Cylin-Painting: Seamless 360 Panoramic Image Outpainting and Beyond with Cylinder-Style Convolutions
Image outpainting gains increasing attention since it can generate the complete scene from a partial view, providing a valuable solution to construct 360 panoramic images. As image outpainting suffers from the intrinsic issue of unidirectional completion flow, previous methods convert the original problem into inpainting, which allows a bidirectional flow. However, we find that inpainting has its own limitations and is inferior to outpainting in certain situations. The question of how they may
... e combined for the best of both has as yet remained under-explored. In this paper, we provide a deep analysis of the differences between inpainting and outpainting, which essentially depends on how the source pixels contribute to the unknown regions under different spatial arrangements. Motivated by this analysis, we present a Cylin-Painting framework that involves meaningful collaborations between inpainting and outpainting and efficiently fuses the different arrangements, with a view to leveraging their complementary benefits on a consistent and seamless cylinder. Nevertheless, directly applying the cylinder-style convolution often generates visually unpleasing results as it could discard important positional information. To address this issue, we further present a learnable positional embedding strategy and incorporate the missing component of positional encoding into the cylinder convolution, which significantly improves the panoramic results. Note that while developed for image outpainting, the proposed solution can be effectively extended to other panoramic vision tasks, such as object detection, depth estimation, and image super resolution.