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Technical Papers Fast-Forward
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Reparameterizing Discontinuous Integrands for Differentiable Rendering
Event Type
Technical Papers Fast-Forward
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TimeSunday, 17 November 201919:40 - 19:41
LocationGreat Hall 1&2
DescriptionDifferentiable rendering has recently opened the door to a number of challenging inverse problems involving photorealistic images, such as computational material design and scattering-aware reconstruction of geometry and materials from photographs. Differentiable rendering algorithms strive to estimate partial derivatives of pixels in a rendered image with respect to scene parameters, which is difficult because visibility changes are inherently non-differentiable.

We propose a new technique for differentiating path-traced images with respect to scene parameters that affect visibility, including the position of cameras, light sources, and vertices in triangle meshes. Our algorithm computes the gradients of illumination integrals by applying changes of variables that remove or strongly reduce the dependence of the position of discontinuities on differentiable scene parameters. The underlying parameterization is created on the fly for each integral and enables accurate gradient estimates using standard Monte Carlo sampling in conjunction with automatic differentiation. Importantly, our approach does not rely on sampling silhouette edges, which has been a bottleneck in previous work and tends to produce high-variance gradients when important edges are found with insufficient probability in scenes with complex visibility and high-resolution geometry. We show that our method only requires a few samples to produce gradients with low bias and variance for challenging cases such as glossy reflections and shadows. Finally, we use our differentiable path tracer to reconstruct the 3D geometry and materials of several real-world objects from a set of reference photographs.