This week fxguide is attending the International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) in Melbourne. The event is sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing Society and covers technological advances and research results in the fields of theoretical, experimental, and applied image and video processing. Noted imaging specialist and friend of fxguide Paul Debevec will be presenting a talk at the conference entitled From Spider-Man to The Avengers: Achieving Photoreal Digital Actors, and fxguide will be bringing you an interview with Paul in a future fxgtv ep.

Meanwhile, we talked to Coneference Organizing Committee member Dr. Anil Kokaram, a technology lead in video processing at Google, about the importance of ICIP.

fxg: How is IEEE ICIP different from Siggraph?

Kokaram: Siggraph tends to be focussed on technologies for synthesising pictures that look like they were taken from a real world. ICIP is about analysis/improvement of pictures taken _in_ the real world.
Clearly there has been alot of overlap in recent years in that area known to the Siggraph community as "Computational Photography". Applications like denoising and deblurring were mainly found in the ICIP community since 1996 when it started. ICIP is also concerned with broader theory and applications of image processing like new compression and video communication theory and medical image analysis applications.

fxg: Is it so general that film and tv professionals will be lost?

Kokaram: No. There are very engaging keynotes and poster sessions. Especially for video compression and quality measurement e.g. ideas for H.264, HEVC and VQEG appeared in ICIP as it was being developed.

fxg: Can you point to a couple of interesting example of talks this year?

Kokaram: Paul Debevec on the state of rendering immediately springs to mind "From Avatar to the Avengers: Achieving Photoreal Digital Actors". Paul is a major heavyweight in the graphics community and to see him present at ICIP shows how much crossover there continues to be between the two communities. Then on the flip side are a series of lecture presentations on HEVC developments as well as sessions unravelling the confusing world of IEEE video compression standardisation.

fxg: This year it is in Melbourne…next year Paris?

Kokaram: Yep. ICIP travels to the best places.

fxg: Why is Google a sponsor...this is not search related is it?

Kokaram: This is a good question. Many people don't recognise that Google is deeply involved with video processing and standards for video communication. Webrtc (the open web video conferencing standard embedded in HTML5), VP8/9 video codecs, have all been developed by teams in Google (Chrome Media group). YouTube (owned by Google) is busy rolling out Dash (new adaptive bitrate streaming standard) across all its platforms, developing tools like its free editor-in-the-cloud at www.youtube.com/editor and improving the speed of ingest/transcoding in its Transcoding team. This year the sponsorship is coming from the YouTube Video Infrastructure and Chrome Media teams. Google is always looking for good DSP video engineers and ICIP is a good community for finding them.

Find out more about ICIP at http://www.ieeeicip.org.


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