Visual Communications and Creative Technologies

VI-Lab is acknowledged world-wide for its contributions relating to the efficient delivery of visual information and to creative technology innovations more generally. Our work focuses on the creation of an optimum viewing experience.

This involves:

  • An understanding of the influence of the visual parameter space;
  • An understanding of the way humans view and engage with mediated visual content;
  • Measures that characterize the impact of distortion, dynamic range, color palette, spatial resolution and temporal resolution;
  • Delivery processes supported by appropriate formats that preserve or enhance immersive properties while minimizing bit rate;
  • Parameter optimization and adaptation methods that take account of content and context;
  • Optimisation of cinematographic methods and production workflows;

These points intimately link production, cinematography and acquisition to delivery, display, consumption and quality assessment as shown below.

Our work in VI-Labis broadly divided into three areas: 

Image and Video Delivery

Visual information is the primary consumer of communications bandwidth across all broadcast, internet and surveillance networks. The demand for increased qualities and quantities of visual content is increasing daily and this is creating a major tension between available network capacity and required video bit rate. Network operators, content creators and service providers all need to transmit the highest quality video at the lowest bit rate and this can only be achieved through the exploitation of perceptual redundancy to enable video compression.VI-Lab has worked with key partners across industry and academia over many years, creating many state of the art innovations in image and video compression. For further details please link here.

Perceptual Quality Assessment

The evaluation of the quality of mediated visual information is an essential component of many image and video processing systems. These include image and video compression, denoising and more general enhancement systems. Quality assessment has been a focus of VI-Lab over many years, with significant contributions covering subjective testing methods, codec comparisons, databases for quality assessment, and the design and characterisation of perceptually optimised video quality metrics. For further details please link here.

Intelligent Video Production

Video production techniques are a key component in how we plan and acquire content and how we convert this raw content into a form ready for delivery and consumption.  This are has boomed in recent years with advances in motion and volumetric capture, new more immersive video formats, and the emergence of virtual production methods. In particular, advances in deep learning are now having a major impact of production workflows.  VI-Lab has contributed significant innovations in the optimization of production workflows, the creation of virtual production environments and in mitigating the influence of challenging acquisition environments. For further details please link here.