Volume Feature Rendering for Fast Neural Radiance Field Reconstruction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Kang Han, Wei Xiang, Lu Yu


Neural radiance fields (NeRFs) are able to synthesize realistic novel views from multi-view images captured from distinct positions and perspectives. In NeRF's rendering pipeline, neural networks are used to represent a scene independently or transform queried learnable feature vector of a point to the expected color or density. With the aid of geometry guides either in the form of occupancy grids or proposal networks, the number of color neural network evaluations can be reduced from hundreds to dozens in the standard volume rendering framework. However, many evaluations of the color neural network are still a bottleneck for fast NeRF reconstruction. This paper revisits volume feature rendering (VFR) for the purpose of fast NeRF reconstruction. The VFR integrates the queried feature vectors of a ray into one feature vector, which is then transformed to the final pixel color by a color neural network. This fundamental change to the standard volume rendering framework requires only one single color neural network evaluation to render a pixel, which substantially lowers the high computational complexity of the rendering framework attributed to a large number of color neural network evaluations. Consequently, we can use a comparably larger color neural network to achieve a better rendering quality while maintaining the same training and rendering time costs. This approach achieves the state-of-the-art rendering quality on both synthetic and real-world datasets while requiring less training time compared with existing methods.