_y$. $\endgroup$ – lightxbulb Feb 7 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your comment, @lightxbulb. That does indeed seem to make the two formulas equal if anisotropy is 0. Before I can investigate further, can you please clarify what ϕ stands for in your formula? $\endgroup$ – honzukka Feb 8 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ It's the azimuthal angle (the one accounting for anisotropy). Go to the course notes of "Physically based shading at Disney". Specifically at the end of the pdf you have derivations in the appendix: blog.selfshadow.com/publications/s2012-shading-course $\endgroup$ – lightxbulb Feb 8 at 11:40

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