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About this book

This book covers the different aspects of modern 3D multimedia technologies by addressing several elements of 3D visual communications systems, using diverse content formats, such as stereo video, video-plus-depth and multiview, and coding schemes for delivery over networks. It also presents the latest advances and research results in regards to objective and subjective quality evaluation of 3D visual content, extending the human factors affecting the perception of quality to emotional states.

The contributors describe technological developments in 3D visual communications, with particular emphasis on state-of-the-art advances in acquisition of 3D visual scenes and emerging 3D visual representation formats, such as:

multi-view plus depth and light field;evolution to freeview and light-field representation;compression methods and robust delivery systems; andcoding and delivery over various channels.

Simulation tools, testbeds and datasets that are useful for advanced research and experimental studies in the field of 3D multimedia delivery services and applications are covered. The international group of contributors also explore the research problems and challenges in the field of immersive visual communications, in order to identify research directions with substantial economic and social impact.

3D Visual Content Creation, Coding and Delivery provides valuable information to engineers and computer scientists developing novel products and services with emerging 3D multimedia technologies, by discussing the advantages and current limitations that need to be addressed in order to develop their products further. It will also be of interest to students and researchers in the field of multimedia services and applications, who are particularly interested in advances bringing significant potential impact on future technological developments.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Three-dimensional (3D) audiovisual content is nowadays the driving force of many multimedia applications and services as well as development of different support technologies. The recent evolution of 3D media technologies has been quite diverse and progressing in different directions, not only enhancing existing technology but also developing and pushing forward new and richer content-driven applications. The main goals of using 3D multimedia have been maintained over the years as the ability to provide users with perceptual elements (mostly audiovisual) capable of providing an immersion feeling of being part of the scene, interacting and perceiving the 3D nature of the real physical environments conveyed by 3D content. More recently, the search for better technology, more pleasant user experiences and growing consumer markets have been driving a lot of research projects and new results with high potential impact in future evolution of 3D multimedia services and applications. This book presents recent developments in the field of 3D visual communications, departing from current technologies and analyzing their evolution to reveal the constraints that still limit the ultimate 3D user experience.
Pedro Amado Assunção, Atanas Gotchev

Chapter 2. Emerging Imaging Technologies: Trends and Challenges

This chapter addresses image and video technologies related to 3D immersive multimedia delivery systems with special emphasis on the most promising digital formats. Besides recent research results and technical challenges associated with multiview image and image, video and lightfield acquisition and processing, the chapter also presents relevant results from international standardization activities in the scope of ISO, IEC, and ITU. Standard solutions to encode multiview image and video content and ongoing research are addressed, along with novel solutions to enable further developments in the emerging technologies dealing with capture and coding for lightfield content and free viewpoint television.
Marek Domański, Tomasz Grajek, Caroline Conti, Carl James Debono, Sérgio M. M. de Faria, Peter Kovacs, Luís F. R. Lucas, Paulo Nunes, Cristian Perra, Nuno M. M. Rodrigues, Mårten Sjöström, Luís Ducla Soares, Olgierd Stankiewicz

Chapter 3. 3D Content Acquisition and Coding

This chapter starts by addressing the impact of the inaccurate camera system alignment on the spatial reconstruction accuracy and stereo perception. An experimental study is described, using a stereoscopic camera setup and its deterministic relations derived by trigonometry, spatial model, and basic stereoscopic formulas. The significance of errors that can occur for possible cameras system setup is analyzed in order to find the appropriate settings and physical constraints of the camera system, which minimize the error. Then, the chapter presents an overview of the compression tools used in current stereoscopic and multiview video encoders. It includes the stereoscopic frame-compatible formats using spatial multiplex in the side-by-side and top-and-bottom fashion; the video plus depth representation, the layered coding approach, and multiview encoding. Furthermore, an extension of multiview video compression for the arbitrary camera arrangements is presented. The current status of MPEG exploration experiments of next-generation video codec technologies is also outlined in the last section. First, the UltraHD compression performance beyond HEVC is presented and second, the recent developments in HDR/WCG format conversion and coding are presented. Finally, the testing procedures and 3D projection formats for 360° video are addressed.
Dragan Kukolj, Libor Bolecek, Ladislav Polak, Tomas Kratochvil, Ondrej Zach, Jan Kufa, Martin Slanina, Tomasz Grajek, Jarosłw Samelak, Marek Domański, Dragorad A. Milovanovic

Chapter 4. Efficient Depth-Based Coding

This chapter addresses predictive coding methods for depth maps that are required for virtual view synthesis. In multi-view immersive systems, virtual views play a very important role in the overall quality experienced by the users. Despite the fact that depth maps are not viewed by the users, their accuracy has a significant impact on the quality of the corresponding synthesized views. This is mostly due to the geometry information of the scene they represent, which enables reconstruction of any viewpoint lying between two camera views. The indirect impact of depth map quality on synthesized images and video suggests that the optimization of coding algorithms for view synthesis can improve the quality of experience of the user. In this context, the chapter discusses the compression of depth maps using standard coding techniques. A method for compressing the depth map with the use of the standard coding technique of advanced video coding is provided. A depth map quality metric is discussed as this is of paramount importance when allocating bitrates between the texture and the depth videos. Furthermore, experiments regarding compression efficiency and bitrate allocation strategy are described and their results presented.
Carl James Debono, Marek Domański, Sérgio M. M. de Faria, Krzysztof Klimaszewski, Luís F. R. Lucas, Nuno M. M. Rodrigues, Krzysztof Wegner

Chapter 5. Error Concealment Methods for Multiview Video and Depth

The different media representation formats and coding techniques currently used to deliver 3D visual information across diverse networks require specific approaches and methods to minimise the perceptual impact of data loss, that may occur along the communications path. This chapter addresses this type of problem by presenting recent advances in error concealment methods, expanding conventional techniques used for 2D video to multiview (MVC) and multiview video-plus-depth (MVD) coded formats. The methods described in the chapter exploit the specific characteristics of multiview formats to achieve highly efficient error concealment performance and, consequently, to improve the perceptual quality delivered to end users, in the presence of transmission losses. In the case of MVC, besides spatial and inter-frame, inter-view correlations are also exploited, while in MVD, the most efficient methods use both the texture (view) and depth information to improve the error concealment performance. The most relevant contributions in this field are described in detail, where the performance of these advanced solutions is discussed along with comparisons between different methods and benchmarking.
Sérgio M. M. de Faria, Sylvain Marcelino, Carl J. Debono, Salviano Soares, Pedro Amado Assunção

Chapter 6. Light Field Image Compression

Light field imaging based on a single-tier camera equipped with a micro-lens array has currently risen up as a practical and prospective approach for future visual applications and services. However, successfully deploying actual light field imaging applications and services will require identifying adequate coding solutions to efficiently handle the massive amount of data involved in these systems. In this context, this chapter presents some of the most recent light field image coding solutions that have been investigated. After a brief review of the current state of the art in image coding formats for light field photography, an experimental study of the rate-distortion performance for different coding formats and architectures is presented. Then, aiming at enabling faster deployment of light field applications and services in the consumer market, a scalable light field coding solution that provides backward compatibility with legacy display devices (e.g., 2D, 3D stereo, and 3D multiview) is also presented. Furthermore, a light field coding scheme based on a sparse set of microimages and the associated blockwise disparity is also presented. This coding scheme is scalable with three layers such that the rendering can be performed with the sparse micro-image set, the reconstructed light field image, and the decoded light field image.
Caroline Conti, Luís Ducla Soares, Paulo Nunes, Cristian Perra, Pedro Amado Assunção, Mårten Sjöström, Yun Li, Roger Olsson, Ulf Jennehag

Chapter 7. Impact of Packet Losses in Scalable Light Field Video Coding

Light field imaging technology has been recently attracting the attention of the research community and the industry. However, to effectively transmit light field content to the end-user over error-prone networks—e.g., wireless networks or the Internet—error resilience techniques are required to mitigate the impact of data impairments in the user quality perception. In this context, this chapter analyzes the impact of packet losses when using a three-layer display scalable light field video coding architecture, which has been presented in Chap. 6. For this, a simple error concealment algorithm is used, which makes use of inter-layer redundancy between multiview and light field content and the inherent correlation of the light field content to estimate lost data. Furthermore, a study of the influence of 2D views generation parameters used in lower layers on the performance of the used error concealment algorithm is also presented.
Caroline Conti, Paulo Nunes, Luís Ducla Soares

Chapter 8. Transmission of 3D Video Content

This chapter describes different video transport technologies that support the existing 3D video formats, such as frame-compatible side-by-side and multi-view video plus depth. Particular emphasis is given to the DVB systems (terrestrial, satellite, and cable) and IP transport, focusing HTTP/TCP streaming, adaptive HTTP streaming, RTP/UDP streaming, P2P Networks, and Information-Centric Networking-ICN. Hybrid transport technologies, combining broadcast and broadband networks for video delivery are also addressed. The chapter highlights important aspects of 3D video transmission over wireless networks, together with their benefits and limitations in the delivery of this type of content. Recent research results are summarized for different delivery systems and transport technologies.
Emil Dumic, Anamaria Bjelopera, Khaled Boussetta, Luis A. da Silva Cruz, Yuansong Qiao, A. Murat Tekalp, Yuhang Ye

Chapter 9. 3D Video Tools

This chapter presents an overview of different tools used in research and engineering of 3D video delivery systems. These include software tools for 3D video compression and streaming, 3D video players, and their interfaces. Other types of tools widely used in research studies and development of new networking solutions, such as network simulators, emulators, testbeds, and network analysis tools are also covered. In addition, several 3D video evaluation tools, which have been specifically designed for testing and evaluation of 3D video sequences subject to network impairments, are further described. The chapter also presents several examples of recent works that have been carried out based on one or more simulation, emulation, test, and/or evaluation tools in research studies or innovative solutions for relevant problems affecting 3D multimedia delivery.
Emil Dumic, Khaled Boussetta, Luis A. da Silva Cruz, Tasos Dagiuklas, Antonio Liotta, Ilias Politis, Yuansong Qiao, A. Murat Tekalp, Maria Torres Vega, Yuhang Ye

Chapter 10. Quality of Experience and Quality of Service Metrics for 3D Content

Traditionally, the quality of a multimedia system was mainly assessed through the evaluation of its Quality of Service (QoS) that is by evaluating system parameters such as bandwidth, latency, jitter, throughput, transmission delay, availability, etc. However, these metrics often failed to capture the actual end-user perceived quality, which has prompted the development of the construct of Quality of Experience (QoE), widely understood as an interaction of the technical features of multimedia systems with perceptual, and cognitive/emotional factors involved in the interpretation of those features by users. This chapter addresses the open issues in the field of QoS and QoE assessments. First, the perceptual characteristics of the multiview content are analyzed, and then a survey on the existing approaches for QoS and QoE estimation is performed. The analysis is then focused on the subjective aspects of QoE assessment, by describing the standard methodologies currently used and new trends based on human factors research. Finally, the chapter offers a few guidelines for future research directions in the field.
Miguel Barreda-Ángeles, Federica Battisti, Giulia Boato, Marco Carli, Emil Dumic, Margrit Gelautz, Chaminda Hewage, Dragan Kukolj, Patrick Le-Callet, Antonio Liotta, Cecilia Pasquini, Alexandre Pereda-Baños, Christos Politis, Dragana Sandic, Murat Tekalp, María Torres-Vega, Vladimir Zlokolica

Chapter 11. 3D Visual Content Datasets

Development and performance evaluation of efficient methods for coding, transmission, and quality assessment of 3D visual content require rich datasets of a suitable test material. The use of these databases allows a fair comparison of systems under test. Moreover, publicly available and widely used datasets are crucial for experimentation leading to reproducible research. This chapter presents an overview of 3D visual content datasets relevant to research in the field of coding, transmission, and quality assessment. Description of regular stereoscopic or multiview image and video datasets is presented. Databases created using emerging technologies, including light-field imaging, are also addressed. Moreover, there are databases of multimedia content annotated with ratings from the subjective experiment, which are a necessary resource for understanding the complex problem of quality of experience while consuming the 3D visual content.
Karel Fliegel, Federica Battisti, Marco Carli, Margrit Gelautz, Lukáš Krasula, Patrick Le Callet, Vladimir Zlokolica
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