Welp, I've been plunking away at making some small, high quality videos. I've done a lot of trial and error testing and here's what I've come up with... I don't know how useful this info will be to any of y'all, but I feel like it's selfish not to share...
StaxRip is indeed pretty great. Sure, there's a couple things I'd prefer to have automated, but that's what AutoHotkey is for I guess.AviSynth
is definitely the way to go for video filters. I'm sure there's stuff out there that rivals what you can get for AviSynth, but I'd be very surprised if you could do much better for free... Here's a couple filters that I've found useful...FFT3DGPU
(noise removal) - this is awesome! It's a remake or something of FFT3DFilter, but it uses your video card's GPU to do the processing (which speeds it up considerably). I'm getting 4 times the performance from my GPU (a Nvidia 7800GTX) than my CPU (a AMD X2 4800+) with better quality settings!
Command I am currently using: FFT3DGPU(bt=4, plane=4, bw=32, bh=32, precision=2, mode=2)FieldDeinterlace
(deinterlacer) - There's probably better deinterlacers out there if you're willing to check your files manually. I didn't feel like going through the hassle. This seemed to work pretty well, and it didn't demand setting lower/upper field first manually for every video.RemoveGrain
(noise reduction) - By itself "RemoveGrain(mode=4)" helped lower compression size considerably without changing the picture very much at all. This one doesn't seem to do a whole lot, but running it after the deinterlacer
seemed to change very little, but be helpful overall. As this plugin can reduce the appearance of interlacing it's better to run an actual deinterlacer before
(resizing) - I did some comparison testing between the following resizers (most standard with AviSynth I think): Bilinear, Bicubic, Gauss(67), Lanczos, and Spline36. I didn't spend too much time tweaking (most of them don't have any tweakable settings), but Lanzcos4 seemed to produce the best quality for my purposes: reducing 720x480 4:3 DVD content to 640x480.
My Full AVISynth Script
Telecide(Guide=1, post=1, gthresh=1)
FFT3DGPU(bt=4, plane=4, bw=32, bh=32, precision=2, mode=2)
works real well to get the chapter times from your IFOs. If you're making an MKV with StaxRip an OGG formatted chapter.txt file works just fine. With the path to the IFO you can run: ChapterXtractor.exe <IFO file path> <output .txt file path> -p7
. (I think the OGG format is preset 7 (hence the "-p7
"), check the ChapterXtractor.ini file...SubRip
is the only way I could find to convert DVD subtitles to .srt text files. It uses OCR (optical character recognition) like scanner software to "read" the subtitles. It needs to learn every character you run through it, so it can take a while until it's learned pretty much every letter (capital and lowercase), number, and symbol.
Here's an AHK script to run SubRip and ChapterXtractor when the path to an IFO is copied to the clipboard. This does a lot of mouse clicks and goes from opening SubRip to saving the file to running ChapterXtractor. It's possible you'll have to edit every set of "Click" coordinates, so expect to do some editing... sub+chapx.ahk (3.29 kB - downloaded 168 times.)
I've also got a big script to load files into StaxRip very quickly (almost entirely automated mouse clicks) but it requires special settings in StaxRip and also it's very specific to what I'm doing (for instance it clicks the "down arrow" a number of times because of how many templates I happen to have saved). If anyone out there wants it I can upload it on request...
Also, sorry for not making the names of the programs and stuff links... I'll try to get to it soon... For now Google will have to suffice.