State of the Art on Neural Rendering | EUROGRAPHICS 2020

CVPR 2020

Efficient rendering of photo-realistic virtual worlds is a long standing effort of computer graphics. Modern graphics techniques have succeeded in synthesizing photo-realistic images from hand-crafted scene representations. However, the automatic generation of shape, materials, lighting, and other aspects of scenes remains a challenging problem that, if solved, would make photo-realistic computer graphics more widely accessible. Concurrently, progress in computer vision and machine learning have given rise to a new approach to image synthesis and editing, namely deep generative models. Neural rendering is a new and rapidly emerging field that combines generative machine learning techniques with physical knowledge from computer graphics, e.g., by the integration of differentiable rendering into network training. With a plethora of applications in computer graphics and vision, neural rendering is poised to become a new area in the graphics community, yet no survey of this emerging field exists. This state-of-the-art report summarizes the recent trends and applications of neural rendering. We focus on approaches that combine classic computer graphics techniques with deep generative models to obtain controllable and photo-realistic outputs. Starting with an overview of the underlying computer graphics and machine learning concepts, we discuss critical aspects of neural rendering approaches. This state-of-the-art report is focused on the many important use cases for the described algorithms such as novel view synthesis, semantic photo manipulation, facial and body reenactment, relighting, free-viewpoint video, and the creation of photo-realistic avatars for virtual and augmented reality telepresence. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the social implications of such technology and investigate open research problems.