iNeRF: Inverting Neural Radiance Fields for Pose Estimation
We present iNeRF, a framework that performs pose estimation by "inverting" a trained Neural Radiance Field (NeRF). NeRFs have been shown to be remarkably effective for the task of view synthesis - synthesizing photorealistic novel views of real-world scenes or objects. In this work, we investigate whether we can apply analysis-by-synthesis with NeRF for 6DoF pose estimation - given an image, find the translation and rotation of a camera relative to a 3D model. Starting from an initial pose estimate, we use gradient descent to minimize the residual between pixels rendered from an already-trained NeRF and pixels in an observed image. In our experiments, we first study 1) how to sample rays during pose refinement for iNeRF to collect informative gradients and 2) how different batch sizes of rays affect iNeRF on a synthetic dataset. We then show that for complex real-world scenes from the LLFF dataset, iNeRF can improve NeRF by estimating the camera poses of novel images and using these images as additional training data for NeRF. Finally, we show iNeRF can be combined with feature-based pose initialization. The approach outperforms all other RGB-based methods relying on synthetic data on LineMOD.