Framework of a Contour Based Depth Map Coding Method

Minghui WANG  Xun HE  Xin JIN  Satoshi GOTO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E95-A   No.8   pp.1270-1279
Publication Date: 2012/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E95.A.1270
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Image Media Quality)
Category: Coding & Processing
Keyword: 
DIBR,  depth map,  MVC,  contour coding,  

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Summary: 
Stereo-view and multi-view video formats are heavily investigated topics given their vast application potential. Depth Image Based Rendering (DIBR) system has been developed to improve Multiview Video Coding (MVC). Depth image is introduced to synthesize virtual views on the decoder side in this system. Depth image is a piecewise image, which is filled with sharp contours and smooth interior. Contours in a depth image show more importance than interior in view synthesis process. In order to improve the quality of the synthesized views and reduce the bitrate of depth image, a contour based coding strategy is proposed. First, depth image is divided into layers by different depth value intervals. Then regions, which are defined as the basic coding unit in this work, are segmented from each layer. The region is further divided into the contour and the interior. Two different procedures are employed to code contours and interiors respectively. A vector-based strategy is applied to code the contour lines. Straight lines in contours cost few of bits since they are regarded as vectors. Pixels, which are out of straight lines, are coded one by one. Depth values in the interior of a region are modeled by a linear or nonlinear formula. Coefficients in the formula are retrieved by regression. This process is called interior painting. Unlike conventional block based coding method, the residue between original frame and reconstructed frame (by contour rebuilt and interior painting) is not sent to decoder. In this proposal, contour is coded in a lossless way whereas interior is coded in a lossy way. Experimental results show that the proposed Contour Based Depth map Coding (CBDC) achieves a better performance than JMVC (reference software of MVC) in the high quality scenarios.