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Depth-enhanced 3-D video coding includes coding of texture views and associated depth maps. It has been observed that coding of depth map at reduced resolution provides better rate-distortion performance on synthesized views comparing to utilization of full resolution (FR) depth maps in many coding scenarios based on the Advanced Video Coding (H.264/AVC) standard. Conventional techniques for down and upsampling do not take typical characteristics of depth maps, such as distinct edges and smooth regions within depth objects, into account. Hence, more efficient down and upsampling tools, capable of preserving edges better, are needed. In this letter, novel non-linear methods to down and upsample depth maps are presented. Bitrate comparison of synthesized views, including texture and depth map bitstreams, is presented against a conventional linear resampling algorithm. Objective results show an average bitrate reduction of 5.29% and 3.31% for the proposed down and upsampling methods with ratio ½, respectively, comparing to the anchor method. Moreover, a joint utilization of the proposed down and upsampling brings up to 20% and on average 7.35% bitrate reduction.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013