H.264 is a new video coding standard which outperforms the previous video coding standards. It uses many advanced
video coding techniques to improve the coding performance. Variable block size motion estimation (ME) is one of the
techniques that contributes to the excellent performance of H.264 but it is computational intensive. In this paper, a fast
SAD reuse ME algorithm is proposed which reuses SAD within the same macroblock and uses pattern-based ME and
refinement search to reduce the computational complexity of variable block size ME with a little degradation of coding
performance in terms of PSNR and bitrate. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm reduces the ME time
by more than 90% on average with only a little degradation of coding performance when comparing with that of the Fast
Full Search (FFS).