Research

NeRFMeshing Enables Accurate 3D Mesh Reconstruction

Michael Rubloff

Jul 6, 2023

NeRFMeshing
NeRFMeshing

Accurate 3D scene and object reconstruction is crucial for various applications such as robotics, photogrammetry, and AR/VR. NeRFs has been successful in synthesizing novel views but falls short in accurately representing the underlying geometry. We have seen recent advances such as Neuralangelo from NVIDIA, but there's also NeRFMeshing, which has been proposed to address this challenge by extracting precise 3D meshes from NeRF-driven networks.

The resulting meshes are physically accurate and can be rendered in real time on different devices.

While NeRFs have shown impressive results in terms of image quality, robustness, and rendering speed, obtaining accurate 3D meshes from radiance fields remains a challenge. The existing representations are primarily optimized for view synthesis rather than explicitly enforcing precise geometry. This leads to an approximation of surfaces using dense regions of the volume instead of level-set surfaces with zero thickness. Additionally, most previous methods lack real-time rendering capabilities and compatibility with standard 3D graphics pipelines.

NeRFMeshing presents a novel pipeline for efficiently extracting geometrically accurate meshes from trained NeRF-based networks. The method adds only a small overhead in time and produces meshes with accurate geometry and neural colors that can be rendered in real time on common hardware. The key component is the Signed Surface Approximation Network (SSAN), which trains a post-processing NeRF pipeline to define the underlying surface and appearance. SSAN estimates a Truncated Signed Distance Field (TSDF) and a feature appearance field, enabling the extraction of a 3D triangle mesh of the scene. This mesh is then rendered using an appearance network to generate view-dependent colors.

Compared to alternative methods, NeRFMeshing offers several advantages. It can be combined with any NeRF architecture, allowing for easy incorporation of new advances in the field. The method can handle unbounded scenes and complex, non-lambertian surfaces. NeRFMeshing also maintains the high fidelity of neural radiance fields, including view-dependent effects and reflections, making it suitable for real-time novel view synthesis.

Alternative approaches, such as learning Signed Distance Functions (SDF), have been explored to extract high-quality meshes but often require additional input modalities or fixed grid templates. NeRFMeshing, on the other hand, leverages the adaptive power of NeRFs to robustly represent 3D scenes without modifying the NeRF architecture. It overcomes optimization issues faced by differentiable mesh rasterizers and achieves both speed and geometric accuracy.

NeRFMeshing provides an end-to-end pipeline for extracting accurate 3D meshes with neural features from NeRF. The process involves training a NeRF network from images and then distilling the trained network into the SSAN model. This model estimates the TSDF and appearance field, allowing for the extraction of a 3D mesh. The resulting mesh can be seamlessly integrated into graphics and simulation pipelines and enables real-time view-dependent rendering.

NeRFMeshing introduces a novel method to obtain precise 3D meshes from NeRF-driven networks, addressing the challenge of accurate geometry representation. The resulting meshes can be rendered in real time and offer high fidelity, making them suitable for various applications. The flexibility of NeRFMeshing allows for easy integration with different NeRF architectures and future advancements. This method opens up possibilities for realistic 3D scene and object reconstruction, enabling physics-based simulations, real-time visualizations, and interactions.

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