Indeo 3: cell coding

So we partitioned out the frame and now have to code the cell data. How to pick the best parameters in this case?

The patent suggest calculating vertical and horizontal differences (i.e. differences between top-bottom and left-right neighbours) and depending on how large they are select one of the modes. Codebook selection is not reviewed at all. The reference encoder calculates those differences and uses them to set both cell coding mode and select codebook. I.e. if both differences are large use mode 0 (fine-grained coding), if only one difference is large use mode 3 or 11, otherwise use mode 10. And a ratio of the differences is clipped, multiplied by a magic factor, then by a rate control factor and used as an index in a special magic table to select codebook.

Since my goal is to learn something new instead of simply replicating something existing, I took a completely different approach (that should contain less magic). Mode selection is done by comparing differences and amending it if I decide to use two codebooks. I used the fact that first eight codebooks mostly have differences in form kN+1 and the next eight codebooks have differences in form kM. So I simply calculate for each codebook how many delta values are represented best with those formulas and select the best fitting one. Also I calculate it separately for the even and odd lines (the histograms can be merged later to give a total statistics) so I can select the appropriate codebook or codebook pair for the coding mode. Maybe I’ll have to adjust the scheme for the rate control but it’ll happen later. Side note: Indeo 3 specifies a per-frame set of 16 codebook pairs that all cells should use and global codebook index offset so single-codebook modes may use additional 5 codebooks; the set seems to be static and has regular structure and I’m not sure that global codebook index offset is ever used.

That’s it. The rest of the things should be rather trivial: I’ve written how to perform motion search before, rate/quality control has never been great in the original codec (maybe I’ll report how I did it when I get to it), zero run compression is nothing special either. There’s not much to write until I fix some bugs, improve compression, introduce rate control and validate it against the reference decoder. And that will take a long time…

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