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In this paper, we present a uniform framework for optimal multiple video object bit allocation in MPEG-4. We combine the rate-distortion (R-D) models for the texture and shape information of arbitrarily shaped video objects to develop the joint texture-shape R-D models. The dynamic programming technique is applied to optimize the bit allocation for the multiple video objects. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed joint texture-shape optimization algorithm outperforms the MPEG-4 verification model on the decoded picture quality.