While the emerging MPEG-4 standard has raised the need for efficient object-based compression, the future MPEG-7 standard motivates further research in the field of progressive, quality-scalable, and semantic representations for indexing and retrieval applications in particular. In this paper a mesh-based video compression scheme is proposed that integrates shape, motion and texture representations in a consistent way and provides a content-based, quality-scalable, separate bitstream syntax. A complete video compression scheme is designed based on a content-based triangular mesh model combined with a progressive geometrical shape representation. In this context, different node motion estimation methods are discussed as well as residual texture representation by means of transform coding. Lastly, the adaptation of such a mesh- based video representation to achieve progressive compression is also investigated.