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Perceptual Study of the Impact of Varying Frame Rate on Motion Imagery Interpretability



Charles D. Fenimore, J Irvine, D Cannon, John W. Roberts, A Aviles, S Israel, Michelle Brennan, L Simon, J Miller, Donna Haverkamp, P F. Tighe, Michael Gross


The development of a motion imagery (MI) quality scale, akin to the National Image Interpretibility Rating Scale (NIIRS) for still imagery, would have great value to designers and users of surveillance and other MI systems. A multi-phase study has adopted a perceptual approach to identifying the main MI attributes that affect interpretibility. The current perceptual study measured frame rate effects for simple motion imagery interpretation tasks of detecting and identifying a known target. By using synthetic imagery, there was full control of the contrast and speed of moving objects, motion complexity, the number of confusers, and the noise structure. To explore the detectibility threshold, the contrast between the darker moving objects and the background was set at 5%, 2%, and 1%. Nine viewers were to detect or identify a moving synthetic ?bug? in each of 288 10-second clip. We found that frame rate, contrast, and confusers had a statistically significant effect on image interpretibility (at the 95% level), while the speed and background showed no significant effect. Generally, there was a significant loss in correct detection and identification for frame rates below 10 F/s. Increasing the contrast improved detection and at high contrast, confusers did not affect detection. Confusers reduced detection of higher speed objects. Higher speed improved detection, but complicated identification, although this effect was small. Higher speed made detection harder at 1 Frame/s, but improved detection at 30 F/s. The low loss of quality at moderately lower frame rates may have implications for bandwidth limited systems. A study is underway to confirm, with live action imagery, the results reported here with synthetic.
Conference Title


colored noise, confusers, frame rate, imagery interpretability, motion imagery, motion complexity, NIIRS, quality scale, speed, target


Fenimore, C. , Irvine, J. , Cannon, D. , Roberts, J. , Aviles, A. , Israel, S. , Brennan, M. , Simon, L. , Miller, J. , Haverkamp, D. , Tighe, P. and Gross, M. (2006), Perceptual Study of the Impact of Varying Frame Rate on Motion Imagery Interpretability, SPIE, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2006, Updated February 19, 2017