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Current 3-D video (3DV) technology is based on stereo systems. These systems use stereo video coding for pictures delivered by two input cameras. Typically, such stereo systems only reproduce these two camera views at the receiver and stereoscopic displays for multiple viewers require wearing special 3-D glasses. On the other hand, emerging autostereoscopic multiview displays emit a large numbers of views to enable 3-D viewing for multiple users without requiring 3-D glasses. For representing a large number of views, a multiview extension of stereo video coding is used, typically requiring a bit rate that is proportional to the number of views. However, since the quality improvement of multiview displays will be governed by an increase of emitted views, a format is needed that allows the generation of arbitrary numbers of views with the transmission bit rate being constant. Such a format is the combination of video signals and associated depth maps. The depth maps provide disparities associated with every sample of the video signal that can be used to render arbitrary numbers of additional views via view synthesis. This paper describes efficient coding methods for video and depth data. For the generation of views, synthesis methods are presented, which mitigate errors from depth estimation and coding.
Date of Publication: April 2011