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A model of the sputtering process for multiconstituent materials which accounts for variations in the deposition rate profiles of thin films sputtered with planar sputtering systems in the common face to face geometry has been developed. Excellent agreement between calculated and measured profiles resulting from various process parameters was obtained. The model accounts for resputtering of the growing film by high energy particles or reevaporation occurring during deposition. The experimental results demonstrated that the deposition rate and the resputtering rate profiles of sputtered films can be tightly predicted. Various films (Ti, Pyrex, MgO, YBaCuO, ZnO) were deposited in different sputtering apparatuses and at different process parameters. When resputtering effects occur, a direct correlation between the predicted local strength of resputtering and the observed variations of physical properties across the deposited material (stoichiometry and index of refraction) was found.