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The H.264/AVC video coding standard encapsulates the most advanced video coding tools. Since the various techniques that lead to better coding efficiency of the coding standard also inevitably increase the complexity of the video encoder, real-time H.264 encoding of video streams is a challenging task. If available computational resource does not allow the entire encoding process to be carried out in time, a complexity scalable technique that ensures a graceful degradation of coding performance will be a valuable tool. We designed a video encoding scheme that allows the rate distortion (R-D) process to be carried out in a complexity scalable fashion. Our proposed singularly parameterized complexity scalable scheme allows the control of complexity-coding performance tradeoff when available resources are limited and the optimal R-D performance is unattainable.