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Graphics Open Source

Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG 377

An anonymous reader writes Fabrice Bellard (creator of FFMPEG, QEMU, JSLinux...) proposes a new image format that could replace JPEG : BPG. For the same quality, files are about half the size of their JPEG equivalents. He released libbpg (with source) as well as a JS decompressor, and set up a demo including the famous Lena image.
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

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  • Ok, looks good (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @03:03AM (#48570461) Homepage Journal

    1/2 the size of jpg for equivalent quality. I'm sold.

    As soon as Photoshop and Firefox/Chrome start supporting it I can see widespread adoption.

    • Well, by virtue of the in-browser javascript decoder, at least that end is handled already - it "just works" in chromium at least. Between that and alpha support, this looks like it has everything that's been needed from a lossy image format for a long time now.

    • As soon as Photoshop and Firefox/Chrome start supporting it I can see widespread adoption.

      Just like JPEG-2000 and WebP which have support in Chrome and Photoshop? What about the fact that all iPods and phone support AAC compression for music?

      No it takes miracles for people to abandon what they know in favour of something technically superior.

    • Double the image quality for the same bandwidth. I want this format supported in all browsers yesterday already.

  • by tal_mud ( 303383 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @03:04AM (#48570469)

    The below site offers a better comparison interface than the Lena image link from the post. Drag your mouse across the image to see the effect:

    http://xooyoozoo.github.io/yol... [github.io]

    • by xlsior ( 524145 )

      The below site offers a better comparison interface than the Lena image link from the post. Drag your mouse across the image to see the effect:

      http://xooyoozoo.github.io/yol... [github.io]

      Interesting, thanks for the link -- I must say, I see pretty much no visual difference at all between BPG and the WebP format on those sample pics, at identical file size.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tal_mud ( 303383 )

        Look at the blue sky in the Moscow pic. It is VERY wavy in JPEG, smooth in BPG

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @06:14AM (#48571067)

        Look harder especially around areas of high detail. JPEG had problems with gradients, WebP doesn't, so in this example picture the difference between JPEG and any other format are quite severe which may have lead to you missing the obvious, such as the guywires holding up the crosses which are in some cases completely obliterated in the WebP format.

        Otherwise the detail is similar however WebP introduces significant artefacts around the detail whereas BPG appears to draw it more smoothly.

      • by Twinbee ( 767046 )
        The difference is substantial - very substantial.

        Try the "Pont de Quebec at Night" image making sure "Mozjpeg" is on the left and BPG-x265 on the right.

        Then hover your mouse cursor over the image. Everything to the left of the cursor is JPEG, and everything to the right BPG.

        Tell me you then can't see a difference.
    • BGP trashes everything, easily. Thanks for the link.
  • by jaa101 ( 627731 ) <James.Ashton@ashtons.id.au> on Thursday December 11, 2014 @03:24AM (#48570533)

    From the web site "BPG natively supports 8 to 14 bits per channel," which is a huge advantage. 8 bits is more of a straight-jacket than people realise and this offers a more portable way for people to pass around high bit-depth issues than camera raw files (proprietary things inside) or TIFF (a complex container format prone to cross-platform issues and poor compression).

    • As a photographer, this is a big issue for me.

    • I'm not so sure. High bit depths are valuable in production - when you wouldn't want to use lossy compression at all, and big files are not great problem. Size matters for distribution of the finished image, and there's little point in more than eight bits per channel there - many monitors can't even display that many, and few people have the visual acuity to care.

      • Yes, no maybe. It depends on what you lose in compression. JPEG is a great example. In product if you value your ability to work with detail and alter colours, well JPEG completely obliterates dark shades and the blue channel. Once you save something as a JPEG your chance to boost the shadows without introducing horrendous visual artefacts are decimated.

        On the other hand I have a 36mpxl camera. I have no problem with compression introducing visual smearing in the images if it retains the colour definition a

      • Higher encoded bit depths can actually lower file size at a given quality or increase quality at a given filesize regardless if you are outputting at a lower depth.

        http://x264.nl/x264/10bit_02-a... [x264.nl]
        TLDR: Even though the dit depth is higher, it allows for more of the junk information to be thrown out while keeping more of the important data.

        Blocking and banding are very problematic in JPEG and the easiest way to fix it is to just raise the bit depth which is probably why they added 12bit to JPEG 9.1 earlier t

  • The main issue that is going to hold back adoption is the use of HEVC/H.265 as compression codec. While dedicated hardware is not needed to decompress the images in a timely manner, it also means that no licensing fees have been paid to the MPEG LA. Since the format is patent encumbered, I can't see this taking off unless the patent pool decides to give out a royalty free license for still images. Bellard himself assumes that most hardware will come with said codec licensed and built in but that does not in
  • vs WebP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yurik ( 160101 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @04:22AM (#48570691)

    I don't think we should compare BPG with JPEG, since it is very outdated. I wonder how it stacks against WebP - does it also support animation? Better compression? Licenses? Faster encoding/decoding? Browser manufacturer support? I'm all for making web more optimal, because you can never have "fast-enough" bandwidth, especially on a mobile device in bad connection area, but lets compare similar things.

    • by Skuto ( 171945 )

      WebP is only very marginally better than JPEG, see the linked compression studies in the original article.

      • Looked and I conclude you either need a new monitor or a new perscription. The difference between BPG and WebP is marginal with the winner being BPG. But the difference between either to JPEG is chalk and cheese.

        • by Skuto ( 171945 )

          I was talking about the comprehensive study with state of the art JPEG free encoders, not the visual comparison of 3 or so images that's made to make BPG look good.

  • Drat! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by udippel ( 562132 )

    I was hoping for the complete Lena. When the image popped up, in the 1970s, sure that the larger parts of the image were cut off for indecency.
    But in 2014, I think this is no topic any longer.
    A new coding algorithm could as well have come with a new perspective on morals.
    And given us something NSFW, to look at in the workplace!

  • by roca ( 43122 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @05:36AM (#48570937) Homepage

    The problem here is that H.265 and by extension BPG are heavily patent-encumbered. These are not just latent patents but patents that the H.265 contributors are using for a revenue stream.

    Bellard suggests "just use the licensed hardware decoder you probably already have" but a) that doesn't make technical sense in lots of cases and b) most people don't, in fact, have such a thing currently and c) the encoding situation is even worse.

  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @08:48AM (#48571529)
    In this industry, there's no such thing as a "replacement," it's "just another competing format." None of the old formats ever dies, all we ever get is more new formats, all of which need to be supported, ultimately making everything more complicated. I'm not saying we shouldn't advance... but the belief that some new format you create will replace something instead of muddying the existing pool of formats is laughable. related xdcd. [xkcd.com] (yes, I know it's "standards" and not "formats," but the result is the same)
  • by Prototerm ( 762512 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @09:55AM (#48571853)

    The first question to come to my mind is who has the patents on this animal, and how long will it be before the lawsuits begin? They'll probably wait until the new format is firmly established on the Internet before springing the "gotcha" on folks.

  • Too much smoothing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @12:19PM (#48572995) Homepage Journal

    There is a reason why JPEG is blocky. The blocky nature of the encoding preserves details better.

    BPG blurs everything heavily. Small details and fine textures literally disappear.(*)

    JPEG is definitely outdated and web could gain from a worthy replacement. But BPG IMO doesn't appear to be "it".

    (*) I wonder how JPEG would fare on the images, decoded from BPG. Since fine details are removed by BPG, the JPEG would be smaller too.

  • by ThatsDrDangerToYou ( 3480047 ) on Thursday December 11, 2014 @12:39PM (#48573239)
    Is BPG using some form of VQ (vector quantization)? What are the key tech improvements over JPEG?

Of course there's no reason for it, it's just our policy.