The latest international video coding standard, H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC), supports high-definition videos, with resolutions from 4 K to 8 K or even larger. It offers a higher compression ratio than its predecessor, H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). In addition to the quadtree partition structure of H.265/HEVC, the nested multi-type tree (MTT) structure of H.266/VVC provides more diverse splits through binary and ternary trees. It also includes many new coding tools, which tremendously increases the encoding complexity. This paper proposes a fast intra coding algorithm for H.266/VVC based on visual perception analysis. The algorithm applies the factor of average background luminance for just-noticeable-distortion to identify the visually distinguishable (VD) pixels within a coding unit (CU). We propose calculating the variances of the numbers of VD pixels in various MTT splits of a CU. Intra sub-partitions and matrix weighted intra prediction are turned off conditionally based on the variance of the four variances for MTT splits and a thresholding criterion. The fast horizontal/vertical splitting decisions for binary and ternary trees are proposed by utilizing random forest classifiers of machine learning techniques, which use the information of VD pixels and the quantization parameter. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm achieves around 47.26% encoding time reduction with a Bjøntegaard Delta Bitrate (BDBR) of 1.535% on average under the All Intra configuration. Overall, this algorithm can significantly speed up H.266/VVC intra coding and outperform previous studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas