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« on: January 29, 2003, 03:17:06 PM »

Convert DivX to VCD with subtitles

Smiley  Ok, many users who have a habit of downloading movies from the Net prefer to use subtitles with those clips due various reasons (obviously most of the world's population don't speak English, but want to watch Hollywood movies). Very often the movies that are available on the Net are in some AVI-wrapped format, such as DivX or XviD. Then people tend to download separate subtitle files (with extensions such as .srt, .sub, .txt, etc...) and watch their movies like this. But the thing is that virtually everybody nowadays has a stand-alone DVD player (or at least should have ;-) and many prefer watching videos with their DVD players instead of using PC's TV out connections.

Now, since AVI is not a standard in any ways, DVD players don't play them. But there are two formats that can be stored on CD that most DVD players support: VCD and SVCD. SVCD produces better video quality than VCD, but since VCD is accepted by more players than SVCD, we will use VCD in this guide.

So, the plan is to re-encode DivX/XviD video into VCD with permanent subtitles. You can use this guide also without subtitles if you don't need those, simply skip the subtitle part of the guide. Please remember than re-encoding video from any lossy format to any other lossy format, will always make the video worse -- this is always the case, whether you re-encode DivX to XviD, VCD to SVCD, SVCD to DivX, etc.. So, use this guide only if you can't re-rip the original DVD into VCD format and really want to convert the video into VCD format.

At first
Now, since AVI videos can virtually contain anything under the Sun, there are several things you need to check before proceeding with the re-encoding. First one is obviously to check whether the video plays on your system at all. If it doesn't, you probably need to install required video codecs to your system. Generally speaking, 99% of the movies available on the Net can be opened with FFDShow codec/filter.

If your video plays, but audio doesn't, this is very important aspect -- your video is most likely using AC3 or Ogg Vorbis audio. This poses a small problem to us, since TMPGEnc can't handle these types of audio formats directly.

Requirements
You need to have appx. 1.5 gigabytes of free space for the resulting VCD file. You also need to have these tools -- some of the are optional, depending on the video and audio codecs of your video and what you have installed on your system already:



GSpot (for check what are the required codecs)
http://www.headbands.com/gspot/

FFDShow (video codec that supports DivX and XviD and subtitles-- optional)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow

DirectVobSub (optional -- for subtitles that FFDShow can't handle)
http://vobsub.edensrising.com/

VirtualDubMod (optional -- required only if your audio file is in Ogg Vorbis or AC3 format)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdubmod/

BeSweet (optional -- required only if your audio is in Ogg Vorbis or AC3 format)
http://dspguru.doom9.net/

BeSweetGUI (optional -- required only if your audio is in Ogg Vorbis or AC3 format)
http://dspguru.doom9.net/

BeSplit (optional -- required only if your audio is in Ogg Vorbis or AC3 format -- BeSliced is included within this package)
http://dspguru.doom9.net/

TMPGEnc v2.510.49.157
http://www.tmpgenc.net/e_main.html


Setup the subtitles
 Now, copy your subtitles and your AVI file into same directory on your HDD and rename them so that their filenames are exactly identical, but the extensions remain different (i.e. c:\movie name.avi and c:\movie name.srt).

Test your file
 First of all, download and install an excellent little freeware tool called GSpot that can tell you what audio and video encoding the video file uses.

In GSpot, go to File menu and select Open.. and simply locate your AVI file and click Open. GSpot analyzes the file and fills the information into correct places on its main window.

Now, the most important information for us in here is the Audio Format information. If your audio format is in Ogg Vorbis or in AC3 format, we must separate the audio from the video file and re-encode the audio separately. If the audio is in MP3 format, you can go directly to the TMPGEnc step.

Other thing you should check from GSpot is the video framerate which is showed in the Video Format section, in Frames/Sec box. Write this value down, you need it later on.

Demux the audio with VirtualDubMod (optional)
 Ok, you need to do this step if your video file contains an audio file that TMPGEnc doesn't support, such as AC3 or Ogg Vorbis. So, open the modified version of VirtualDub called VirtualDubMod and go to File menu and select Open video file... and locate your .avi file

 Next, go to Audio menu and check that Direct stream copy is selected -- if not, select it. After you've done that, go to File menu again and select Save WAV....

This pops up a new dialog box. From Save as type: dropdown, select All files (*.*). Then enter an easy-to-remember filename for your audio with correct extension -- if your audio is in Ogg Vorbis, use extension .ogg or if your audio is in AC3, use extension .ac3 (you checked the audio compression with GSpot earlier on). Also make sure that your destination directory has at least couple of hundred megabytes of free space, since especially AC3 tends to take quite a lot space. Now, enter something as your filename and remember to use the file extension accordingly. Then click Save button.


 Now VirtualDubMod is processing the AC3 and saving it into a separate file for further processing with audio encoders. This takes a while, but shouldn't take "forever".


Fix the AC3 or OGG audio file headers (optional)
 Now, since VirtualDubMod tends to add WAV headers to the all audio files it demuxes by using "Save WAV" feature, we need to fix the file headers. We do this by using BeSliced which is basically just a very basic GUI for BeSplit -- which is included inside BeSliced's distribution package.

Launch BeSliced and you'll see a small window with a guy's face on it. That's everything there is :-) Don't try to find anything fancy from the tool, there isn't anything but the guy in there ;-)

Now, find your .ac3 or .ogg file (depends on your audio format you had in your AVI) and drag-n-drop it into BeSliced's window. This pops up a small menu with two options -- select the one that says Fix File!. This opens a good olde command prompt window with BeSplit running on it and fixing the file. After few moments, you'll see a short log file of errors found on the file and that's it -- the file has been fixed to have correct audio headers.

Encode the audio to MP2 (optional)
 Ok, now you need to encode your Ogg Vorbis or AC3 audio into MP2 (yes, em-pee-TWO) format that VCD uses. We do this by using BeSweetGUI, which has decent set of pre-defined encoding templates for various encoding tasks and by using BeSweetGUI we can also avoid the hassle of using command line options ;-)

Open the BeSweetGUI and in the top-right corner you should see a list of pre-defined templates. Select the one that says DSPGuru_MP2@192kbps.

 Next, click the folder icon next to Input textfield and locate your header-corrected audio file, which should be the name you originally saved it with VirtualDubMod plus an addition of Fixed01 in its name (remember to change the file extenstion from the right-most dropdown in order to see your files in the filelist) and click OK to close the file dialog box. Then, enter your preferred audio output file name with an extension of MP2 into Output box.


 Now, if you want to create a truly standards-compliant VCD and your audio happens to be in 48kHz frequency (which is the case with all AC3 tracks), you need to perform a downsampling for the audio to change it to be 44.1kHz. You can do this by selecting the SSRC - Downconvert Sample Rate option.


Next step is to simply start re-encoding the audio. Click the green AC3 to MP2 or OGG to MP2 button and program launches a new command prompt window where you can see the audio encoding process. This takes a while, might take even over an hour, depending on various things, such as the original audio format and your computer's CPU. After the process is over, the command prompt window will close and you will have an encoded MP2 file ready to be muxed into the VCD video file.


Change the plugin priorities with TMPGEnc
 Ok, launch TMPGEnc and first thing what we need to change are the VFAPI Plugin orders, to make the DirectShow plugin to kick in. This is required because we want to use the DirectShow subtitle filters -- and also, if you use FFDShow to play your DivX/XviD (FFDShow is not a "real" codec, but DirectShow multimedia filter instead).

So, go to the Option menu and select Environmental setting.... Now, go to the VFAPI plug-in tab. Here you see a list of registered reader plugins for the TMPGEnc. Now, if the top-most plugin in the list is not called DirectShow Multimedia File Reader, you need to go and select this plugin. Now, click right-mouse-button and select Higher priority and do this until the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader's priority is higher than anything else. Finally close the window by clicking OK.

Open the video
 Now we're ready to load the video into TMPGEnc. Simply click the Browse button next to Video source: selection and locate your AVI file from your HDD and load it by clicking Open.

Load the encoding settings
 Now, take out the piece of paper where you wrote your AVI file's framerate. Now, if the framerate is 29.97 or 30fps, your video format will be NTSC. If the framerate is 25fps, your video format will be PAL. Finally, if the framerate is 23.97 or 24fps, the video format will be NTSCFilm.

So, click the Load button located in bottom-right corner of the TMPGEnc's main window. This opens a file dialog that lets you choose the video encoding template. Now, choose either VideoCD 1246kbps (NTSC), VideoCD 1246kbps (NTSCFilm) or VideoCD 1246kbps (PAL) according to your video format you chose.

Now, if you had to go through the audio hassle earlier in this guide, you need to click the Load again and select a template called unlock.mcf. This frees the locked settings, but leaves the settings selected that the previous template loaded anyway. Still, if your audio needs tweaking, from the right-bottom corner, select System (Video only) as your Stream type.

Adjust the encoding settings
 Now, click the Setting button from the right-bottom corner of the TMPGEnc's main window. This pops up a new window that allows you to modify the encoding settings. From the Video tab, leave everything else intact, but change the Motion search precision setting to Highest quality (very slow) in order to minimize the quality-drop in re-encoding.

Advanced tab
 From the Advanced tab, set the Video source type to be Non-interlaced (progressive) as normally the deinterlacing has been done to the encoded AVI already if necessary. Change the Source aspect ratio to be 1:1 (VGA) and set the Video arrange Method to Full screen (keep aspect ratio). Leave all the boxes in the bottom part unchecked.

Close the window by clicking OK.

Preview to check the subtitles
 

Now, go to File menu and select Preview... This opens a new window that allows you to preview the video how it will look like after your modifications. It is also important to check whether the subtitles are visible at this point -- if they're not, check your subtitle filter's settings and make sure it works correctly (try opening the video with Windows Media Player -- if the subtitles play on it without turning them on anywhere, the problem is probably that you didn't remember to make the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader to be the top priority filter in the filter list in TMPGEnc).

If everything looks OK, simply close the preview window.

Encode
 Change in the Output file name field the filename and directory you wish to use for the resulting MPEG-1 file and then simply hit the Start button in the top-left corner and wait for couple of hours (might take much longer if your computer is slightly slower) for encoder to finish the video encoding part.

Multiplex the audio to video (optional)
 Now, if you had a separate audio file, you need to join the video and audio files together. This process is called multiplexing. Go to TMPGEnc's File menu and select MPEG Tools... In Simple Multiplex tab, change the Type to MPEG-1 Video-CD.

Next, click the Browse button next to Video input dialog and select your video file you just encoded with TMPGEnc. After you've done that, click the Browse button next to Audio input dialog and select the .mp2 file you created earlier with BeSliced. Finally, change the filename and directory to the Output to whatever you want, but remember that this destination has to have appx. 1.5GB of free space, because it actually copies the audio and video files into one and puts the resulting .mpg file into this directory. After you've done this, click Run.

After a short while, you will have a finished VCD-compliant .mpg file Cool

Finally
Now, your video file is probably going to be more than 740MBs and you need to split it to two CDs.

Now, if you have any comments, ideas or questions, please post your thoughts to our discussion forums.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2003, 11:41:55 AM by rghasenohr » Logged




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