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 encode 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. NSVF defines a set 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 diffentiable ray-marching operation from only a set of posed RGB images. With the sparse voxel octree structure, rendering novel views can be accelerated by skipping the voxels containing no relevant scene content. Our method is over 10 times faster than the state-of-the-art (namely, NeRF) at inference time while achieving higher quality results. Furthermore, by utilizing an explicit sparse voxel representation, our method can easily be applied to scene editing and scene composition. We also demonstrate several challenging tasks, including multi-scene learning, free-viewpoint rendering of a moving human, and large-scale scene rendering.
L. Liu, J. Gu, K. Z. Lin, T.-S. Chua, C. Theobalt, Neural Sparse Voxel Fields, ArXiv 2020, https://arxiv.org/abs/2007.11571