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Andreas Unterweger's Multimedia Lecture Demonstrations

This is a collection of demonstrations by Andreas Unterweger originally designed for the lectures Media Technology and Media Informatics at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. These demonstrations allow to interactively explore selected core concepts of audio, image and video processing as well as related topics.


The above image shows a screenshot of the 2-D DCT decomposition demonstration. A full list of demonstrations is available.


Understanding the basics of multimedia signal processing can be challenging without multimedia-based aids. This collection of demonstrations aims at assisting students in deepening their knowledge of selected core concepts by allowing them to interactively explore each concept individually.

Every demonstration (see full list) comes with a description on how to use it as well as related background information. While additional information about configuration and customization options are provided, sample files (see below) are included and used by default. This way, the multimedia signal processing concepts can be explored without the need to find or craft adequate samples.

Note: All demonstrations are functional, but not all demonstrations are complete. Known issues and missing features are listed in the documentation (readme files, see below) of the respective demonstration.


These demonstrations require

  • A C++17 compiler, e.g., recent versions of g++,
  • OpenCV 4.6.0 with QT support and pkg-config support as well as the contributed modules viz, stitching and sfm included (see recommended build command),
  • libao 1.2.0 with ALSA output for all audio-related demonstrations, and
  • make, gdb and pkg-config.
  • Xfce for correct window sizing and positioning due to limitations in OpenCV's and QT's APIs.

All demonstrations have been tested on a 64-bit Debian 11.4.0 minimal system with a minimal Xfce desktop environment and the following installed packages: build-essential (for g++ 10.2.1 and make), gdb, pkg-config, cmake (only required for building OpenCV), qtbase5-dev, qtchooser, qt5-qmake, qtbase5-dev-tools (for QT 5.15.2), libvtk9-dev (for VTK 9.0.1 which is required for OpenCV's viz module), libeigen3-dev, libgflags-dev, libgoogle-glog-dev (all of which are required for OpenCV's sfm module) and libasound2-dev (for ALSA).


Before building, make sure that all prerequisites (see above) are installed on your system. For build parameters, see below.

To build all demonstrations, call make from their root directory. To build all demonstrations in a particular folder, e.g., video_compression, call make from this directory. To build a single demonstration, e.g., the intra_prediction demonstration from the video_compression folder, call make with the name of the demonstration and the postfix .exe from its directory, e.g., make intra_prediction.exe.

Build parameters (optional)

The following parameters allow changing advanced build options. They are optional and have reasonable defaults.

  • Release mode: To disable debug builds (which are the default) and enable release builds (with optimizations enabled) instead, set the DEBUG flag to 0 when invoking make, e.g., make DEBUG=0. Note: The build process does not track debug/release flags of individual files. It is not recommended to build different components with different values of the DEBUG flag. Instead, make clean should be called in the root folder to clean all intermediate files before switching from debug to release mode or vice versa.
  • Toolchain: The file common/tools.mak specifies variables for all build tools used to build the demonstrations. They can be changed either in this file (not recommended) or by setting the corresponding variables when invoking make, e.g., make CXX=/usr/bin/g++-10.


Note: Most of these demonstrations are designed for screen resolutions of 1680x1050 pixels or larger with standard font and window sizes. Make sure to increase your screen resolution, if necessary, to make all windows fully visible.

After building all or only selected demonstrations (see above), the generated .exe files can be executed directly. Apart from basic usage information when called without (or the wrong number of) parameters, readme files are available for all demonstrations, e.g., video_compression/ contains a description of the intra_prediction demonstration from the video_compression folder. A full list of demonstrations is available.

For convenience, tailored default parameters and sample files (see below) are defined for each demonstration. They can be invoked via Makefile targets. Call make with the prefix test_ and the name of the demonstration from its directory, e.g., make test_intra_prediction to execute the intra_prediction demonstration in the video_compression directory.

To show-case all demonstrations within a folder, i.e., to execute each of them with its respective tailored default parameters, call make tests from their directory. For convenience, the tests target is also available in the demonstrations root directory. Call make tests there to show-case all demonstrations. Similarly, the target ordered_tests is available which show-cases all demonstrations in the exact order in which they are used in the respective lecture. Call make ordered_tests to show-case all demonstrations in lecture order.

Notes: All demonstrations are based on OpenCV's highgui module and its QT-specific extensions. This means that the demonstration windows must be closed by pressing a button on the keyboard. Trying to close the windows using their x (close) button will not terminate the demonstration. Similarly, controls like buttons, check boxes and radio buttons are not visible in the windows by default, but can only be accessed through the configuration button (at the very right) in the top tool bar. The controls will be shown in a separate window which cannot be used to terminate the demonstration when pressing a button on the keyboard. These usability constraints are specific to OpenCV and not the demonstrations.

Sample files

These demonstrations come with a set of sample files. They are located in the testdata/ directory and grouped into subfolders by type. For each type, a file named sources.txt lists the source (URL) for all sample files and optional instructions on how to convert them to the format they are in. If there are no sample files in the testdata/ directory, the instructions can be used to (re-)create them. Note: Some conversions require special software. For convenience, their Ubuntu package names are specified so that they can be installed before executing the commands.


These demonstrations and their documentation are provided under the 3-Clause BSD License. If you use any part of them, please provide appropriate attribution. For details, see the LICENSE file. Note: All data in the testdata folder is provided for convenience only and is licensed by third parties.