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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Efficient rendering of photo‐realistic virtual worlds is a long standing effort of computer graphics. Modern graphics techniques have succeeded in synthesizing photo‐realistic images from hand‐crafted scene representations. However, the automatic generation of shape, materials, lighting, and other aspects of scenes remains a challenging problem that, if solved, would make photo‐realistic computer graphics more widely accessible. Concurrently, progress in computer vision and machine learning have given rise to a new approach to image synthesis and editing, namely deep generative models. Neural rendering is a new and rapidly emerging field that combines generative machine learning techniques with physical knowledge from computer graphics, e.g., by the integration of differentiable rendering into network training. With a plethora of applications in computer graphics and vision, neural rendering is poised to become a new area in the graphics community, yet no survey of this emerging field exists. This state‐of‐the‐art report summarizes the recent trends and applications of neural rendering. We focus on approaches that combine classic computer graphics techniques with deep generative models to obtain controllable and photorealistic outputs. Starting with an overview of the underlying computer graphics and machine learning concepts, we discuss critical aspects of neural rendering approaches. Specifically, our emphasis is on the type of control, i.e., how the control is provided, which parts of the pipeline are learned, explicit vs. implicit control, generalization, and stochastic vs. deterministic synthesis. The second half of this state‐of‐the‐art report is focused on the many important use cases for the described algorithms such as novel view synthesis, semantic photo manipulation, facial and body reenactment, relighting, free‐viewpoint video, and the creation of photo‐realistic avatars for virtual and augmented reality telepresence. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the social implications of such technology and investigate open research problems.

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  3. ABSTRACT A deep survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud at ∼0.1–100 TeV photon energies with the Cherenkov Telescope Array is planned. We assess the detection prospects based on a model for the emission of the galaxy, comprising the four known TeV emitters, mock populations of sources, and interstellar emission on galactic scales. We also assess the detectability of 30 Doradus and SN 1987A, and the constraints that can be derived on the nature of dark matter. The survey will allow for fine spectral studies of N 157B, N 132D, LMC P3, and 30 Doradus C, and half a dozen other sources should be revealed, mainly pulsar-powered objects. The remnant from SN 1987A could be detected if it produces cosmic-ray nuclei with a flat power-law spectrum at high energies, or with a steeper index 2.3–2.4 pending a flux increase by a factor of >3–4 over ∼2015–2035. Large-scale interstellar emission remains mostly out of reach of the survey if its >10 GeV spectrum has a soft photon index ∼2.7, but degree-scale 0.1–10 TeV pion-decay emission could be detected if the cosmic-ray spectrum hardens above >100 GeV. The 30 Doradus star-forming region is detectable if acceleration efficiency is on the order of 1−10 per cent of the mechanical luminosity and diffusion is suppressed by two orders of magnitude within <100 pc. Finally, the survey could probe the canonical velocity-averaged cross-section for self-annihilation of weakly interacting massive particles for cuspy Navarro–Frenk–White profiles. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  4. Abstract We report on a long-lasting, elevated gamma-ray flux state from VER J0521+211 observed by VERITAS, MAGIC, and Fermi-LAT in 2013 and 2014. The peak integral flux above 200 GeV measured with the nightly binned light curve is (8.8 ± 0.4) × 10 −7 photons m −2 s −1 , or ∼37% of the Crab Nebula flux. Multiwavelength observations from X-ray, UV, and optical instruments are also presented. A moderate correlation between the X-ray and TeV gamma-ray fluxes was observed, and the X-ray spectrum appeared harder when the flux was higher. Using the gamma-ray spectrum and four models of the extragalactic background light (EBL), a conservative 95% confidence upper limit on the redshift of the source was found to be z ≤ 0.31. Unlike the gamma-ray and X-ray bands, the optical flux did not increase significantly during the studied period compared to the archival low-state flux. The spectral variability from optical to X-ray bands suggests that the synchrotron peak of the spectral energy distribution (SED) may become broader during flaring states, which can be adequately described with a one-zone synchrotron self-Compton model varying the high-energy end of the underlying particle spectrum. The synchrotron peak frequency of the SED and the radio morphology of the jet from the MOJAVE program are consistent with the source being an intermediate-frequency-peaked BL Lac object. 
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  5. ABSTRACT MAXI J1820+070 is a low-mass X-ray binary with a black hole (BH) as a compact object. This binary underwent an exceptionally bright X-ray outburst from 2018 March to October, showing evidence of a non-thermal particle population through its radio emission during this whole period. The combined results of 59.5 h of observations of the MAXI J1820+070 outburst with the H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS experiments at energies above 200 GeV are presented, together with Fermi-LAT data between 0.1 and 500 GeV, and multiwavelength observations from radio to X-rays. Gamma-ray emission is not detected from MAXI J1820+070, but the obtained upper limits and the multiwavelength data allow us to put meaningful constraints on the source properties under reasonable assumptions regarding the non-thermal particle population and the jet synchrotron spectrum. In particular, it is possible to show that, if a high-energy (HE) gamma-ray emitting region is present during the hard state of the source, its predicted flux should be at most a factor of 20 below the obtained Fermi-LAT upper limits, and closer to them for magnetic fields significantly below equipartition. During the state transitions, under the plausible assumption that electrons are accelerated up to ∼500 GeV, the multiwavelength data and the gamma-ray upper limits lead consistently to the conclusion that a potential HE and very-HE gamma-ray emitting region should be located at a distance from the BH ranging between 1011 and 1013 cm. Similar outbursts from low-mass X-ray binaries might be detectable in the near future with upcoming instruments such as CTA. 
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  6. Abstract The results of gamma-ray observations of the binary system HESS J0632 + 057 collected during 450 hr over 15 yr, between 2004 and 2019, are presented. Data taken with the atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes H.E.S.S., MAGIC, and VERITAS at energies above 350 GeV were used together with observations at X-ray energies obtained with Swift-XRT, Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, and Suzaku. Some of these observations were accompanied by measurements of the H α emission line. A significant detection of the modulation of the very high-energy gamma-ray fluxes with a period of 316.7 ± 4.4 days is reported, consistent with the period of 317.3 ± 0.7 days obtained with a refined analysis of X-ray data. The analysis of data from four orbital cycles with dense observational coverage reveals short-timescale variability, with flux-decay timescales of less than 20 days at very high energies. Flux variations observed over a timescale of several years indicate orbit-to-orbit variability. The analysis confirms the previously reported correlation of X-ray and gamma-ray emission from the system at very high significance, but cannot find any correlation of optical H α parameters with fluxes at X-ray or gamma-ray energies in simultaneous observations. The key finding is that the emission of HESS J0632 + 057 in the X-ray and gamma-ray energy bands is highly variable on different timescales. The ratio of gamma-ray to X-ray flux shows the equality or even dominance of the gamma-ray energy range. This wealth of new data is interpreted taking into account the insufficient knowledge of the ephemeris of the system, and discussed in the context of results reported on other gamma-ray binary systems. 
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    We report multiwavelength observations of the gravitationally lensed blazar QSO B0218+357 in 2016–2020. Optical, X-ray, and GeV flares were detected. The contemporaneous MAGIC observations do not show significant very high energy (VHE; ≳100 GeV) gamma-ray emission. The lack of enhancement in radio emission measured by The Owens Valley Radio Observatory indicates the multizone nature of the emission from this object. We constrain the VHE duty cycle of the source to be <16 2014-like flares per year (95 per cent confidence). For the first time for this source, a broad-band low-state spectral energy distribution is constructed with a deep exposure up to the VHE range. A flux upper limit on the low-state VHE gamma-ray emission of an order of magnitude below that of the 2014 flare is determined. The X-ray data are used to fit the column density of (8.10 ± 0.93stat) × 1021 cm−2 of the dust in the lensing galaxy. VLBI observations show a clear radio core and jet components in both lensed images, yet no significant movement of the components is seen. The radio measurements are used to model the source-lens-observer geometry and determine the magnifications and time delays for both components. The quiescent emission is modelled with the high-energy bump explained as a combination of synchrotron-self-Compton and external Compton emission from a region located outside of the broad-line region. The bulk of the low-energy emission is explained as originating from a tens-of-parsecs scale jet.

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