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Keyframes

Many codecs—especially codecs designed for low data rates—use keyframes to optimize compression while maintaining the highest possible image quality. Keyframes are essential to a compression technique called “frame differencing.” (The term keyframe in this context has a different meaning than when it’s used in reference to animation; see Chapter 11 and Chapter 14, “Motion Settings.”

In frame differencing, keyframes act as reference frames to which subsequent frames are compared. Rather than describe every frame completely, frame differencing achieves more efficient compression by describing only the changes between keyframes.


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