Researchers have introduced many bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) models for computer graphics. Some are purely appearance-based heuristics, whereas others are physically plausible. To achieve plausibility, researchers have measured the reflectance of a range of material surfaces and then fit the BRDF models to these measurements. The proposed systematic approach verifies predictions of basic analytical BRDF models on the basis of measurements of real-world samples. It employs ellipsometry to verify both the actual polarizing effect and the overall reflectance behavior of metallic surfaces.