This special issue on Visual Communications and Image Processing contains 14 papers that cover a wide spectrum in this fast growing area. For the past few decades, researchers and scientists have devoted their efforts to these fields. Through this long-lasting devotion, we witness today the growing popularity of low-bit-rate video as a convenient tool for visual communication. We also see the integration of high-quality video into broadband digital networks. Today, with more sophisticated processing, clearer and sharper pictures are being restored from blurring and noise. Also, thanks to the advances in digital image processing, even a PC-based system can be built to recognize highly complicated Chinese characters at the speed of 300 characters per minute. This special issue can be viewed as a milestone of visual communications and image processing on its journey to eternity. It presents some overviews on advanced topics as well as some new development in specific subjects.