Abstract : Research in stereo image coding has focused on the disparity estimation/ compensation process to exploit the cross-view redundancies. Most of the reported methods use a classical block-based technique in order to estimate the disparity field. However, this estimation technique does not always provide an accurate disparity map, which may affect the disparity compensation step. In this paper, we propose to use an estimation method that produces a dense and smooth disparity map. Then, on the one hand, this map is segmented and efficiently coded by exploiting the high correlation between neighboring disparity values. On the other hand, we integrate the disparity information into a vector lifting scheme for stereo image coding. Experimental results indicate that the proposed coding scheme outperforms the conventional methods employing a block-based disparity estimation.