A Guide to Realistic Synthetic Image Datasets with Kubric | Learn Computer Vision

In this comprehensive guide, learn how to generate realistic synthetic image datasets using Kubric, a powerful Python library for computer vision and image synthesis. Discover the key concepts, techniques, and best practices to create high-quality synthetic datasets that effectively train deep learning models. Perfect for researchers, practitioners, and aspiring computer vision professionals.


Creating and training deep learning models often requires large amounts of labeled data. However, collecting and annotating real-world datasets can be time-consuming and expensive. Synthetic image datasets offer a solution to this problem by providing a way to generate large quantities of labeled data quickly and at low cost.

In this guide, we will explore how to generate realistic synthetic image datasets using Kubric, a powerful Python library for computer vision and image synthesis. We will cover the key concepts, techniques, and best practices to create high-quality synthetic datasets that can effectively train deep learning models.

Understanding Kubric

Kubric is an open-source library that makes it easy to synthesize and manipulate photorealistic images. It provides a wide range of functions and tools to generate synthetic data with control over various aspects such as lighting, camera parameters, textures, and object placement.

One of the key features of Kubric is its ability to render images using physically-based rendering (PBR) techniques. PBR ensures that the generated images accurately simulate real-world lighting and materials, resulting in highly realistic synthetic datasets.

Choosing a Domain and Purpose

Before generating synthetic images with Kubric, it is crucial to define the domain and purpose of the dataset. The domain refers to the specific area or subject matter that the images will represent, such as faces, objects, or scenes. The purpose determines the intended use of the dataset, whether it’s for object detection, semantic segmentation, or any other computer vision task.

Defining the domain and purpose helps in making informed decisions regarding the types of objects, backgrounds, and camera angles to include in the dataset. It also helps in setting the appropriate scene parameters and properties while generating the synthetic images.

Creating 3D Models and Assets

In order to generate realistic synthetic images, you need 3D models and assets that represent the objects of interest in the dataset. These models act as the building blocks for the scenes and images created by Kubric.

There are various ways to obtain 3D models and assets, such as downloading from online repositories or creating them from scratch using 3D modeling software. It is important to ensure that the models are accurate and realistic, as they directly impact the quality and authenticity of the synthetic images.

It is also advisable to have a diverse range of models and assets to include in the dataset, representing different variations, poses, and appearances of the objects. This helps in training the deep learning models to be robust and generalizable.

Defining Scene Parameters

Once you have the 3D models and assets, you need to define the scene parameters for generating the synthetic images. These parameters control various aspects of the scene, including lighting conditions, camera angles, object placements, and background settings.

Understanding the scene parameters and their impact on the final images is crucial for creating realistic datasets. For example, adjusting the lighting intensity and direction can affect the shadows and highlights in the images, while changing the camera parameters can impact the perspective and viewpoint.

Kubric provides functions and APIs to set and control these scene parameters programmatically. Experimentation and iteration are key to finding the right combination of parameters that generate realistic and diverse images.

Texturing and Material Properties

Texturing and material properties play a vital role in the visual realism of synthetic images. Kubric allows you to apply textures and define material properties for the 3D models used in the scenes. Textures can include color information, surface details, and patterns, while material properties define how light interacts with the surfaces of the objects.

By carefully choosing and applying textures and material properties, you can enhance the authenticity and believability of the synthetic images. Kubric provides tools to import and apply textures from external sources, as well as functions to modify and create new materials.

Randomization and Perturbation

To make the synthetic dataset more diverse and challenging, randomization and perturbation techniques are often applied. Randomization involves introducing variability, such as different object placements, lighting conditions, or camera angles, during the generation of each image.

Perturbation, on the other hand, involves introducing controlled variations to the scene and object properties. This can include modifying textures, changing object shapes or sizes, or adding simulated noise to the images. Perturbation helps in training the deep learning models to be robust to different conditions and variations.

Kubric provides built-in functions and utilities for randomization and perturbation, making it easy to introduce controlled variations into the synthetic datasets.

Quality Assessment and Validation

After generating the synthetic images using Kubric, it is important to assess their quality and validate their usefulness for the intended computer vision task. Quality assessment involves evaluating aspects such as visual realism, label accuracy, and dataset diversity.

Visual realism can be assessed by visually inspecting the synthetic images and comparing them with real-world examples. Label accuracy refers to the correctness of the annotations or ground truth labels associated with the synthetic images. Dataset diversity ensures that the generated images cover a wide range of variations and scenarios relevant to the computer vision task.

If any issues or shortcomings are identified during the quality assessment, it may require further iterations and adjustments in the scene parameters, models, or rendering settings to improve the dataset quality.


Generating realistic synthetic image datasets using Kubric can be a powerful and efficient way to train deep learning models. By carefully defining the domain, creating accurate 3D models, controlling scene parameters, applying textures and material properties, introducing randomization and perturbation, and evaluating the dataset’s quality, it is possible to create high-quality synthetic datasets that effectively simulate real-world conditions.