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Differentiable Rendering with Reparameterized Volume Sampling

Nikita Morozov · Denis Rakitin · Oleg Desheulin · Dmitry Vetrov · Kirill Struminsky

MR1 & MR2 - Number 179
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Sat 4 May 6 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT


In view synthesis, a neural radiance field approximates underlying density and radiance fields based on a sparse set of scene pictures. To generate a pixel of a novel view, it marches a ray through the pixel and computes a weighted sum of radiance emitted from a dense set of ray points. This rendering algorithm is fully differentiable and facilitates gradient-based optimization of the fields. However, in practice, only a tiny opaque portion of the ray contributes most of the radiance to the sum. We propose a simple end-to-end differentiable sampling algorithm based on inverse transform sampling. It generates samples according to the probability distribution induced by the density field and picks non-transparent points on the ray. We utilize the algorithm in two ways. First, we propose a novel rendering approach based on Monte Carlo estimates. This approach allows for evaluating and optimizing a neural radiance field with just a few radiance field calls per ray. Second, we use the sampling algorithm to modify the hierarchical scheme proposed in the original NeRF work. We show that our modification improves reconstruction quality of hierarchical models, at the same time simplifying the training procedure by removing the need for auxiliary proposal network losses.

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