If you want to fit a movie into the smallest possible size, cropping
can do a lot to help out. The most vital thing to remember for optimal
compression is to always crop a few pixels into the image and delete all
of the black bars. Mpeg compression works best on blurry images; so if
a hard black line is seen at the bottom or top of your cropped movie it
will not compress as effectively. In fact, if you cannot crop into the
image then I'd say don't bother cropping at all.
Resizing a DVD in Flask is slightly easier than Mpeg2avi because it shows
you what you are doing. PAL users should always tick Flask's Keep aspect
ratio 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
wrongly. If you notice this happening, uncheck the 'keep aspect ratio'
and work out the ratio resizing yourself. See the article"Resizing DVD's
with Correct Aspect Ratios" in my appendix for details.
RESIZING A 4:3 RATIO DVD
This requires no effort at all to do since they are
basically square. Simply choose the size you prefer and put them
in the Width and Height boxes in the video tab. Something like 448
x 336 works well.
RESIZING AN ANAMORPHIC DVD
To start resizing press the 'Show Output Pad'. This will
bring up a picture of the movie with controls above it that allow you
to change its size and crop out black areas.
Note:sometimes a black picture will appear. You have been
unlucky here because Flask has chosen a picture for you to look at
and it just happens to be a blank frame! You need to select a single
vob file from the middle of the movie instead of the .ifo file. This
will change the picture it selects for you. Once you have the size
correct reselect the .ifo file again.
To summarize what the Output Pad controls do:
Crop - Height & Width
This setting represents an imaginary window in which the picture
sits. By either increasing or decreasing the height and width you
change the size of this window. This does not affect the size of the
actual picture inside the window.
- Cuts bits from the bottom of the picture
in jumps of 16.
+ Adds them back.
- Cuts bits from the right of the picture
in jumps of 16.
+ Adds them Back
Top & Left Offset's
These options move the picture inside the box up, down, left and
right. They do not crop the image or change its size.
- Moves the picture down
+ Moves picture up
- Moves the Picture Right
+Moves the Picture Left
This option is important because it changes the size of the actual
image inside the window.
- shrinks the picture by pulling it in from
+ stretches the picture by pulling it out
to the right.
- squashes the image by pulling it up from
+ stretches the image by pulling it up from
This puts the image back to FULL DVD size and is useful if you want
to start again because you've the wrong sizes selected.
These are basically the same as crop but it resizes the whole image
without cropping. Since I am cropping the image I do not use letterbox.
Okay, I have a 2.35:1 CinemaScope movie. I want not only
to resize the picture but to crop out those back parts above and below
the film. Doing this saves quite a bit of wasted memory and will allow
you to use a higher bitrate and hence increase the quality of image playback.
When played Fullscreen the cropped movie will still look the same because
Media Player adds a black background anyway.
After you have clicked on the output pad button you will
see a picture like the one below. Press the Reset settings button to make
it appear as it is on the DVD. Bingo! This picture is far to big for a
single CD DivX! Tick the 'crop' box and lets start resizing.
Note: Flask has the
annoying habit of loosing parts of the picture! You will be editing
it and suddenly the bottom will disappear or the whole picture will
go white! This isn't actually a problem with the resizing itself,
just with the preview it shows you and the DivX will be okay of course.
But the easiest way to "refresh" the image and make it appear clear
again is to open Windows Explorer. Maximize it once so it makes Flask
disappear and then minimize it with the minimize button (don't do
this by double clicking on the taskbar button). When Windows Explorer
disappears and the Flask image will be as clear as a bell ;-). you
need to do this quite often I'm afraid. Its also a good idea to make
sure you have a light background on your desktop so you can see the
edges of the picture.
But before I crop I will squash the picture by pressing the minus (-)
button in the output size section (see red circle in below picture). I
pressed it 9 times until the picture was 576 wide. Notice how the size
is displayed on the left of the picture. I always squash sideways first
because usually the DVD will not need cropping on the sides.
Since we resized the image to the left 9 times, we will press the Height
(-) button 9 times as well (just below the red circle). Flask does its
best to keep in perfect aspect ratio, but if you are unsure check out
my "aspect ratio" guide.
Okay, its not always possible to get the exact height correct, but you
will still get it cropped at the best size for this particular DVD. Now
we will start cropping bits off the bottom, do this a couple of times
by pressing the red circle 1 (- Height). Then move the picture up until
the border above disappears. Do this by pressing the red circle 2 a few
times. Finally the bottom border will disappear (by using circle 1).
In this instance I managed to get the exact size I wanted 576 x 240,
but this may not be the case for you. Use the - Top Offset (seen below)
and the + Top Offset (circle 2 above) to get the picture positioned perfectly.
Okay, that's it! Don't worry if the Flask picture settings are a different
size to what it says in the output pad, the cropping overrides anything
Flask had set before.
Duplication of links or content is strictly
prohibited. (C) NICKY PAGE 2000