Monocular Depth Prediction through Continuous 3D Loss

21 Mar 2020  ·  Minghan Zhu, Maani Ghaffari, Yuanxin Zhong, Pingping Lu, Zhong Cao, Ryan M. Eustice, Huei Peng ·

This paper reports a new continuous 3D loss function for learning depth from monocular images. The dense depth prediction from a monocular image is supervised using sparse LIDAR points, which enables us to leverage available open source datasets with camera-LIDAR sensor suites during training. Currently, accurate and affordable range sensor is not readily available. Stereo cameras and LIDARs measure depth either inaccurately or sparsely/costly. In contrast to the current point-to-point loss evaluation approach, the proposed 3D loss treats point clouds as continuous objects; therefore, it compensates for the lack of dense ground truth depth due to LIDAR's sparsity measurements. We applied the proposed loss in three state-of-the-art monocular depth prediction approaches DORN, BTS, and Monodepth2. Experimental evaluation shows that the proposed loss improves the depth prediction accuracy and produces point-clouds with more consistent 3D geometric structures compared with all tested baselines, implying the benefit of the proposed loss on general depth prediction networks. A video demo of this work is available at

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