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Neural Scene Chronology

Haotong Lin · Qianqian Wang · Ruojin Cai · Sida Peng · Hadar Averbuch-Elor · Xiaowei Zhou · Noah Snavely

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 014


In this work, we aim to reconstruct a time-varying 3D model, capable of rendering photo-realistic renderings with independent control of viewpoint, illumination, and time, from Internet photos of large-scale landmarks. The core challenges are twofold. First, different types of temporal changes, such as illumination and changes to the underlying scene itself (such as replacing one graffiti artwork with another) are entangled together in the imagery. Second, scene-level temporal changes are often discrete and sporadic over time, rather than continuous. To tackle these problems, we propose a new scene representation equipped with a novel temporal step function encoding method that can model discrete scene-level content changes as piece-wise constant functions over time. Specifically, we represent the scene as a space-time radiance field with a per-image illumination embedding, where temporally-varying scene changes are encoded using a set of learned step functions. To facilitate our task of chronology reconstruction from Internet imagery, we also collect a new dataset of four scenes that exhibit various changes over time. We demonstrate that our method exhibits state-of-the-art view synthesis results on this dataset, while achieving independent control of viewpoint, time, and illumination. Code and data are available at

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