With the rapid growth of multimedia information, video coding standards have become crucial when transmitting large amount of video data. Motion estimation promises to be the key to high performance in video coding by removing the temporal redundancy of video data for storage and transmission. Due to its fundamentality, research works on motion estimation have been conducted extensively. In this article, an overview of video compression technique is presented with emphasis on motion estimation. Then, a survey of most representative motion estimation search algorithms and the new perspectives are introduced with some patent description. An evaluation and analysis of these algorithms based on a number of experiments on several famous test video sequences is presented. Finally, an investigation of the future trend of video coding is discussed.
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