As far as I understand, the motion estimation is a process, where when we have two frames t and t+1 we search for the blocks/pixels that changed position and then encode that change with a motion vector. So in the end we have only the frame t and its encoded successor.

After that we use compensation in order to use these motion vectors, and further encode only the difference between the "vectorized" frame t+1 and the frame t.

Firstly, am I right? Secondly, when the prediction issue comes into play? I'm reading about prediction all the time, but in the sequence I've described, I don't see any prediction happening anywhere.


The prediction comes in when actually adding the motion estimation to both frames t and t+1. Consider a video of a ninja cutting a melon in half, but shot at a very short shutter speed, so as to freeze motion in each frame. The motion estimator notices that the sword is moving between frame t and frame t+1. (It also moved between frame t-1 and t, and also frame t+1 to t+2). Frame t gets half the motion from t-1 to t and half the motion from t to t+1. The latter half is the prediction. Frame t+1 gets half the motion from t to t+1 and half the motion from t+1 to t+2. In this way, the video does not appear to shift half a frame later than the audio.

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  • So by estimating the motion of the frame t+1 (based on frame t), we're also "predicting" half the motion of the frame t+2 (the "starting points" of its own motion vectors)? – Arkoudinos Nov 29 '16 at 1:53
  • Nothing in t+2 contributes to the estimation of frame t. Frame t gets half its motion estimate from the immediate past (frame t-1) and the immediate future (frame t+1). It doesn't use the full motion difference between t-1 and t or t and t+1. It should use at most half of those motion vectors (minus it's own instantaneous motion). It could use less than half, depending on how much blurring you want. – Michael Tiemann Nov 29 '16 at 2:49

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