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Old 14th February 2020, 20:11   #1  |  Link
nhw_pulsar
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NHW Project - a free state-of-the-art image/video compression codec

Hello,

Nice to post on this forum!

I have developed a free open-source state-of-art wavelet-based image compression codec called: NHW Project.

To give a very quick presentation, the NHW Project is a new codec and new technology.Its new approach would be to have a better neatness of image, -whereas the other codecs like AOM AV1 intra (AVIF) and HEVC intra would decrease neatness but have in return a better precision like detail retention-.

But based on visual comparison tests, actually, I find that the good neatness of NHW can be visually more pleasant, for high quality to very high compression, up to -l13 quality setting for now, typically in the 0.2bpp-4bpp range.

The NHW Project is furthermore very fast to encode/decode and is royalty-free.

Here is the NHW Project demo page address: http://nhwcodec.blogspot.com/ .You can also find on that page a link to the GitHub repo.

-Just a remark if you want to test the NHW Project, its 3 new entropy coding schemes are not totally optimal for now, I have the fast ideas to improve them, and so we can save 2.5KB per .nhw compresed file in average.-

Actually, the NHW Project is for now an experimental demo version for 512x512 bitmap color images, and rather just a proof of concept for now.-I would like that the NHW Project becomes my full-time activity now to be able to improve it and develop it into something professional and deployable (as it will require full-time work, I have also ideas for a video codec), but it is very difficult to find a company/organization that could support me and my work...-

Any advice/feedback on the NHW Project would be just great!

Thank you very much!
Cheers,
Raphael

Last edited by nhw_pulsar; 17th February 2020 at 23:48. Reason: Less aggressive message
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Old 1st March 2020, 18:33   #2  |  Link
nhw_pulsar
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Hello again,

Hope that I am not polluting this forum as that's right that it is maybe more reserved to professional big companies' codecs like MPEG and Alliance for Open Media.I realize that I state that I find the NHW Project visually more pleasant, but I suspect that with time my eyes got used to like/prefer the distortion/artifacts and the neatness aspect of my method/algorithm, and so that's right my opinion is very biased and completely subjective...

But stay reassured, I am totally aware that I can absolutely not compete with MPEG and AOM giants, and people actually advise me to find small companies/ecosystem where I could find interest and a niche use case for my codec.Few years ago, I was in contact with an engineer that was interested in the NHW Project for an eventual MotionJPEG replacement in his product, because he was using a small processor and actually MotionJPEG was too computational-intensive for that cheap embedded processor and so then he could be interested in the NHW Project.It was studied then to adapt the NHW Project to any arbitrary image size, but unfortunately this project never could have financement...

So don't know if it's the right place here, but if you would know niche cases like this one where the free open-source state-of-the-art NHW Project could be of interest, do not hesitate to let me know, would be great!

Many thanks!
Cheers,
Raphael
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Old 6th March 2020, 20:31   #3  |  Link
shekh
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Hi, I'm curious about your neatness metric algorithm. Can you explain it? (I'm not into codec development / have no idea about such metrics in other codecs).
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Old 6th March 2020, 21:32   #4  |  Link
nhw_pulsar
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Hi,

Actually my neatness metrics is an unsuccessful attempt, that I have coded very (very) quickly, to measure/catch the neatness of an image, originally to try to objectively prove that the NHW Project has more neatness.But you can forget about it, it is not really efficient!...

A real neatness metrics is way more complex and difficult to design (at least for me...).However I can give you quick details of my neatness metrics attempt, maybe there could be possible interesting parts in it: it is really very simple (too simple), again I coded it very very quickly.For each pixel of a decoded image, I compute the laplacian kernel of the pixel with its 8 neighbours, if this pixel is considered as neat (has a high score), then I quickly study its 8 neighbours to be sure this pixel is not an isolated point for example and rather belongs to a contour/edge.Then with this selected pixel in the decoded image, I compare it with the same position pixel in the original image, if this same position pixel in the original image is also a rather neat pixel (to be sure we're not on an artifact), then I compare if the neat pixel in the decoded image is "more neat/sharp" than the pixel in the original image, if the decoded neat pixel is above a threshold compared to the original one then I consider that this pixel gives more neatness/sharpness than the original image...

But this algorithm fails to catch all the neatness of an image, neatness is more complex actually.

Would you know if a good neatness metric algorithm exists?

Cheers,
Raphael
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Old 7th March 2020, 16:05   #5  |  Link
shekh
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Thanks.
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Old 7th March 2020, 19:54   #6  |  Link
nhw_pulsar
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Hello,

Actually I have re-tested (rather quickly) my metrics and in fact it would be rather a sharpness metrics.But for me, neatness is not sharpness.

For example, my metrics would show that NHW is sharper than AVIF and HEVC, but JPEG scores better on my metrics (notably at high quality and mid compression), which would suppose that JPEG images are sharper.But when looking at the images, I visually prefer the NHW images because they have more neatness, and I find it more pleasant.

So for now, I wanted to point that the NHW Project must be evaluated visually, because with my eyes it has a good neatness which makes images look more pleasant.But this good neatness is not sharpness, and so there is not for now an objective metrics which would evaluate/prove it.

Any opinion/feedback on the visual neatness aspect of NHW if you found time would be very helpful and great!

Cheers,
Raphael
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Old 13th May 2020, 22:36   #7  |  Link
nhw_pulsar
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Hello,

For those interested, I have made a new version of NHW.This one has more neatness and more precision for -l4 to -l11 quality settings, which are the general-purpose compression settings.It is actually just one parameter better tuning based on my visual evaluations (no real new developments... it was 14 months now that I did not develop the NHW Project...).

Files size is just a little bigger, but we can still save 2.5KB per .nhw compressed file in average.

This new version has a very good and interesting neatness I find.

More at: http://nhwcodec.blogspot.com/

Cheers,
Raphael
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