Traditional image resizing techniques are oblivious to the content of the image when changing its width or height. In contrast, media (i.e., image and video) retargeting take s content into account. For example, one would like to change the aspect ratio of a video without making human figures look too fat or too skinny, or change the size of an image by automatically removing "unnecessary" portions while keeping the "important" features intact. We propose a simple operator; we term seam carving to support image and video retargeting. A seam is an optimal 1D path of pixels in an image, or a 2D manifold in a video cube, going from top to bottom, or left to right. Optimality is defined by minimizing an energy function that assigns costs to pixels. We show that computing a seam reduces to a dynamic programming problem for images and a graph min-cut search for video. We demonstrate that several image and video operations, such as aspect ratio correction, size change, and object removal, can be recast as a successive operation of the seam carving operator.