There is no such thing as a perfect solution but
this one comes pretty close. For those of you who have small hard disks
this is an effective way to convert a DVD to DivX directly from the CD!
Its been made possible by a non-official "hacked" version of
Flask Mpeg. Its called FlasKMpeg Decss 0.594h1. This version actually
has some improvements on the old FlasK Mpeg. For one it seems to have
fixed the aspect ratio problems for NTSC movies.
Other great features are that it can outline in white where the cropping
will be on you image rather than just deleting it as the old Flask did.
This feature is useful because before you didn't know how much of the
image you may be loosing. Also, the slider bar above the image allows
you to select any part of the movie, so instead of getting some crud dark
scene that is no good for resizing, you can check anywhere you like to
see if it is cropped correct and in the best aspect ratio!
If you haven't installed the Radium MP3 and the DivX codec's you may
as well do so now. Remember to run the "run me first" option
on the DivX install too or it will not be installed correctly.
Flask Mpeg has two main modes:
Open File: This will open any mpeg
file and try to convert it to whatever you want.
Open DVD: This is a special mode that
reads a DVD in the same way a DVD player would. This means you will
be able to select to convert with subtitles; it will also make sure
it only rips one angle in a multi-angle DVD. This prevents repeated
scenes spoiling your movie!
IMPORTANT NOTE!!: There
have been reports about DVD drives overheating when forced to read at
a much slower pace than single-speed DVD. Flask DeCSS has been tested
on a few DVD-Rom's without problem. And I've never heard first hand of
a drive being damaged in this way, but you might want to keep an eye on
your drive the first time you transfer straight from a DVD-ROM. If you
decide to try this program it is your own choice, I take no responsability
for any damage you may do to your hardware by using this program! You
have been warned!
AUTHENTICATE THE DRIVE
Basically just run SmartRipper but don't try and rip anything
with SmartRipper, just run it and hit the minamize button. Bingo! Your
drive is authenticated!
OPEN THE FILE WITH 'Open DVD'
Select 'Open DVD' and find the .IFO file for your movie.Up
will pop something like the picture below:
Select the movie Duration, in this case 1.51.53. This will usually be
the first one in the list, but you can usually see from the length which
one to choose.
Next choose the language. Obviously they cannot ALL be English so choose
the first and encode a minuet of the film and listen to it. If its not
English choose the next in the list, and the next and the next etc., until
you find the correct one. Or open the DVD in a DVD player and see the
order they are in, usually it will be the same.
Lastly we have subtitles. I don't usually select any because I don't
want them on my movie. If you choose subtitles then you will not be able
to turn them off, they will ALWAYS be on your movie! Flask is not always
able to do subtitles correctly, so again, you will have to try it and
see. There are other ways to get subtitles, though; why not check out
my subtitle ripping section for this.
Now Press FlasK this DVD!
GETTING THE DECRYPTION KEY
This is the only annoying bit :). Up pops a dialouge box asking for the
decryption key to the DVD.
We must use the command line utility Vobdec (which, by the way, is what
99% of GUI rippers use as their ripping engine). Anyway, its not that
hard. Make a folder on your main hard drive (usually C:) and call it vobdec.
Then copy the Vobdec.exe file into it and
we are ready to go:
Go to Start Menu > Run and type Command.com
to bring the DOS Prompt up ie:
Type: CD\ and press Enter. Type: CD
vobdec and press Enter.
Now, cut and paste the following line into the DOS prompt and press Enter:
Note that the green d is the name
of the drive you have the DVD in. Its usually d: but change it to whatever
your DVD drive says. After searching vobdec will find the key and give
a number like this:
E1 69 03 06 00
Just type them into the boxes below.
Its easy to find any key with vobdec because all you do is type the location
of the vob file and it will decrypt it. Often the main movie will be on
the vts_01_1.vob file. But if it is not,
just change the vob name to whatever vob file you wish to find the key.
To illustrate, if you wanted to find the key to the vob file vts_02_1.vob
then you paste into the DOS Prompt:
If you wanted to check out the second in the list you put:
When you have a key, encode a 30 second clip of the movie. If you see
bright green mess on the screen and / or Flask crashes you have been given
the wrong Key! You have just been unlucky. Keep trying different vob files
on the DVD and writing down the key's, eventually one of them should do
SETTING UP YOUR RIP - GLOBAL PROJECT OPTIONS
Select Global Project options.
Frame Size: In the Width and Height sections you
can put the size you wish your final video to be. If you wish to crop
your movie too you can select the 'Show Output Pad' at the bottom right.
For detailed information on how to resize a movie in Flask read section
2nd of this guide: "resizing the video".
Time Base (fps): Flask will normally choose the best
framerate for your movie. All PAL movies (European) are 25 frames per
second (fps). So if you know your movie is PAL make sure your movie is
set to 25. All North American movies are NTSC which means they are 29.97
fps. BUT because of the way they are encoded to DVD most will appear Flask
will choose 23.976 fps. This is usually correct so don't change it. Flask
DeCSS sometimes chooses PAL instead of NTSC so be careful. And as always
test a short clip before you do a whole movie to make sure its ok.
iDCT Options: Just leave these alone its overkill
to use IEEE and the quality will not look better.
Video Structure: Do not check the deinterlace
button unless you really need it because the video will decode very slow.
For a full explanation of the interlace problem, check out my article:
"Video Formats: NTSC & PAL / Telecine" in the appendix section.
For this kind of Deinterlacer blend gives best quality. The Threshold
setting is basically how much it blurs problem lines. The lower the
number the more it blurs it. If the interlace problem is really bad
you should use a setting of 1-5 instead of 20. If its not very bad
you could use 15-20.
If Flask (or you) select the Time Base of 24 or 23.976 fps
then there will be the extra option called 'Reconstruct progressive images'.
This option is grayed out in the above picture. Flask automatically tries
to detect the real framerate inside the DVD. This setting is not an IVTC
(inverse telecine); it just forces Flask Mpeg to 24fps progressive mode,
avoiding potential interlace problems if the movie is 24 but the playback
is set to 29.976.
So you want to know what you should do with them, right?!
For PAL movies, I have found that there is no point selecting anything
but 25fps and you will not need 'reconstruct progressive images'.
In fact, you will almost always get jerky playback if you select it. For
NTSC I'm not sure, I think the general opinion is to let Flask choose
or ignore it.
On to the Audio tab always select 'Decode audio' if you
want sound. For DVD's un-check the 'same as input box' and select 48000
Hz (just to make sure you have the right setting). For Mpeg-1 you'd use
same as input or 44100Hz. Never use 44100Hz with DVD's or you will get
audio synchronization problems.
If you just want to copy the DVD's AC3 audio across instead
of converting it use the 'Direct Stream copy' option.
POST PROCESSING TAB
This section deals almost exclusively with resizing. Never
use 'Nearest Neighbouring' unless you are not resizing the picture because
the quality is crud. Contrary to popular belief Bilinear looks just as
nice as Bicubic, except it is twice as fast. JASC (makers of Paint Shop
Pro) recommend Bilinear for shrinking images and Bicubic for enlarging
them. But use what you think looks best.
Keep aspect ratio: PAL users should always tick this
box unless you know you don't need it. This is even more important with
Widescreen DVD's. If you use NTSC DVD's the image may become stretched
slightly wrongly. If you notice this uncheck the 'keep aspect ratio' and
work out the ratio yourself. See the article"Resizing DVD's with
Correct Aspect Ratios" in my appendix.
Crop & Letterboxing: All the settings for cropping
and letterboxing the DVD can be entered here or the output pad can be
used. For detailed information on how to resize a movie in Flask read
section 2nd of this guide: "resizing the video".
Choose where you want to save your final movie. The audio
save option is grayed out because you are encoding the video with audio
in it. If you selected 'Direct Stream Copy' on the previous Audio Tab
then you could say where you wanted it saved.
Compiling Time: This speaks for itself. If you check
the 'Compile whole file' box it will convert the whole DVD. If you uncheck
it you can say how many seconds to encode. Obviously 60 is one minuet
and 120 is two mins. The frames to compile is basically the same thing.
There are 25 frames to one second of video for PAL and either 23.976 or
29.970 for NTSC. Using these options you can encode a small clip to test
the quality etc. I recommend you shut down and restart Flask just before
you encode a long movie to reduce chances of it crashing.
Search Size: This searches the DVD for the audio.
As it says, if you have problems make the number bigger. If all else fails
and you cannot find audio you can try one of the other methods I explain
in the section:"DVD Audio Extraction".
Miscellaneous: Like the thing says, it'll shut down
the computer if it can when its done :)
That's it you're nearly ready to encode! Lets set the output
OUTPUT FORMAT OPTIONS
Go to Options > Output Format Options.
And up will pop the box shown below:
Features and Future Features: Flask has an option
to 'Split files after' a certain amount of seconds. This is useful if
you want a VCD to be split in half so that one part can be put on a single
CD. I don't use it for Divx because I prefer to split them in VirtualDub.
To use it, just work out how many seconds there are in the movie. If the
movie is 131 minuets then multiply 131 by 60 and you have the seconds
(7860 seconds) then just divide that in half and you have your split number
Enable Watermark: This lets you use any bitmap picture
you want as a logo. So you can make a little picture saying made by 'smiffy'
or whatever you like. The X and Y boxes let you say where the logo will
appear on the movie. Then you have three options on how it will look.
It can "Copy", which just sticks the bitmap on top. It can "Mask"
which lets part of the image become transparent. Or it can "Alpha"
which makes the whole image transparent. I do not recommend using logos
because they increase the filesize of the picture and degrade the quality.
Select Codec: These are the important buttons! Hit
the top one and the following box appears:
Choose the Divx ;-) MPEG-4' Low or High Motion codec from
the drop down list depending on what you want. For getting the best setting
you can look at my article: "Best Divx Quality & Bitrate Guide"
in the appendix. But in short, use a bitrate calculator to determine the
best bitrate to put in here. I'm using the 'Advanced Divx Bitrate Calc!
Version 1.5'. It seems to give a more reliable amount and will not make
a movie larger than you intend.
Just put the DVD movie length in minuets in the top box.
Select the audio bitrate you want to use (for Flask this will almost always
be 96 kBit/s Stereo). Then it will tell you the amount to use! In the
above picture the calculator says 581 so you would move the 'Data Rate
slider bar to 581 instead of the 750 it is in the above picture. As for
keyframes, I tend to use a keyframe every 1 second, but you can use one
every 10 seconds to saves more memory. Then set the 'Crispiness to 75%
and you are done!
Ok. Back to our previous dialogue box. Press the bottom
'Select Codec' button to select the audio compression.
Up pops this box:
Choose 'MPEG Layer-3' at 96 kBit/s 48,000Hz. You can choose
what you like here, 128 or 190 etc., if you prefer, but there is no need
it will just make the file size larger.
There are two problems with converting the audio to Mp3.
First, the audio must be 48,000Hz. Some sound cards cannot handle the
format and so it may play the audio back dull and buzzing. Secondly, because
of the dynamic range of a DVD the audio level will sound very low and
may not be loud enough for you. Check out the section "Dull Audio,
Normalization & Samplerates" for a detailed explanation and a
solution to all this. In short, you can choose PCM audio instead of mp3
and add it later. So here is where you would do that. Instead of choosing
Mp3 choose PCM 48,000Hz 16bit, Stereo. No other audio format will
work in Flask without potential problems!
Wav audio is uncompressed and creates a seriously large movie file 1-2GB!
If you are making a single CD rip you will probably be okay using PCM
audio. If you are making a 2 CD rip, your file may be so large that VirtualDub
will not open it and Windows will not play it! This is annoying because
Divx Mpeg4 can be larger than 2GB and would normally probably work okay
at anything upto 4GB. But Flask seems to create a file that is corrupted
at these sizes! So, the PCM Wav is an advanced option that should be treated
with great respect! If you are a beginner just use Mp3!
Once you have finished setting up your movie just go to
Run > Start Conversion.
Up will pop the following screen.
If you are going to leave your computer alone to compress
then select Highest in the 'Priority settings'. This will hog ALL CPU
power to make compression faster. This CPU option only really works if
other programs are running when Flask is though! When using idle or normal,
you will be able to do basic tasks while it is compressing, such as checking
Email etc. Be careful not to do too much because if your computer crashes
because of another program then you'll need to start over again. Unchecking
the 'Display output' box will also help speed things up a little. But
if you are using a Dual Processor computer system just leave it on normal
otherwise it slows it down.
That's it! In 15-20 hours on a 500Mhz machine you will have
a perfect DivX movie ;).
Duplication of links or content is strictly
prohibited. (C) NICKY PAGE 2000