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The units of the NDF are tricky. For whatever it's worth, Heitz's convention of defining it relative to a 1 m² reference geometric surface is unusual, and although I can see why he would want to define it that way for conceptual simplicity, it does not really match how NDFs are used in practice. I definitely had a head-tilt moment when I first read that ...


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In truth, there is no mathematical maximum value for $\alpha$. As you noted, microfacet slope is unbounded, so in principle you could have arbitrarily large slope values and hence arbitrarily large $\alpha$. There's nothing wrong with that—the mathematics of the microfacet model keeps working fine. As a practical matter, beyond a certain point you don't ...


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