I have written a few guides on video conversion to help me remember some of the video methods that I have learned. Most of what I have been written is not original but rather an assembly of several methods and techniques that I have learned from experimenting and talking with others.
CONVERTING DIVX AND XVID TO DVD
This is a guide for helping super newbies to convert Xvid or DivX to DVD. This information is nothing special for the people that have been in the forum for awhile but I have pieced together several bits of information that can be useful for converting AVI format to a MPEG2 DVD compliant format that after authoring can be burned onto a DVD and watched via standalone DVD player. There are two popular MPEG2 encoders that I hear talked about in the forum, One is called Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE) and the other in called TMPGE. I chose to write this guide using CCE to encode because in my opinion it's faster that TMPGE,. Although for a newbie I believe that TMPGE is a bit easier to use because it has a nice Wizard that will take you through all of the steps.
This guide assumes that you have already installed the codecs that are needed to view DivX and Xvid encoded AVI files.
In some cases instead of rewriting a guide that has already been written, I have provided links to those guides because they go into greater detail about the specific steps required to accomplish certain tasks.
The tools that may be needed for this guide are listed below, download them if you need them as you need them.
If the links below are dead, simply do a google search for the suggested program and download the newest version. I suggest that you go to the home page for the programs and read a little bit about them in order to become familiar. Most of the programs listed below in this section are free for personal use. Click here to download a zip package that contains all of the free programs. If you don't already have these programs, install all of them on to your Windows computer. The Cinema Craft Encoder programis a trial only version that displays a small log for all video that you encode.
G-spot, program for obtaining information about your AVI:
Gspot Codec Information Appliance- Home Page
DivX, Xvid and ac3 Codecs:
DivX Home Page
XviD Download Page
ac3 filter home page
Avisynth video post production program
Virtual Dub Programs:
Cinema Craft Encoder, "The Fastest MPEG2 encoder":
Cinema Craft Encoder Download Page
WAV to AC3 conversion:
Go to http://dspguru.notrace.dk and download the following files
For converting framerate from 23.976fps to 29.97fps:
Pulldown GUI home page
For multiplexing video and audio:
To create Avisynth scripts:
Open AVI with G-spot (left) and write down a few of the properties of the file or save a screenshot and save into the movie file directory. In particular pay attention to the video codec name, audio codec name, video framerate, duration, audio bitrate and audio frequency. This information can also be obtained under file properties in Virtual Dub(right).
This information will be useful later on.
It is good practice to scan AVI's for errors prior to encoding. This is especially true if you are working with video sources from file sharing networks or other applications where you may have received your video partially from many different sources. If you have reliable source material there will be no need to scan for bad frames but if you have problems with the conversion, bad frames could be the casue of the problems.
The first thing that I do with a new AVI that I want to convert to DVD is to scan for bad frames because bad frames may cause the AVI to DVD conversion process to crash. Click here to read a guide that explains an easy method for bad frame removal.
Extract the audio as an uncompressed WAV from the AVI by follwing the steps shown on the next three screens. You can also follow the method listed http://www.dvdrhelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=160649 to extract audio from your AVI.
Open the AVI using VirtualDub and under the audio tab select full processing mode:
Under the audio tab this time select compression and the following window will open:
Select no compression and press ok. Next you will go to the file tab and select save WAV.
Save the audio with the same name as the AVI except give it with wav the extension. It will take a few minutes to extract the audio from the AVI.
Save AVI with No audio selected. This is the step that I recently started and is what actually propmpted me to write this guide because once I started doing this, I didn't have any more sync. problems. Follow the steps shown below.
Open up your AVI again and underneath the video tab select Direct stream copy.
Then under the audio tab select Direct stream copy and No audio.
Then under the file tab select Save as AVI
It will take a few minutes again to save out a new AVI that has no audio associated with it. Now you will have separated your movie into separate audio and video components. You can leave the audio alone for awhile and focus on setting up the video for encoding.
Since we will use Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE) to encode the AVI to DVD we will use Avisynth as a frame server. I'm currently using CCE 2.67 which works with Avisynth 2.5. If you choose to use CCE 2.5 or lower you will have use Avisynth 2.0. Go to here to obtain more info on Avisynth and encoding with CCE. There is a whole lot of information to learn about Avisynth and I only know a tiny bit.
You will now open FitCD and click the source button to enter the no-audio avi that you created in the previous step. FitCD will take you source AVI and create an Avisyth script which will then be the encoding instructions for CCE. Make sure that you have the 1:1 monitor tab selected, the accurate button selected, the DVD button selected, the bicubic precise tab selected, and 720x480 selected for the output resolution. The press the save script button and name the out put file "peanut.avs". If the name if your movie is peanut.avi, then save the script as peanut.avs
Below is a copy of the avisynthscript produced by FitCD. I did however add the line ConvertToYUY2(), FitCd forgot this and for some reason the Xvids that I encoded that did not have this line appeared upside down. You can edit the Avisynth script by opening the *.avs file wit a tect editor such as Notepad:
# -= AviSynth script by FitCD v1.1.2 =-
This is the most basic Avisynth script but it is all that you will need to enter into CCE to convert the AVI into MPEG2.
The bicubic resizing and the add borders numbers will most likely be different unless you have an AVI with resolution 576x304. The numbers listed on the Bicubibic resize line and the add borders line are important because they resize the downloaded AVI from it's original resolution to the DVD compliant resolution of of 720x480 while maintaining the aspect ratio. Those numbers are the reason why I use Fitcd.
To make sure that your avisynth script is free from errors, open it with Media Player or some other video player. It should play just fine. If it's not playable, Media Player will print an error in bright red text that tells you the line in the script that is incorrect.
Open CCE and right click in the middle white space. Then click add to load the Avisynthscript.
After the Avisynth script has loaded, the file name will appear in the white window. Right click on the file name and select edit.
Now, for this part, there are lot's of different ways to set up CCE and for more details, check out this guide at http://www.doom9.org. To get started, simply set up CCE using the settings shown in the next few screens. In order to maximize the quality you will want to use a bitrate calculator to calculate the maximum bitrate requrired to fill up a 4.37GB blank DVD. Try the bitrate calculator here. If you don't use a bitrate calculator you may create an MPEG2 file that is too large to fit onto one CD or it might be smaller than the capacity of the DVD and you will waste precious space that can be used for the movie. Use the infomation that you obtained from GSpot and enter it into the bitrate calculator in order to figure out the averge and maximum bitrates.
Click on the Video Tab and set it up like the next screen.
Click on the Quality button and set it up like the next screen.
After you have set up CCE like the screens listed above, Go back to the first screen and press encode. If prompted to save the project, just make up a file name and save it. Depending on the speed of the processor, the file size and the number of passes, the entire encoding process will take about 1 to 4 hours. I usually start a conversion just before going to bed.
Remember, you can set up this CCE like I have or read the guide at http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/mpg/avi2dvdr.htm under guides then format conversion then CCE. I suggest you read the guide, it's written by an expert and provides explanations for the settings.
If CCE encoded the AVI correctly, the output directory should contain a file with a *.vaf extenson and a file with a *.mpv extension. The mpv file is your movie. If you want to convert this file so that it is DVD compliant. The frame rate must be converted to 29.97fps. Many of the movies have the film frame rate of 23.976fps and require a converting or flagging that makes DVD authoruing programs think that the framerate of the movie is actually 29.97fps.
This is the framerate conversion portion of the conversion process. Do this step if your movies original framerate was 23.976fps. First change the file extension from *.mpv to *.m2v and then open Pulldown.
Pulldown will automatically detect the framerate and will convert 23.976fps to 29.97fps. A command line window will pop up during the pulldown process. The process takes about ten minutes.
When pulldown is complete the output file will have _pd appended to it. For example if your movie is named movie.m2v the pulldown output file will be named movie_pd.m2v. That file will be your mpeg2 encoded video program that is ready for import to an authoring program.
We are almost done. You can set the video aside for a minute and go back to the WAV file that you extracted earlier.
In this step you will convert the WAV that was extracted from the original AVI to ac3. DVD compliant video demands that the audio be either ac3, or an uncompressed WAV. ac3 files are typically much smaller than uncompressed WAV files and therefore leave more space on the DVD for video. Open AC3 machine and set it up as shown below in order to convert the wav to ac3. Again for specific information on how to set up AC3 machine, check out this guide. If you have 5.1 surround sound, this guide will also show you how to perserve it and how to include it on your DVD.
If it's your first time using ac3 machine you will need to configure the path for the location of besweet.exe. For specific instructions on how to do this are described over at http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/mpg/avi2dvdr.htm Once you have the path for Besweet.exe set up, Click give me ac3 and about tenminutes later you will have an ac3 file. This ac3 file will be mulitiplexed with the m2v file into an authoring program.
The m2v file and the ac3 file now need to be added to an authoring program and then you can burn it to DVD. I use two authoring programs. One is called SpruceUp and the other is called DVD Architect. Spruce UP is no longer sold but it's a nice easy program to use and it can still be found if you do a Google search or Kazaa search. DVDA must be purchased and is pretty expensive but they may have a trial version that you can try. In the tools section here at vcdhelp.com there is a nice guide on authoring with Spruceup. Checkout http://www.dvdrhelp.com/spruceup.htm
The *.m2v file and *.ac3 can be directly imported to Spruce up and then authored so that you can burn it to DVD. I chose to try Spruce up at first because it is very simple for a newbie. It cannot do all of the fancy stuff that many of the other authoring programs can. See the DVD Architect Guide coming soon.