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Existing video coding methods can cause visual quality and buffer occupancy to fluctuate significantly at scene cuts. To address this problem, we have developed a novel visual attention based adaptive bit allocation method. We first perform scene cut detection to extract frames in the vicinities of dramatic scene changes; we then perform visual saliency analysis on those frames to grade the macro-blocks according to their visual importance; and finally we devise a visual attention based adaptive bit allocation scheme which assigns more bits to visually salient blocks and fewer bits to visually less important blocks. We will present experimental results which demonstrate that at scene cut areas, coding quality in terms of PSNR of our method are both higher and much smoother than those of existing coding methods and the buffer occupancy of our method is also much more consistent and has less fluctuation. Our method is compatible with other rate control schemes and can be easily implemented to improve existing video coding standards such as MPEG-2, H.264/AVC, and others.