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Proceedings Paper

Minimizing MPEG-4 sprite coding cost using multi-sprites
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Paper Abstract

Object-oriented coding in the MPEG-4 standard enables the separate processing of foreground objects and the scene background (sprite). Since the background sprite only has to be sent once, transmission bandwidth can be saved. This paper shows that the concept of merging several views of a non-changing scene background into a single background sprite is usually not the most efficient way to transmit the background image. We have found that the counter-intuitive approach of splitting the background into several independent parts can reduce the overall amount of data. For this reason, we propose an algorithm that provides an optimal partitioning of a video sequence into independent background sprites (a multi-sprite), resulting in a significant reduction of the involved coding cost. Additionally, our algorithm results in background sprites with better quality by ensuring that the sprite resolution has at least the final display resolution throughout the sequence. Even though our sprite generation algorithm creates multiple sprites instead of a single background sprite, it is fully compatible with the existing MPEG-4 standard. The algorithm has been evaluated with several test-sequences, including the well-known Table-tennis and Stefan sequences. The total coding cost could be reduced by factors of about 2.7 or even higher.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 January 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5308, Visual Communications and Image Processing 2004, (18 January 2004);
Show Author Affiliations
Dirk Farin, Univ. Mannheim (Germany)
Peter H. N. de With, LogicaCMG (Netherlands)
Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Wolfgang Effelsberg, Univ. Mannheim (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5308:
Visual Communications and Image Processing 2004
Sethuraman Panchanathan; Bhaskaran Vasudev, Editor(s)

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