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Multiview video coding is an emerging application where, in addition to classical temporal prediction, an efficient disparity prediction should be performed in order to achieve the best compression performance. A popular coder is the multiview video coding (MVC) extension of H.264/AVC, which uses a block-based disparity estimation (just like temporal prediction in H.264/AVC). In this paper, we propose to improve the MVC extension by using a dense estimation method that generates a smooth disparity map with ideally infinite precision. The obtained disparity is then segmented and efficiently encoded by using a rate-distortion optimization technique. Experimental results show that significant gains can be obtained compared to the block-based disparity estimation technique used in the MVC extension.