Mixture of Volumetric Primitives for Efficient Neural Rendering
August 9, 2021
By: Stephen Lombardi, Tomas Simon, Gabriel Schwartz, Michael Zollhoefer, Yaser Sheikh, Jason Saragih
Real-time rendering and animation of humans is a core function in games, movies, and telepresence applications. Existing methods have a number of drawbacks we aim to address with our work. Triangle meshes have difficulty modeling thin structures like hair, volumetric representations like Neural Volumes are too low-resolution given a reasonable memory budget, and high-resolution implicit representations like Neural Radiance Fields are too slow for use in real-time applications. We present Mixture of Volumetric Primitives (MVP), a representation for rendering dynamic 3D content that combines the completeness of volumetric representations with the efficiency of primitive-based rendering, e.g., point-based or mesh-based methods. Our approach achieves this by leveraging spatially shared computation with a convolutional architecture and by minimizing computation in empty regions of space with volumetric primitives that can move to cover only occupied regions. Our parameterization supports the integration of correspondence and tracking constraints, while being robust to areas where classical tracking fails, such as around thin or translucent structures and areas with large topological variability. MVP is a hybrid that generalizes both volumetric and primitive-based representations. Through a series of extensive experiments we demonstrate that it inherits the strengths of each, while avoiding many of their limitations. We also compare our approach to several state-of-the-art methods and demonstrate that MVP produces superior results in terms of quality and runtime performance.