In this work, we investigate the visual appearance of real-world surfaces and the dependence of appearance on the geometry of imaging conditions. We discuss a new texture representation called the BTF (bidirectional texture function) which captures the variation in texture with illumination and viewing direction. We present a BTF database with image textures from over 60 different samples, each observed with over 200 different combinations of viewing and illumination directions. We describe the methods involved in collecting the database as well as the importance and uniqueness of this database for computer graphics. A related quantity to the BTF is the familiar BRDF (bidirectional reflectance distribution function). The measurement methods involved in the BTF database are conducive to a simultaneous measurement of the BRDF. Accordingly, we also present a BRDF database with reflectance measurements for over 60 different samples, each observed with over 200 different combinations of viewing and illumination directions. Both of these unique databases are publicly available and have important implications for computer graphics.