Patent application title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GENERATING ENCODED CONTENT USING DYNAMICALLY OPTIMIZED CONVERSION
Darcy Antonellis (Granada Hills, CA, US)
Massimiliano Gasparri (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Massimiliano Gasparri (Los Angeles, CA, US)
WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
IPC8 Class: AH04N1940FI
Class name: Bandwidth reduction or expansion television or motion video signal adaptive
Publication date: 2015-02-05
Patent application number: 20150036739
An initial content is encoded a first time to obtain a first encoded
content. One or more parameters obtained from the first encoding are used
to generate an encoding coefficient. The initial content is encoded a
second time to obtain a second encoded content. The second encoding is
performed using encoding coefficients, at least one of which is derived
from the parameter associated with the first encoding. The two encodings
can be implemented using a single encoder or two separate encoders.
1. An apparatus for generating encoded content in an output format from
an initial content in an initial format comprising: a log storing
encoding coefficients generated when said initial content is encoded a
first encoded content using a first encoding scheme, said first encoded
being suitable for display on a first display device; an encoder
receiving said initial content and encoding said initial content into a
second encoded using a second coefficient; and a coefficient generator
receiving said first coefficient and generating said second encoding
coefficient based on said first coefficient.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said coefficient generator includes a processor element receiving an initial parameter and generating said second coefficient from said initial parameter.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said encoder encodes said initial content twice using different encoding coefficients for each encoding.
4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein coefficient generator includes an analyzer that analyzes the first encoded content to determine said initial parameter.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said coefficient generator includes a mapping member mapping said parameter into said coefficient.
6. A method of generating an output encoded content from an initial content comprising the steps of: generating a first parameter based on a first encoding of said initial content; and encoding said initial content using an encoder to obtain a second encoded content, said encoder performing said encoding using an encoding coefficient derived from said first parameter, wherein said first parameter is generated during said initial encoding by an initial encoder and compiled in a log and wherein said encoding coefficient is generated from said first parameter from said log.
7. The method of claim 6 further comprising processing said first parameter into a form suitable for encoding to obtain said final encoded content.
8. The method of claim 6 further comprising analyzing said previously encoded content and generating from said previously encoded content said first parameter.
9. The method of claim 6 wherein said parameter is one of groups of pictures (GOP) associated with various segments, frames or scenes, bit rate parameters associated with each GOP, (e.g., peak, average, minimum values), I-frames, video buffer size and a motion vector.
10. The method of claim 6 wherein said second encoder performs said second encoding using at least one encoding coefficient, wherein said encoding coefficient is related to said parameter.
11. The method of claim 6 wherein said second encoder performs said second encoding using at least a first and a second encoding coefficient, wherein said first encoding coefficient is preselected and said second encoding coefficient is dependent on said parameter.
12. The method of claim 6 wherein said second encoder performs said second encoding using a set of coefficients including a first subset of coefficients and a second subset of coefficients, and wherein said first subset of coefficients are preset and said second set of coefficients is derived from said parameters.
13. The method of claim 6 wherein said second encoder performs said second encoding using a set of coefficients, further comprising mapping said parameters to derive said set of coefficients.
 This application claims priority to U.S. Ser. No.: 13/173,671 filed on Jun. 30, 2014, which, in turn, claims priority to a provisional application Ser. No.: 61/360,088 filed on Jun. 30, 2010, all incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 a. Field of Invention
 This invention pertains to a method and apparatus for optimizing a process for encoding content based on a previous process for encoding the same content.
 b. Description of the Prior Art
 In the past, content, such as movies, were recorded optically on film, and then distributed in analog formats. However, digital cinema has been developed as a result of advances in digital signal processing and projection to the point where movies and similar multimedia presentations are now available in digital format. To generate a digital cinema digitally, movies are either shot directly or post-produced on a digital medium in an uncompressed video format, or are shot on film and are then converted and recorded on a digital medium. Once generated, the digital can be distributed either via hard drives, flash drives, optical discs (such as DVDs), electronically using various digital transmission schemes, etc. In the present application, the term "digital movie" is used to refer to a motion picture or other multi-media presentation recorded or shot on a film, developed and the resulting film was scanned to convert the content into a digital format. Various digital cameras and post platforms are available that can be used to record or post a film in either 2K or 4K format.
 Popular format presently in use in the industry include the 2K and the 4K formats. There are several variations for each formats, as illustrated by the following list:
TABLE-US-00001 Screen Resolution (and aspect Common designation ratio 2K 2048 × 1536 16mm 2K Academy projection 2048 × 1107 2K TI DLP 2048 × 1080 4K 4096 × 3072 35 mm; 1.33 aspect 4K Academy projection 4096 × 2214 35 mm 1.66/1.85 aspect 4K 4096 × 6144 35 mm VistaVision 4K Academy Full Frame 4096 × 2988 35 mm 1.37 aspect
 Some cameras and post tools are available that have even higher resolutions.
 The uncompressed video is then compressed and encoded into either a format compatible with digital projectors, e.g., the JPEG 2000 format, or a format compatible with a digital media such as MPEG-2, AVC, VC-1, MVC, etc. The second formats usually use a variable bit rate scheme in which the bit rate for each scene is determined by the authoring software and/or operator on a scene-by-scene basis and recorded in a respective log. The determination of the bit rate is made based on the complexity of the respective scene, dependent for example, on the amount of movement of actors or objects, correlated or uncorrelated motion vectors, edges or planes of activity, or other material changes from one set of frames to another.
 One problem with these schemes is that, recently, there is a need to stream a digital movie at a relatively low bit rate over standard distributed networks (e.g., the Internet). However, a digital movie prepared for some distribution scheme (e.g. DVD or BD) in either format is often too large in size and bandwidth requirements, and therefore is not suitable for streaming or other low-bandwidth and/or file size distribution. Therefore, subsequent digital encoding of the content is required, and an efficient scheme to optimize quality is needed.
 Moreover, since an encoding process has already taken place, information from this previous process is available that would make the new process, simpler, more reliable and/or more efficient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Briefly, the present invention provides a solution for the above-described problem and it operates as follows. Content such as a digital movie recorded in a variable bit rate mode using a format such as MPEG-2, is analyzed for the purpose of compressing using conventional means so that it is suitable for streaming, or other (possibly lower) bitrate/file size distribution, or in another compression scheme.
 Even if the resulting file size and/or bitrate were to be relevantly similar to the original file, there may be a need to re-encode using a different compression scheme simply due to distribution constraints, e.g. the requirement of some platforms that one or another compression scheme must be used.
 As part of this analysis, various parameters of the digital movie after conversion are determined, including the groups of pictures (GOP) associated with various segments, frames or scenes of the film, bit rate parameters associated with each GOP, (e.g., peak, average, minimum values), I-frames, video buffer size, motion vectors, and so on. The stream analysis and the determination of the parameters can be performed on the fly. These parameters are used either directly or after an appropriate mapping or other type of processing as encoding coefficients when the original content is encoded a second time.
 In an alternate embodiment, as the first encoder performs the encoding, parameters associated with the encoding are stored in a parameter log. These parameters are then used (again, either directly, or after processing) as the encoding coefficients for the second encoding process, either using the same or a different encoder.
 In one embodiment, the parameters from the compression log and the parameters obtained from analyzing the first encoded content are combined and provided to the second encoder as some of the encoding coefficients.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of an apparatus used for implementing the subject invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
 As previously discussed, the present invention provides a method and apparatus in which an initial content (such as an uncompressed digital master) is encoded a first time to obtain a first encoded content. At later time, the same initial content is encoded a second time to obtain a second encoded content having a different format then the first encoded content.
 Purely for illustrative purposes, the initial content may be an uncompressed digital master file, for example. a digital movie, which is converted to a first encoded content, for example in an MPEG 2 format. The first compression requires a manual and laborious performed by skilled encoding operators that define the encoder's coefficients so that the highest quality image content is created in the first encoded content. This compression process might requires multiple revision and adjustments of the encoder's coefficients until the highest quality image is reached in each scene of the movie. Either immediately thereafter, or sometimes later, the initial content is converted into a second encoded content in a different format, such as streaming MPEG 4, using either the same or a different encoder. According to this invention, the second encoding is performed using encoding coefficients derived from the first encoding process.
 The invention is particularly useful in a scenario where there is a substantial time lapse between the first and second encoding and therefore by the time the second encoding takes place the first encoder is no longer available.
 Referring to the FIGURE, content, such as the uncompressed digital video master (of a digital movie) 60 is initially encoded using any standard well known encoder 65. The encoder 10 performs the encoding using a predetermined set of encoding coefficients. Encoders suitable of this kind are well known in the art and are available from several sources such as:
 Toshiba (DVD encoder--MPEG2)
 Main Concept (MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4/H.264, JPEG2000)
 Microsoft Windows Media Encoder (Windows Media Video, VC-1)
 FFMPEG (supports multiple codecs including, but not limited to, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4/H.264, VP8, RealVideo, Windows Media Video, VC-1, Flash Video
 Sonic Solutions CineVision (MPEG2, VC-1, H.264)
 Kakadu (JPEG2000)--used for digital cinema encoding and for the Werner Bros. Digital End To End eMaster encoding
 The video encoder 65 generates a first encoded content, for example in the form of a compressed video 10. In one embodiment of this invention, the first encoded content is then analyzed by analyzer (20) in order to determine one or more parameters, including groups of pictures (GOP) associated with various segments, frames or scenes of the film, bit rate parameters associated with each GOP,(e.g., peak, average, minimum values), I-frames, video buffer size, motion vectors, and so on. The analyzer 30 may be implemented any one of several well known tools like StreamEye Pro and Stream Analyzer By Elacard, MPEG_DUMP by Roy Wang or Elementary Stream Compliance Check and Analyzer by Tektronix.
 The first encoded content can be recorded or used for other purposes.
 The initial content also needs to be encoded into a second encoded content either at the same time, or at a later time, in a second format. For example, it may be desirable to compress the uncompressed video master so that it is suitable for streaming, or other lower bitrate/file size distribution, or in another compression cheme. The conventional process has been to take the uncompressed video master and encode it a second time using either the same encoder (reset for an output in a different format, such as MPEG 4) or a second encoder. In either case, a second set of encoding coefficients is used which are normally preselected. Even if the resulting second encoded content has a file size and/or bitrate that is relevantly similar to first encoded file, there may be a need to re-encode using a different encoding scheme simply due to distribution constraints, e.g. the requirement of some platforms that one or another compression scheme must be used. However, repeating the process or using the process while the initial process is ignored is wasteful, slow and generally inefficient. For example, the parameters derived from the analyzer and from the compression logs will be able to define the encoder's coefficients for complex scenes of the movies so that the encoders will allocate more bits and therefore obtain highest quality image.
 In accordance with the present invention, the second encoding is performed by encoder 70 using at least some if not all the parameters derived from the first encoding. If the two encoding processes and encoders are very similar, the parameters or video analysis coefficients determined by an analyzer 20 may be used as the encoding coefficients. If the processes, and/or encoders 65, 70 used for the second encoding are different, then in some instances, the parameters obtained from the analyzer 20 may be transformed into a new set of encoding coefficients suitable for the second encoder 70. This transformation is implemented using a a coefficient processing element 50.
 Typically, when content is encoded by an encoder, the encoder generates an appropriate compression log. These logs contain compiled values for some or all the parameters discussed above. In another embodiment of the invention, the parameters compiled in the compression log 40 while the first encoded content is generated are used to generate encoding coefficients for a second encoding process. In other words, once the first encoded content is generated, the resulting parameters from the compressed log 40 are used as at least some of the encoding coefficients for encoder 70. Alternatively, if necessary the parameters from the compression log 40 are first processed by coefficient processing element to generate coefficients that are compatible and suitable for the second encoding process performed by encoder 70.
 In embodiment of the invention, the encoding coefficients for encoder 70 are derived from both the video analysis coefficients 30 and the compression logs 40.
 In the previous discussion, the apparatus shown in the FIGURE is described as having two separate encoders 65, 70 performing two different encoding processes. However, instead of two encoders, a single encoder 10 may be used for both processes, using the first (preselected) encoding coefficients for the first process and the second encoding coefficients for the second set. However, at least some of the second encoding coefficients 70A are determined or selected by the device based on the first encoding process, as discussed.
 Numerous modifications may be made to the invention without departing from its scope as defined in the appended claims.
Patent applications by Darcy Antonellis, Granada Hills, CA US
Patent applications by Massimiliano Gasparri, Los Angeles, CA US
Patent applications by WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Patent applications in class Adaptive
Patent applications in all subclasses Adaptive