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Messages - Hirudin [ switch to compact view ]

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Another update...

First, I took "the easy way" out of the subject for this thread. I'm not thrilled about it, but "easy" certainly isn't part of the equation for me any longer...  8)

Also, I've found a lossless video compression codec called Lagarith. It's free, it's apparently fast (though I haven't tried others for myself), and it supports multi-threading. Encoding speed for my first, test video was about 17 FPS for Lagarith and so far it's about 37 FPS for x264 (first pass).
Lets see, the video I'm working on has almost 34,000 frames (~24 minutes).
34000/17 = 2000
34000/37 = 920 or so (3 passes at this speed)
2000 + (920*3) = 4760 seconds of encoding.
Using the old method I was getting about 15 (<14 really) FPS.
(34000/15)*3 = 6800 seconds

If my math is correct, this new method = 30% faster... AND the source video will be exactly the same for every pass, increasing the efficiency, hopefully producing smaller files. The speed increase will be amplified since I'm actually encoding 2 sets of files (1 for computer use, 1 for PMP use) for a total of 5 passes.

The lossless video is about 4.4GB by the way.

- second pass is going at 43 FPS, sweet!
- oh no, the 3rd one is back down to 15...
This puts the total speed increase for 3-pass x264 640x480 video at ~12.5%... not that much... I wonder how 2-pass 320x240 xvid will fair...
Screenshot - 6_16_2007 , 10_43_40 AM.png

I did a quick try of outputting the frames to individual files after the filters, planning to then use the frames again to encode the MKVs and stuff. 2 problems came up:
1. The frames will take a lot of space. 640x480 frames were taking 450k each. 24 FPS * 60 seconds * 450k = ~540MB/minute
2. So far, it looks like doing this will actually increase the encoding time.

I can live with #1, but #2 just sucks! My theory went a lil' something like this: Outputting the frames will take a long time (my computer seems capable of ~15 FPS) but I'll only have to do it once. After the initial frame output every subsequent encode would go relatively quick. I was hoping for at least 30 FPS, but anything over 23 FPS would yield a net speed increase for a 3-pass encode as I've been doing.

General Software Discussion / Re: Überwallpaper!
« on: June 16, 2007, 05:51 AM »
A very cool site for fractal wallpapers is: Exoteric Roach

A few of my favorites... (note, virtually every other resolution is available on the Exoteric Roach website...)
I put this one on my cell phone.



Thanks for sharing your results, but it seems you quite abandoned the "easy way" of video encoding. You've listed a lot of manual steps.  :D
Heh, that I did! AutoHotkey does a lot of the work for me now though... But the setup was long and arduous...  >:(
About subtitles... be sure to use the OCR correcting feature of SubRip. It'll fix many common OCR errors. I also use Subtitle Workshop (#1) for additional OCR correcting + time sync.
Yes! Thanks for mentioning that. I actually went through and opened each in Open Office to spell check them, but I still had to do a lot of manual corrections. I'll definitely check out Subtitle Workshop!

The latest development for me is that my computer is having some kind of problem with the filters (I suspect FFT3DGPU). I'm getting odd red and blue leading/ghosting with some movement.
Clipboard Image.png

I think to save time I should probably look into exporting the filtered video to some kind of uncompressed format or something...

Lightzone is interesting, but I think I need brushes to feel comfortable in a graphics program.

Whoa, PSP has changed! If y'all haven't seen it yet, here's what you're greeted with after install...
Screenshot - 6_15_2007 , 12_19_28 AM.png
I bet you can get the full version on eBay for... oh, $40 or so.

Hi, for photo work (not graphics or advanced brushwork retouching!) I find Lightzone very easy to use
That looks very cool! Downloading now...
... Why do these sites insist on making you register to download their demo??? So annoying!

@f0dder - Why mustn't they be named? The buyout (or whatever it was) didn't thrill me either BTW.

Screenshot - 6_14_2007 , 7_41_31 PM.png
Should I be worried???
...Even later
Oh, Install4j isn't a typo... that's actually the name of the installer.

The junk filter in Thunderbird works very well! 1 or 2 slip by every week or so, but it catches a fifty or a hundred or so...

As for the 'net' (internetwork) being slower... I haven't noticed.

General Software Discussion / Re: Download Managers
« on: June 14, 2007, 12:39 PM »
A couple years ago I tried a bunch of the download managers available and decided that Star Downloader was the best. I haven't used it for a long time though, so I can't remember if it had the features you need...

I hope this somehow helps... :) :D

Yeah, I might end up with PSP... I've used it quite a bit, I do like the UI!

PhotoFiltre is pretty cool so far! There's a couple aspects of it I do not find intuitive (like the reversed zoom), and at least one thing I haven't been able to figure out (alpha channel in the background). But for €25 (which I think is about... $34) it seems like a pretty great program! Next thing you're going to tell me is it's got a lifetime license... (I couldn't find how they handle upgrade pricing, do any of you know?)

you're using vista arent you? maybe it's not ready yet ...

PS which version did you try?
Yup, Vista (64 bit). That possibility goes through my mind with every program I use that doesn't work. As I recall it didn't say it was vista compatible anywhere, but I figured I'd give it a shot...

I was using The GIMP 2.2.15 and GTK+ 2.10.11. I think I would have just lived with the weird behavior if it would zoom like I expect. Maybe version 2.4..?

General Software Discussion / Re: The GIMP, thoughts...
« on: June 14, 2007, 09:39 AM »
Argh... that didn't take long. 1 bad freeze, numerous odd behaviors, and for the frigging love of god: for some reason when you zoom with the mouse it doesn't zoom toward the cursor!

Looks like PhotoFiltre is next...

General Software Discussion / Re: The GIMP, thoughts...
« on: June 14, 2007, 07:31 AM »
You're right about the formats... I was thinking PSD, but I guess they need to make a format that will hold all the special info PS needs... I guess I was thinking about the times I've tried to open PSDs with other programs. I think I'll go strike that comment from the record...

I think I took a look at PhotoFiltre, I thought I saw that it doesn't have layer support, a function I use constantly.
Oh I see, Version 9 is shareware (a very reasonable €25), version 6 is freeware. The Shareware version has layer functionality...
If the GIMP fails me it'll be at the top of my list.

BMPs are probably the way to go if you have the storage space. Avoid opening and saving JPGs since they're a lossy image compression format.

Also, if you can't get VirtualDub to cooperate you might try VirtualDubMod, I don't really know what the difference is, but it's worth a shot...

Before I begin, I used the DC search to find instances of "Gimp" in thread subject lines, none were found to my surprise.

Well, I'm swearing off PhotoShop. I hate Adobe and I hate all their programs. Not to mention the planned obsolescence (new model every year even if they've made very little changes), the insane prices, or Adobe's fondness of proprietary file formats.

I've tried The GIMP before, but I think I dismissed it pretty quickly. At the time the "FauxtoShop" interface was the first (big) nail in it's coffin for me. Well, I'm trying it again. I've made 1 whole image, and I think I'm going to start using it as my primary photo editor.

Anyone know of any other free graphics apps that are actually pretty powerful? For instance, I gave an honest try, but it's severely lacking in features ATM.

Are any of y'all using The GIMP exclusively? Any tips for a casual user?

Here's an awesome feature that I don't think I've seen in other programs...
Screenshot - 6_14_2007 , 5_36_24 AM.png
I wonder what other gems it's got...

I'm sure there's a #2 out there somewhere, but I don't know any specifically.

But it looks like #1 would be easy enough to do with AutoHotkey. Check out the function: FileGetSize.

If you need some help writing the script I'm sure someone here can lend a hand.

And the final results? VERY impressive if I say so myself.

Here's the original DVD. It's being resized to 640x480 by The KMPlayer, but that's it. I honestly don't think the quality is affected in the slightest.

Here's an Xvid-AVI that I made with DVD Rebuilder Pro. It looks just fine. I didn't spend too much time messing with the settings, but there weren't many either.

And the crowning jewel: The x264 MKV! No, I didn't mix-up the pictures, the final encoded file looks BETTER than the original DVD (in my opinion at least).
0522 The Opposite[(006466)08-10-08].png

You might be wondering, what about the file sizes...
DVD: 876 MB
AVI: 299 MB (This only has 1 audio track and no subtitles) (Encode Time: ? ~15 minutes or so? I can't remember. ?)
MKV: 206 MB! Sweet! (Both audio tracks and 2 sets of subtitles) (Encode Time: 124 minutes, wow)

I'm quite proud of the results! Was it worth my time? That's debatable, but it does look good.
[edit]Oploaded screen caps that include some subtitles. God DVD subtitles are ugly![/edit]

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 this.
Lanczos4Resize (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)
Removegrain (mode=2)

ChapterXtractor 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 271 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.

General Software Discussion / Re: Directory Opus 9
« on: June 12, 2007, 02:23 AM »
Here's a lil' personal experience I had with DO recently...

I wanted to be able to copy the path for a file to the clipboard with little fuss. I searched Google for a while, there were lots of little programs out there, some of which the authors actually wanted money for(!). I downloaded a few, but I never actually installed any when I realized DO would probably do exactly what I needed. I little Google searching later I found this tutorial Nudel made...

General Software Discussion / Re: Recommend Vista CD Burner
« on: June 10, 2007, 11:09 PM »
Check out ImgBurn! It's the shiz-night!
It's a little complicated to learn, and not the most convenient to burn individual files (select Mode -> Build, then click the "Switch to device output" button.).
Screenshot - 6_10_2007 , 10_04_41 PM.png

If you're looking for something closer to Nero, check out InfraRecorder, I haven't personally burned a disc with it yet (ImgBurn has been enough so far), but a lot of people like it.

The super cool bonus with both of these programs is that they are both donationware!

StaxRip thoughts after trying it out extensively:
Well, it has a lot going for it! Most of which I mentioned in my previous StaxRip post. I have since discovered a couple more very cool features...  :up:
:) It has this "Event Commands" tool that lets you "do stuff" after other "stuff". A simple example that I created for myself is a little "Remember to load the chapter file" message box.
:) It will automatically load 1 or 2 audio tracks (or 0 tracks I suppose). It'll also load up subtitle files (.srt, or maybe something else) based on the languages you choose. (So if you have English subtitles for the movie dialog and English subtitles for the commentary it'll load both!) A real time saver.
:) There is a pretty cool AviSynth editor thing. If you have an AviSynth function you'd like to add (say "RemoveGrain") you can add it to your profile template very easily.

Unfortunately it's got a few flaws too... :down:
:( Although the "Event Commands" feature is cool, the execution is poor. I had lots of cool ideas for this, but was not able to do much more than the most simple... For instance, I wanted to set up a command to set the output filename based on the input directory name instead of the input file name. 22 files all named "VTS_01_1.mkv" isn't very useful...
Oops. I should have looked at the VERY FIRST tab under View -> Options
:( I very much think the program is geared toward creating MKV files, but although it opens the audio and subtitle files automatically it leaves loading a "chapters" file up to the user... Doing 1 file is fine, but if you're doing a couple seasons of a TV show it gets a little annoying. Also, it's too easy to forget to add the file as it's inside another submenu thing (container configuration). --- I'm going to try to write an AHK script to automate this...

It's funny, I started this post to try to tell people to avoid StaxRip... But I've convinced myself that it's worth at least one more look...

Living Room / Re: A monitor (and keyboard) in the grand style
« on: June 08, 2007, 05:57 PM »
That is really cool!

All this video stuff confuses me, but x264 looks like the codec to use right now (it's an H.264 codec as well).
Doom9's Codec shoot-out 2005 may be of interest if you're looking into video codecs (even though it was posted 18 months ago). Personally I thought the "Ateme" screenshots looked the best overall (I only looked at the Matrix shots). But if Ateme is available to consumers, I cannot figure out how. It seems that it might be included in Nero somehow.

Yeah, working with video takes forever! I would imagine for the most part any DVD9 to DVD5 compression will take roughly the same amount of time, but I'd be willing to bet that Nero is one of the fastest (it's probably somewhere in the middle for quality though).

But, to me it sounds like you've got about 2 weeks to do 6 movies. Sounds very doable!

For quality DVD backing up, I'd recommend AnyDVD and DVD Rebuilder Pro using ReJig. ~$50 each.

Hmmm ... do you really want software randomly downloading unknown software and installing it?
-Carol Haynes (June 07, 2007, 04:56 AM)
Usually no, but I've actually used the majority of the software that it's requested so far. (I should say: when it started asking me to download software I just started at the top of the list and worked my way down. Every program name that I actually read is a program that I've already used.) Programs like these usually come with all the executables that they work with, but they're almost always old and outdated versions.

I don't know about most people, but I consider converting video to be a big chore, so I put it off. That almost always means that I have to go and download all the software I want to use again (because what I already have is invariably outdated). Even remembering the names of the software I need is hard enough, but trying to find the latest versions is worse.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I've found a program that seems very promising! It's called StaxRip (Formally DVX I think).
Screenshot - 6_7_2007 , 3_26_20 AM.png

A couple of the very cool features I've run into so far...
* It opens little help descriptions the first time you enter a new area. They tell you what the different buttons/options mean. This could get annoying the 10th time I see them, but for now I think they're great!
* It is a front end for many programs (I just tried to encode a video and it said that I needed 8 more programs). But it doesn't leave you hanging!
* If you don't have a program already it'll download and install it for you! Amazing! I wonder if it'll also keep track of what versions are available and update when needed?
* When it needed to install the first program, the UAC of Vista popped up, just as it should have! As an early Vista adopter I'm glad to see software that works correctly in Vista.
* It has a very clean, modern interface. Not super important, but it's nice when the layout makes sense and is pleasant to look at.

I hope it works, I hate to review a software before actually confirming the functionality...  :-[ But at the very least, to me, THIS looks like the ultimate video transcoding software.

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