Building Facades to Normal Maps: Adversarial Learning from Single View Images

Mukul Khanna    Tanu Sharma    Ayyappa Swamy Thatavarthy    K. Madhava Krishna   

IIIT Hyderabad, India   

Surface normal estimation is an essential component of several computer and robot vision pipelines. While this problem has been extensively studied, most approaches are geared towards indoor scenes and often rely on multiple modalities (depth, multiple views) for accurate estimation of normal maps. Outdoor scenes pose a greater challenge as they exhibit significant lighting variation, often contain occluders, and structures like building facades are often ridden with numerous windows and protrusions. Conventional supervised learning schemes excel in indoor scenes, but do not exhibit competitive performance when trained and deployed in outdoor environments. Furthermore, they involve complex network architectures and require many more trainable parameters. To tackle these challenges, we present an adversarial learning scheme that regularizes the output normal maps from a neural network to appear more realistic, by using a small number of precisely annotated examples. Our method presents a lightweight and simpler architecture, while improving performance by at least 1.5x across most metrics. We evaluate our approaches against the state-of-the-art on normal map estimation, on a synthetic and a real outdoor dataset, and observe significant performance enhancements.