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  • Subtitle Ripping Guide for DivX

    Okay, I thought it would be nice to create a tutorial on how to rip subtitles from a DVD. I think people are shying away from doing this merely because it sounds difficult. So let me tell you now that it is laughingly easy to do! You can even make your own subtitles, but for now let's just stick to taking what already exists.

    But why bother getting subtitles? Why not?! Subtitles take practically no memory on the DivX! In a two hour movie such as my following example 'The Mummy' DVD to DivX Rip, the whole of the subtitles will take a micro sized 50KB of extra space! I have never come across a DivX CD that didn't have many many times that space left on the CD after the film has finished. Also, its rather cool to be able to show your friends the DivX you made that has the option of subtitles.

    There are only two DivX Player's that I use to play subtitles: MicroDVD and RedZ DivX Player. Therefore this guide only deals with the subtitle formats these use. However, on the digital digest download section you will fin utilities to convert to just about any subtitle format you need. You'll also find subtitles for most of the popular movies for download on DivX Digest too =).

    I use Redz DivX player if I don't make MicroDVD menus and stuff for my DVD, because there is no thinking to it. You just open the movie in it, select the subtitles and it plays. Now, onto the conversion. I am going to make a DivX with subtitles of The Mummy as an example.

    Before I start here are the things you will need:

    SubRip (v0.8b or above)
    SubConvert (0.9b1 or above)

    Rip the VOB files from the film to your Hard Disk as explained in my Flask Mpeg Guide. Open SubRip and select:

    File > Open Vob

    Up will pop the selection dialogue box seen below. Under the red Action heading choose the SubPictures to text via OCR (C). Click on the Open Dir. button and find the Vob's that you Ripped from the DVD. Put a tick alongside the VOB files you want to rip the text from (A). If you find that the default language is the one you do not want, for example, you may want German subtitles, but instead it gives you English. In that case choose another stream from the drop down stream list (B).

    Once you have selected the Vobs and the correct stream (by trial and error) you are ready to go! Make sure the Vob files are the ones with the film on it, of course, and not something else on the DVD. Okay, click start!

    Note: DVD's use actual picture files for their subtitles. This means that the computer has to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert the picture to a text file.

    The following window will appear next to make sure the picture is clear. If the text looks white on a black background click the OK button. If not, change the 'color 3' box (or whatever it is called) to another number; or you could try the auto detect button. When it looks correct click the OK button.

    If you are running the program for the first time the computer must learn the letters. Be patient and answer its questions by typing in the correct letter as it asks. It is important not to put in the wrong letter and also to make sure that the capital and lower case letters are the correct. Don't worry, the reading process will get faster as you go along. After the first 30 or more letters the computer will almost completely take over.

    The text that the computer has read is shown in a white box below. The picture that the DVD uses is shown above it. If you cannot see the white Subtitles box, click the 'show subtitles text windows' to see it. Now, sit back and wait until the whole file is ripped.

    Now the computer has learned what the text looks like you can save this information to a file for future use. This is a good feature because you do not need to tell the computer what certain letters are every time you use it. To save this information, go to: Characters Matrix > Save Characters Matrix.

    When you choose your next Vob file to rip, you can go to Characters Matrix > Open Characters Matrix and load this information once again i.e.

    Now the important thing to do is save the text you just ripped. Go to the white Subtitles window and select: File > Save as.

    The processed text is literally nothing more than a text file even though it may have the extension .srt or .sub or whatever. If you were to open your subtitles in wordpad they would look something like this:

    MicroDVD can read the SubRip format, but you won't be able to use MicroDVD's more advanced features like setting font face, size, position, color for each subtitle line separately. So it is preferable to convert this to MicroDVD's native subtitle format first. To do this, open 'SubRip Convert'. In the frame rate box (B) select 25 if you use a PAL CD and 29.7 if you use NTSC or type in whatever you use. Find the input file (i.e. the one you just ripped) by using the browse button (A). Once done, click the 'Save' button and choose where you wish to save it.

    The finished file should have a .txt extension unless you change it to something else. The converted file will look like this if you open it with a word processor:

    Ignore the bracketed numbers as they tell the DivX or MicroDVD player when to put the text on the screen. The bar lines (i.e. | ) tells MicroDVD to put the text after the bar below the previous.

    And here is how the finished DivX looks, cool huh!


    Editing the Subtitles

    If you get a really weird DVD such as a multi-angle DVD, you may have to select individual Vob files merge the subtitles together. This is also very easy to do since it is just text! Open the first of the text files you have converted in Wordpad (or another word processor). Then open Wordpad again and open the next converted file in that. Copy the text from the second text file and paste it into the first. Do the same again for each text file until you have just one single text file with the text of the movie in it.

    You can open the text in any word processor such as Microsoft Word and spell check it too. Once you are happy with the finished file save it with the SAME name as the DivX movie and use the extension .sub. I called my DivX movie: 'mummy.avi' because it was a DVD rip of the film 'The Mummy'. So to save the subtitles text I will save the file as: "mummy.sub". Please include the quotation marks (" ") to force the word processor to save it with the .sub extension otherwise it will save it as something like mummy.sub.txt or mummy.sub.doc!

    That's it! Save both the text file and the AVI file on the same CD and you are finished. Open the CD in Redz DivX Player and it will tell you that subtitles have been found. You can choose the font you want and the color too.


    Synchronizng the Subtitles

    Occasionally, the text and speech on the subtitles is not in tandem. This is usually a framerate problem because, for whatever reason, the frames do not match the text time codes. I suggest you don't get rid of your "original" subrip files in case this happens! The reason I say that is that the latest version of subrip converter has an option for automatically changing ALL the time codes on your subtitle text file before it converts it to the MicroDVD format that we all like ;^). This kills two birds with one stone so to speak.

    Here is how it works. Open your newly converted subtitle file ( as though you were going to convert it to the MicroDVD format (i.e. something.sub). Now, everything works in tenths of a second, so 10 would represent 1 seconds delay. Usually the movie will be correct but need sliding either left or right to make it match the rest of the film. Where it says, "add this time to each subtitle", if you put 10 it would make the subtitles appear 1 second later than they do already. If you put -10 it would make the subtitles appear I second earlier than it used to appear, simple huh!

    Where it says "Make every hour longer by.." it will stretch the subtitles out longer. So by putting 10 in it, it will gradually move the subtitle positions until they appear 1 second later by the time an hour of film is played. By choosing -10, you guessed it, it will gradually shorten the the time that each subtitle appears by 1 second.


    Foreign Language Character-Sets

    Sorry, subrip can only handle roman style text such as English, French etc. Your only option is to try Flask Mpeg's subtitle feature in DVD mode. It works most of the time so should for non-roman style text too.


    MicroDVD INI Files

    To make a CD that will tell MicroDVD player to offer the option of subtitles, you must make an .ini file. If you want to learn about writing these then go to the creating menu's part of my multimedia DivX section. For those of you who don't want the hassle I have designed the following ones for you to use. Just change the names and stuff to fit your own movie.

    Just copy the text to notepad and rename the parts highlighted in red to your own movie files. For example, if my movie was titanic I'd put: Title=Titanic ; AVIName=titanic.avi. Lets say my subtitles were German, I'd put: 1=GER German ; File=titanic.sub. You get the idea!

    [Micro DVD Ini File]
    Title=The Mummy
    1=ENG English













    Once changed, save it in notepad by calling it: "Mdvd.ini" (with quotation marks to force it to have the .ini filename). Just copy this file along with your movie and subtitles text to your CD-R (don't put them in folders) and everything should play fine!

    A Double CD INI File

    A two CD INI file is not difficult to do either. Just copy the FULL subtitle document (e.g. mummy.sub) onto both CD's. You do NOT need to split them when using MicroDVD! Then change the red highighted parts of the INI below. The only difference is you must tell MicroDVD how long each avi movie is in frames. So in my example the first part of the movie is CD1Frames=112000. Which means the AVI has 112000 frames in it. The amount of frames can easily be found by opening the file in VirtualDub and looking at File > File Information. It will then say how many frames where it says "# of frames (time)".

    CD 1
    [Micro DVD Ini File]  
    Title=Movie Name  
    1=ENG English  
    CD 2
    [Micro DVD Ini File]
    Title=Movie Name
    1=ENG English















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