Neural Reflectance Decomposition

A visualization of neural field training process.


Creating relightable objects from images or collections is a fundamental challenge in computer vision and graphics. This problem is also known as inverse rendering. One of the main challenges in this task is the high ambiguity. The creation of images from 3D objects is well defined as rendering. However, multiple properties such as shape, illumination, and surface reflectiveness influence each other. Additionally, an integration of these influences is performed to form the final image. Reversing these integrated dependencies is highly ill-posed and ambiguous. However, solving the task is essential, as automated creation of relightable objects has various applications in online shopping, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), games, or movies. In this thesis, we propose two approaches to solve this task. First, a network architecture is discussed, which generalizes the decomposition of a two-shot capture of an object from large training datasets. The degree of novel view synthesis is limited as only a singular perspective is used in the decomposition. Therefore, the second set of approaches is proposed, which decomposes a set of 360-degree images. These multi-view images are optimized per object, and the result can be directly used in standard rendering software or games. We achieve this by extending recent research on Neural Fields, which can store information in a 3D neural volume. Leveraging volume rendering techniques, we can optimize a reflectance field from in-the-wild image collections without any ground truth (GT) supervision. Our proposed methods achieve state-of-the-art decomposition quality and enable novel capture setups where objects can be under varying illumination or in different locations, which is typical for online image collections.

Mark Boss
Mark Boss
Research Scientist

I’m a researcher at Unity Technologies with research interests in the intersection of machine learning and computer graphics.