Bringing the physical world into digital 3D is an intriguing frontier for artificial intelligence. Google’s Scene Exploration technology demonstrates new possibilities in this area through AI-generated 3D models of real environments. In this post, I’ll provide an overview of how Scene Exploration works and its capabilities.
Scene Exploration is a machine learning system from Google that can construct interactive 3D models of rooms and spaces from ordinary photos. It utilizes computer vision and neural radiance fields to analyze 2D images and output complete 3D geometry representing the captured environment.
Some key features of Scene Exploration:
- Generates photorealistic 3D models from regular smartphone photos.
- Models contain semantic objects like furniture properly positioned in 3D.
- Represents room shape, textures, lighting, materials based on image understanding.
- Interactive viewer lets you explore the scene from any angle in 3D.
- Runs fully in the browser using WebGL for easy sharing.
Scene Exploration is powered by a combination of techniques to reconstruct 3D from images:
- Computer vision analyzes images to detect objects, rooms shapes, viewpoint, etc.
- Neural radiance fields interpolate 3D representations from 2D data.
- Generative networks fill in detail and surface appearance.
- Multiple images are merged to build a unified 3D model.
- The model is optimized for real-time interactivity and sharing online.
This allows high quality 3D scene representations without specialized camera equipment — just smartphone photos.