Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)
Lingjie Liu, Jiatao Gu, Kyaw Zaw Lin, Tat-Seng Chua, Christian Theobalt
Photo-realistic free-viewpoint rendering of real-world scenes using classical computer graphics techniques is challenging, because it requires the difficult step of capturing detailed appearance and geometry models. Recent studies have demonstrated promising results by learning scene representations that implicitly encodes both geometry and appearance without 3D supervision. However, existing approaches in practice often show blurry renderings caused by the limited network capacity or the difficulty in finding accurate intersections of camera rays with the scene geometry. Synthesizing high-resolution imagery from these representations often requires time-consuming optical ray marching. In this work, we introduce Neural Sparse Voxel Fields (NSVF), a new neural scene representation for fast and high-quality free-viewpoint rendering. The NSVF defines a series of voxel-bounded implicit fields organized in a sparse voxel octree to model local properties in each cell. We progressively learn the underlying voxel structures with a differentiable ray-marching operation from only a set of posed RGB images. With the sparse voxel octree structure, rendering novel views at inference time can be accelerated by skipping the voxels without relevant scene content. Our method is over 10 times faster than the state-of-the-art while achieving higher quality results. Furthermore, by utilizing an explicit sparse voxel representation, our method can be easily applied to scene editing and scene composition. we also demonstrate various kinds of challenging tasks, including multi-object learning, free-viewpoint rendering of a moving human, and large-scale scene rendering.