DRWR: A Differentiable Renderer without Rendering for Unsupervised 3D Structure Learning from Silhouette Images

Zhizhong Han, Chao Chen, Yushen Liu, Matthias Zwicker,


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Differentiable renderers have been used successfully for unsupervised 3D structure learning from 2D images because they can bridge the gap between 3D and 2D. To optimize 3D shape parameters, current renderers rely on pixel-wise losses between rendered images of 3D reconstructions and ground truth images from corresponding viewpoints. Hence they require interpolation of the recovered 3D structure at each pixel, visibility handling, and optionally evaluating a shading model. In contrast, here we propose a Differentiable Renderer Without Rendering (DRWR) that omits these steps. DRWR only relies on a simple but effective loss that evaluates how well the projections of reconstructed 3D point clouds cover the ground truth object silhouette. Specifically, DRWR employs a smooth silhouette loss to pull the projection of each individual 3D point inside the object silhouette, and a structure-aware repulsion loss to push each pair of projections that fall inside the silhouette far away from each other. Although we omit surface interpolation, visibility handling, and shading, our results demonstrate that DRWR achieves state-of-the-art accuracies under widely used benchmarks, outperforming previous methods both qualitatively and quantitatively. In addition, our training times are significantly lower due to the simplicity of DRWR.

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