BLAINDER-A Blender AI Add-On for Generation of Semantically Labeled Depth-Sensing Data

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Mar 18;21(6):2144. doi: 10.3390/s21062144.


Common Machine-Learning (ML) approaches for scene classification require a large amount of training data. However, for classification of depth sensor data, in contrast to image data, relatively few databases are publicly available and manual generation of semantically labeled 3D point clouds is an even more time-consuming task. To simplify the training data generation process for a wide range of domains, we have developed the BLAINDER add-on package for the open-source 3D modeling software Blender, which enables a largely automated generation of semantically annotated point-cloud data in virtual 3D environments. In this paper, we focus on classical depth-sensing techniques Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Sound Navigation and Ranging (Sonar). Within the BLAINDER add-on, different depth sensors can be loaded from presets, customized sensors can be implemented and different environmental conditions (e.g., influence of rain, dust) can be simulated. The semantically labeled data can be exported to various 2D and 3D formats and are thus optimized for different ML applications and visualizations. In addition, semantically labeled images can be exported using the rendering functionalities of Blender.

Keywords: Blender; LiDAR; Sonar; depth-sensing; labeling; machine learning; virtual sensors.