Considerable effort has been devoted to finding reliable methods of correcting noisy RGB-D images captured with unreliable depth-sensing technologies. Supervised neural networks have been shown to be capable of RGB-D image correction, but require copious amounts of carefully-corrected ground-truth data to train effectively. Data collection is laborious and time-intensive, especially for large datasets, and generation of ground-truth training data tends to be subject to human error. It might be possible to train an effective method on a relatively smaller dataset using synthetically damaged depth-data as input to the network, but this requires some understanding of the latent noise distribution of the respective camera. It is possible to augment datasets to a certain degree using naive noise generation, such as random dropout or Gaussian noise, but these tend to generalize poorly to real data. A superior method would imitate real camera noise to damage input depth images realistically so that the network is able to learn to correct the appropriate depth-noise distribution.We propose a novel noise-generating CNN capable of producing realistic noise customized to a variety of different depth-noise distributions. In order to demonstrate the effects of synthetic augmentation, we also contribute a large novel RGB-D dataset captured with the Intel RealSense D415 and D435 depth cameras. This dataset pairs many examples of noisy depth images with automatically completed RGB-D images, which we use as proxy for ground-truth data. We further provide an automated depth-denoising pipeline which may be used to produce proxy ground-truth data for novel datasets. We train a modified sparse-to-dense depth-completion network on splits of varying size from our dataset to determine reasonable baselines for improvement. We determine through these tests that adding more noisy depth frames to each RGB-D image in the training set has a nearly identical impact on depth-completion training as gathering more ground-truth data. We leverage these findings to produce additional synthetic noisy depth images for each RGB-D image in our baseline training sets using our noise-generating CNN. Through use of our augmentation method, it is possible to achieve greater than 50% error reduction on supervised depth-completion training, even for small datasets.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science



Date Submitted


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RGB-D images, depth completion, synthetic augmentation, deep-generative neural networks, variational autoencoders, conditional GANs