Enabling geometry-based 3-D tele-immersion with fast mesh compression and linear rateless coding
1809 - 1820
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3-D tele-immersion (3DTI) enables participants in remote locations to share, in real time, an activity. It offers users interactive and immersive experiences, but it challenges current media-streaming solutions. Work in the past has mainly focused on the efficient delivery of image-based 3-D videos and on realistic rendering and reconstruction of geometry-based 3-D objects. The contribution of this paper is a real-time streaming component for 3DTI with dynamic reconstructed geometry. This component includes both a novel fast compression method and a rateless packet protection scheme specifically designed towards the requirements imposed by real time transmission of live-reconstructed mesh geometry. Tests on a large dataset show an encoding speed-up up to ten times at comparable compression ratio and quality, when compared with the high-end MPEG-4 SC3DMC mesh encoders. The implemented rateless code ensures complete packet loss protection of the triangle mesh object and a delivery delay within interactive bounds. Contrary to most linear fountain codes, the designed codec enables real-time progressive decoding allowing partial decoding each time a packet is received. This approach is compared with transmission over TCP in packet loss rates and latencies, typical in managed WAN and MAN networks, and heavily outperforms it in terms of end-to-end delay. The streaming component has been integrated into a larger 3DTI environment that includes state of the art 3-D reconstruction and rendering modules. This resulted in a prototype that can capture, compress transmit, and render triangle mesh geometry in real-time in realistic internet conditions as shown in experiments. Compared with alternative methods, lower interactive end-to-end delay and frame rates over three times higher are achieved.