[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] Affine video transformation filter

Michael Bradshaw mbradshaw at sorensonmedia.com
Wed Jul 4 21:08:56 CEST 2012

I've been thinking a bit about adding an affine video transformation
filter, but I could use some feedback on this.

Originally, I just wanted to add a rotation video filter. There are
rotting patches on the mailing list for this, but I thought I might
start from scratch. While I'm really curious to see what kind of
results Dartmouth's 1996 paper "High Quality Alias Free Image
Rotation" [1] provides, I decided a simple rotation matrix (with
nearest, bilinear, etc. sampling/interpolation methods) would be a
good place to start and could be used as a baseline comparison to
other rotation algorithms. And if I'm using a rotation matrix, I might
as well just do a proper affine transformation matrix and provide
additional operations.

However, I'm not sure how to best handle the overlapping functionality
of affine transformations and existing filters. We already have
transpose, scale, v/hflip (and maybe others?) video filters, which
makes reflection and scaling with an affine transform redundant.
Additionally, I'm thinking of how potential future filters (maybe an
individual rotation filter that uses a particular algorithm) could
overlap with this. It's this redundancy that I'm trying to decide how
to handle, and where I really need the most input on.

Individual filters (like the scale and transpose filters) have the
advantage that they can be optimized for speed and quality. The
general purpose affine transformation filter would have the advantage
(aside from providing new functionality like rotation and shearing)
that it could combine several operations into one filter and perform
all of them in a single pass (so a
vflip->rotate->translate->scale->crop filter could just become
affine->crop). I don't know how realistic it is that someone would
apply all those affine transformations to one video, however.

What are your thoughts on the overlapping functionality? Should some
note along the lines of "if you are applying only a single
affine/linear transformation with an existing corresponding filter,
consider using that one filter, as it is likely optimized in its speed
and quality for that transformation" be put in the docs or something?
Should overlapping functionality be removed (i.e. disable scaling)
from the affine transformation filter? I'm leaning towards the former
rather than the latter.

While I've got your attention, what seems like a sane way to pass
arguments to an affine transformation filter? I'm thinking something
along the lines of
for example where order matters and options can be repeated (and maybe
allowing "affine=matrix=x11:x12:x13:x21:x22:x23:x31:x32:x33"). I
haven't thought of a way to specify the background fill color that I
like, though.

Your thoughts are appreciated.



[1] http://www1.cs.dartmouth.edu/reports/TR96-301.pdf

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