NeRF: Transforming the Way We Visualize and Interact with 3D Content

March 20, 2023

In this article we are going to explore visualization and interaction with 3 Dimensional Content through NeRF. The scope of this article covers the following:

1. What is NeRF?
2. History of NeRF
3. What is Rendering in NeRF?

4.Training a NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) model involves several steps

5. Datasets needed for training a NeRF Model

6. How can NVIDIA A100 Contribute to NeRF?

7. How to launch an A100 80GB Cloud GPU on E2E Cloud for training a NeRF Model?

What is NeRF? 

NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) is a machine-learning technique for representing 3D scenes and objects as continuous functions. It was introduced in a 2020 paper by Mildenhall et al. The goal of NeRF is to use deep learning to create a representation of a 3D scene that can be rendered into high-quality images from any viewpoint. It is a technique that trains a neural network to predict the color and opacity of a scene at any point in space, given its 3D coordinates. The network is trained using a large dataset of images and corresponding 3D scene geometry, typically obtained from a 3D scanner or computer graphics tools.

Once the network is trained, it can be used to generate images of the scene from any viewpoint by integrating the radiance along a ray that passes through the image plane and intersects the scene. This process is known as volume rendering.

NeRF has several advantages over traditional 3D rendering techniques. First, it can captures complex lighting effects and surface details that are difficult to represent using standard methods. Second, it can renders scenes with high geometric complexity and detail. Third, it can produces images with high visual fidelity and resolution. It has a wide range of applications, including virtual reality, video games, and special effects in film and television. However, it is a computationally intensive technique and requires significant computational resources for both training and rendering.

History of NeRF:

NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) is a technique for photorealistic rendering of 3D scenes, introduced in a paper published in the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in 2020,  called titled ‘"NeRF: Representing Scenes as Neural Radiance Fields for View Synthesis’" by Ben Mildenhall, Pratul P. Srinivasan, Matthew Tancik, Jonathan T. Barron, Ravi Ramamoorthi, and Ren Ng. 

The idea behind NeRF is to represent a 3D scene as a continuous function that can be evaluated at any point to get the radiance, or color and brightness , of the scene at that point. This function is learned using a neural network, which is trained on a dataset of images and corresponding camera parameters. Once the function is learned, it can be used to generate new views of the scene from any viewpoint, with realistic lighting and shadows.

NeRF builds on previous work in computer graphics and computer vision, including ray tracing, volumetric rendering, and image-based rendering. However, it introduces several key innovations, such as the use of a continuous function to represent the scene, the use of neural networks to learn this function, and the use of a hierarchical sampling scheme to improve the efficiency of the rendering process.

Since its introduction, NeRF has generated a great deal of interest in the computer graphics and computer vision communities and has been applied to a wide range of applications, including virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and digital content creation.

What is Rendering in NeRF?

Rendering is the process of generating 2D images from the learned radiance fields. There are two main types of rendering for neural radiance fields:

  1. Volume Rendering: In this type of rendering, a camera ray is cast from the viewpoint through each pixel in the image plane, and the radiance is integrated along the ray using a volume rendering algorithm, such as the classic ray marching algorithm. Volume rendering is computationally expensive and requires significant memory, but it produces high-quality images with accurate shading and lighting.
  1. Point Cloud Rendering: Here, a set of random points is sampled along each camera ray, and the radiance at each point is estimated using the learned neural network. The radiance values at the sampled points are then combined to compute the radiance along the ray, which is used to generate the pixel color. Point cloud rendering is faster than volume rendering and requires less memory. Still, it can produce images with lower quality due to the approximation of the radiance field at the sampled points.

There are also hybrid approaches that combine volume and point cloud rendering, such as hierarchical volumetric rendering, which uses a coarse-to-fine approach to refine the radiance estimation along the camera ray gradually.

Training a NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) model involves several steps:

  1. Data Collection: The first step is to collect a set of images of the object or scene from different viewpoints. These images are used to generate the training data for the NeRF model.
  1. Ray Generation: For each pixel in each image, we generate a ray that passes through that pixel and extends into the scene. This ray is represented by its origin (the camera position) and its direction (the vector from the camera to the pixel).
  1. Ray Sampling: For each ray, we sample a set of points along the ray at regular intervals. These points are used as input to the NeRF model.
  1. Network Architecture: The NeRF model is typically a deep neural network that takes in a 3D point (sampled from the ray) and outputs a color and opacity value for that point.
  1. Loss Function: The goal of training is to minimize the difference between the predicted color and opacity values and the ground truth values for each point in the training data. The loss function used is typically a combination of reconstruction loss (measuring the difference between predicted and ground truth colors) and regularization loss (encouraging the network to produce plausible 3D shapes).
  1. Optimization: The model is trained using stochastic gradient descent or a similar optimization algorithm to minimize the loss function.
  1. Evaluation: After training, the NeRF model can be used to render novel views of the scene by generating rays from a new viewpoint and using the trained network to predict the colors and opacities of the points along each ray.

As shown in the image above, volume rendering is used to map the neural field output back to 2D the image. The standard L2 loss can be computed using the input image/pixel in an autoencoder fashion. VNote that volume rendering is a popularvery common process in computer graphics.

The training process is computationally intensive and requires large amounts of memory and processing power. State-of-the-art NeRF models use hierarchical sampling and multi-scale networks to improve efficiency and reduce memory requirements.

Datasets needed for training a NeRF Model:

To train and evaluate a NeRF model, you typically need a dataset of 3D models and their corresponding images. Here are some popular datasets for training a NeRF model:

  1. ShapeNet: A large-scale repository of 3D models that covers a diverse range of object categories.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. DTU MVS: A dataset of multi-view stereo images of real-world objects, captured from different viewpoints using a DSLR camera.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. BlendedMVS: A dataset of multi-view stereo images of indoor and outdoor scenes, captured using a robotic platform.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. LLFF: A dataset of indoor scenes captured using a handheld camera, corresponding camera poses, and calibration parameters.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. Tanks and Temples: A dataset of outdoor scenes captured using a handheld camera, along with corresponding camera poses and calibration parameters.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. Replica: A dataset of indoor scenes reconstructed from RGB-D scans, corresponding camera poses, and calibration parameters.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. ScanNet: A large-scale dataset of indoor scenes reconstructed from RGB-D scans and semantic segmentation labels.

GitHub Source Code:

  1. SUNCG: A large-scale synthetic dataset of indoor scenes, object labels, and room layouts.

GitHub Source Code:

These datasets vary in terms of their size, complexity, and availability of ground truth data. Therefore, it is important to choose a dataset that is suitable for your specific research requirements.needs.

How can NVIDIA A100 Contribute to NeRF?

The NVIDIA A100 is a powerful GPU that can significantly contribute to accelerating the performance of the NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) algorithm in various ways. Here are some of the ways that this Cloud GPU can contribute to NeRF:

  1. Faster Training: The NVIDIA A100 is designed for high-performance computing and offers a significant increase in performance compared to its predecessor. This increased performance can help accelerate the training process of NeRF models, reducing the time needed to train large-scale models.
  1. Larger Models: The NVIDIA A100 offers a large memory capacity, which is beneficial for NeRF models as they require a considerable amount of memory to store the learned radiance fields. With largemore memory available, complexlarger models can be trained and tested, leading to improved performance.
  1. Improved Inference Speed: The NVIDIA A100 includes specialized hardware for deep learning workloads, including Tensor Cores, which accelerate matrix computations used in the forward and backward passes of neural networks. This can significantly improve the inference speed of NeRF models, making them more practical for real-time applications.
  1. Better Accuracy: The NVIDIA A100 includes advanced features like mixed-precision training, which can help improve the accuracy of NeRF models while maintaining a high training speed. This is particularly important for NeRF, as it can improve the quality of the rendered images and reduce artifacts.

Overall, the NVIDIA A100 can help accelerate the training and inference of NeRF models, allowing for larger and more accurate models. This can leads to improved performance and makes NeRF functionalmore practical for real-world applications.

How to Launch an A100 80GB Cloud GPU on E2E Cloud for training a NeRF Model?

  • Login to Myaccount
  • Go to Compute> GPU> NVIDIA- A100 80GB.
  • Click on ‘“Create’” and choose your plan.

  • Choose your required security, backup, and network settings and click on ‘Create My Node’.

  • The launched plan will appear in your dashboard once it starts running.

After launching the A100 80GB Cloud GPU from the Myaccount portal, you can deploy any NeRF model and change the way you visualize your 3D content.

E2E Networks is the leading accelerated Cloud Computing player which provides the latest Cloud GPUs at a great value. Connect with us at

Request a free trial here:

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