DUDE: Deep Unsigned Distance Embeddings for Hi-Fidelity Representation of Complex 3D Surfaces

High fidelity representation of shapes with arbitrary topology is an important problem for a variety of vision and graphics applications. Owing to their limited resolution, classical discrete shape representations using point clouds, voxels and meshes produce low quality results when used in these applications. Several implicit 3D shape representation approaches using deep neural networks have been proposed leading to significant improvements in both quality of representations as well as the impact on downstream applications. However, these methods can only be used to represent topologically closed shapes which greatly limits the class of shapes that they can represent. As a consequence, they also often require clean, watertight meshes for training. In this work, we propose DUDE - a Deep Unsigned Distance Embedding method which alleviates both of these shortcomings. DUDE is a disentangled shape representation that utilizes an unsigned distance field (uDF) to represent proximity to a surface, and a normal vector field (nVF) to represent surface orientation. We show that a combination of these two (uDF+nVF) can be used to learn high fidelity representations for arbitrary open/closed shapes. As opposed to prior work such as DeepSDF, our shape representations can be directly learnt from noisy triangle soups, and do not need watertight meshes. Additionally, we propose novel algorithms for extracting and rendering iso-surfaces from the learnt representations. We validate DUDE on benchmark 3D datasets and demonstrate that it produces significant improvements over the state of the art.

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