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Looking to do high quality video conversion

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Carol Haynes:
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).-Hirudin (June 07, 2007, 06:47 PM)
--- End quote ---

I haven't tried NeroVision since version 7 came out - but they will have had to improve it massively since version 6 to make Nero a contender for quality. Version 6 recoding was utterly crap (IMHO) and suffered horribly from video/sound sync issues.

Well... didn't get to that last night, but ripped a dvd while I dropped my boys off at school. As I left DVDFab indicated it was going to take over two hours but when I returned about 1 hour later it was done. Generates a 1 GB avi file from a regular (4.7 GB) dvd. Not bad. As Hirudin noted, I've got two weeks to rip five or six more and all is well.

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...

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 ScriptMPEG2Source("<path>\VTS_01_1.d2v")
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 273 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.

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.
Looking to do high quality video conversion

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.
Looking to do high quality video conversion

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).
Looking to do high quality video conversion

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]


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