Efficient and Differentiable Shadow Computation for Inverse Problems

Linjie Lyu, Marc Habermann, Lingjie Liu, Mallikarjun B R, Ayush Tewari, Christian Theobalt; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2021, pp. 13107-13116


Differentiable rendering has received increasing interest in the solution of image-based inverse problems. It can benefit traditional optimization-based solutions to inverse problems, but also allows for self-supervision of learning-based approaches for which training data with ground truth annotation is hard to obtain. However, existing differentiable renderers either do not correctly model complex visibility responsible for shadows in the images, or are too slow for being used to train deep architectures over thousands of iterations. To this end, we propose an accurate yet efficient approach for differentiable visibility and soft shadow computation. Our approach is based on the spherical harmonics approximation of the scene illumination and visibility, where the occluding surface is approximated with spheres. This allows for significantly more efficient visibility computation compared to methods based on path tracing without sacrificing quality of generated images. As our formulation is differentiable, it can be used to solve various image-based inverse problems such as texture, lighting, geometry recovery from images using analysis-by-synthesis optimization.

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@InProceedings{Lyu_2021_ICCV, author = {Lyu, Linjie and Habermann, Marc and Liu, Lingjie and R, Mallikarjun B and Tewari, Ayush and Theobalt, Christian}, title = {Efficient and Differentiable Shadow Computation for Inverse Problems}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, pages = {13107-13116} }