Tetrahedral Diffusion Models for 3D Shape Generation

Recently, probabilistic denoising diffusion models (DDMs) have greatly advanced the generative power of neural networks. DDMs, inspired by non-equilibrium thermodynamics, have not only been used for 2D image generation, but can also readily be applied to 3D point clouds. However, representing 3D shapes as point clouds has a number of drawbacks, most obvious perhaps that they have no notion of topology or connectivity. Here, we explore an alternative route and introduce tetrahedral diffusion models, an extension of DDMs to tetrahedral partitions of 3D space. The much more structured 3D representation with space-filling tetrahedra makes it possible to guide and regularize the diffusion process and to apply it to colorized assets. To manipulate the proposed representation, we develop tetrahedral convolutions, down- and up-sampling kernels. With those operators, 3D shape generation amounts to learning displacement vectors and signed distance values on the tetrahedral grid. Our experiments confirm that Tetrahedral Diffusion yields plausible, visually pleasing and diverse 3D shapes, is able to handle surface attributes like color, and can be guided at test time to manipulate the resulting shapes.

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