More capture/conversion

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Rob Gillespie, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I thought I'd post some results of my Pink Floyd 'Pulse' LD to DVD conversion.

    I've found this project to yield better results than my Star Wars conversions, mainly because the video signal is so much cleaner. Also, as the source material wasn't telecined, I didn't have IVTC during processing.

    This is 2hr 25min concert, so the bitrate for a single-DVD version had to be kept low. I managed to to do it at 100-3950-8200kbps VBR. Audio is 256kbps AC-3. This also inclues a single menu screen for track selection and the whole thing comes in at 4.36gb.

    A two-disc version, which I'm still working on, uses a video rate of 100-6000-8200kbps VBR, but with uncompressed PCM audio. Although I'm very happy with how the single disc conversion has come out, the two-discer does exhibit greater video quality (basically no visible pixelation that I can see) and the audio seems a little nicer too. I'm also doing slightly more elaborate menus.

    Here's a collection of screen shots. These are direct captures from PowerDVD with no processing or alterations:

    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf01.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf02.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf03.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf04.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf05.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf06.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf07.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf08.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf09.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf10.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf11.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf12.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf13.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf14.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf15.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf16.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf17.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf18.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pf19.jpg
    http://www.robgillespie.dsl.pipex.com/images/pfmenu.jpg

    The last one is a grab from the track selection menu screen I created in DVDLab. The background image is a manipulated scan of the original Pulse CD cover (DVDLab has tons of effects you can apply to images). The font is Albertus Medium, the same used all over the Pulse CD and LD covers. When you navigate through the selection, the underline appears beneath each track title. It took a while to get the positioning and underlining sorted out (and of course the links and navigation), but I'm pleased with the results - and the concert looks and sounds terrific.
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Rob, what are you using to do the AC3 Audio capture with? This interests me. I have a set of Japan-Only issued LD's that I can't hardly part with.. but I'd love to store on DVD-R.
     
  3. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    No AC-3 Chris. The Pulse LD (like the Star Wars discs) are PCM stereo only.

    It is possible to capture 5.1 audio but it's difficult and potentially expensive. One way would be to capture the individual channels from the analogue outputs on a DVD player or amp, but you'd then need to align them all and encode into 5.1 AC-3 again. I don't know of any consumer-level products that could do that.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I'm always fascinated by these projects, people are always discovering new ways to encode, capture, and other methods in general. What kind of hardware are you using to transfer from your LD player to your computer? Do you capture to a lossless codec like huffyuv and convert that to MPEG-2 VBR? What programs do you use for this project (and what's their use)?

    Sorry to ask so many questions. [​IMG]

    *edited mistake, thanks Wayne!
     
  5. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Cool. While we're doing show and tell, take a look at a few shots from my transfer of The Empire Strikes Back SE:

    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp01.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp02.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp03.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp04.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp05.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp06.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp07.png
    http://members.cox.net/wbundrick/images/emp08.png

    Scott, I don't think Huffyuv is lossy? That's why the compression ratio isn't so good.

    Anyway, Rob and I both capture to DV format, since we're both using capture boards that digitize to DV and deliver it via firewire. DV is 25 Mbps, all frames are intracoded (like MPEG I-frames) with no temporal compression, and chroma is subsampled 4:1:1 (for NTSC that is, I believe PAL DV is 4:2:0).
     
  6. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Your links aren't working, Wayne.

    Scott, caputre is done using my Pioneer CLD-HF9G (Japanese model) into a Canopus ADVC-1394 card using the codec Wayne mentions above. Audio is captured analogue at the same time through the same card. The separate caputre files are then spliced using VirtualDub and also have the excess bits trimmed at the same time.

    Audio is stripped out using VirtualDub and worked on separately. If I'm encoding into AC-3, then I just run it through BeSweet. With the Canopus card, audio sync is never an issue.

    Video is processed using TMPGEnc Plus. I don't use any noise-reduction as it tends to obscure detail. I capture the video at IRE 0 and then raise the brightness a few points during encoding. I also take down the red level as it tends to be a bit hot on LDs.

    Once the processing is done, the DVD authoring is done using DVDLab.

    btw, for my Star Wars transfers, I replaced the original subtitles, shown in the lower letterboxing border, with hard-coded ones in the actual picture area. This was done using Vegas Video 3 LE which I got with the Canopus card. The end result is subs which look like they're part of the film rather than being tacked on.
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Ken,
    DVDLab has a number of predfined templates for menu layouts. They're quite nice but obviously need to be tweaked. The Floyd one I did above was created from scratch. It's really simple, just the CD cover scan used as a background with a couple of DVDLab's manipulation effects and with the opacity decreased a bit.

    The chapter links consist of a text box and a separate underline, which is the actual link. I did them all manually but it really didn't take very long. The app has reasonable editing facilties, just don't expect it to be MS Publisher. The same company also sells a separate DVD menu creation app which I guess probably has much greater control.
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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  10. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Those are really nice Wayne - a little dark though?

    The SE discs look a lot better than the original trilogy ones.
     
  11. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Those pictures of Yoda do look dark. That could be what my software DVD player's MPEG decoder is doing to the white and black levels. It looks better on my set top player though. I don't think I'm going to be convinced that I got it right until I can see before and after waveforms on a scope.
     
  12. Mark ZA

    Mark ZA Agent

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    Rob,

    I'm wondering why you didnt choose to put the tracks back in their correct order on your single disc DVD?

    Mark
     
  13. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Mark, the order hasn't been changed. Is there a glaring mistake on the menu screen?

    *edit*

    Just checked the track order and it's the same as the LD.
     
  14. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    The track order is different on the VHS, as well as on the CD (which I recall is also missing "Take It Back" and "One Of These Days" but instead includes "Astronomy Domine", "Great Day For Freedom", and "Hey You"). The VHS has "Another Brick" and "One Of These Days" before the DSOTM set, not after, so the "encores" are only "Wish You Were Here", "Comfortably Numb", and "Run Like Hell".

    I'll bet that somewhere on the Internet somebody has the original set list for the Earls Court concert on October 20, 1994.
     
  15. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I found it at the Brain Damage web site. The October 20, 1994 set list is the same as the VHS. I'm thinking now that maybe "Another Brick" and "One Of These Days" were moved on the laserdisc so that it would have the side break in a better place, perhaps between "Great Gig" and "Money"?

    The other songs that are on the CD were taken from previous dates at Earls Court.
     
  16. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Back to the darkness problem on those Empire snapshots: it's definitely the software MPEG decoder causing it. If I freeze the same frames on a set top player, the picture is brighter and looks normal. I'm absolutely sure that my AVI capture is correct, because before I captured the movie I captured colorbars from Video Essentials LD, then looked at the bars on the software waveform monitor and vectorscope in Canopus RexEdit. I tweaked my capture settings until the Video Essentials bars looked identical to Canopus' built-in digitally perfect colorbars pattern.

    So my AVI is good. The only question is whether TMPGenc is doing something to the black/white levels during encoding. I've run several tests and I've nearly convinced myself that TMPGenc is correct if on the Quantize tab I check the "Output as Basic YCbCr not CCIR-601" box, exactly as the tooltip says will give the best result when the source is already CCIR-601.

    There is one more step that I'm doing before encoding to MPEG. I convert the file from Microsoft DV AVI to Canopus reference AVI, using a utility I downloaded from Canopus. It doesn't actually convert the video data, it just changes the AVI signature to Canopus and copies the data into its own layout. Then the AVI is no longer decoded by the lame Microsoft codec, instead the much better Canopus DV codec (a free decode-only version is also available for download) becomes responsible.
     
  17. Mark ZA

    Mark ZA Agent

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    No Rob, no glaring mistake, but as Wayne said the track order on the Laserdisc is slightly incorrect. I think given the limitations of Laserdisc, rather than try and squeeze Wall II and Days on to the same side as Moon, they put it on the 3rd side.

    This is evident by the fact that the background singers have white outfits throughout the first half of the show and black outfits through Moon and the encore. For some reason however, they switch back to white on the first two tracks of side 3 [​IMG]

    Also, if you dont mind making a non-standard DVD and your player can handle it, I find using 480x576 at VBR 100-3000-4000 can yield excellent results for anything upto 3 hours in length. The maximum I've got to look good at 720x480/576 is about 2hrs 15 mins (Return of the Jedi), otherwise the bitrate just gets too low.

    You would probably find you could drop that to VBR 100-2600-3000 to fit on your LPCM tracks as well.....

    ....if you wanted to go down that route of course. [​IMG]

    Later,
    Mark
     
  18. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Right, I see where you're coming from.

    I suppose I could re-edit the show but there's really no point and I'd end up with jumps in the crowd shots between songs.
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    How does WinDV capture to a specific codec? Is there any way to manually tell it to use Huffyuv, or a VFW codec? Currently, when I try capturing to AVI, Virtualdub complains that the file's format is "dvsd" (Windows Media Player format?) from using WinDV for the capturing via firewire. In the WinDV config, I've selected "Type-2 AVI" and checked the box next to the config button.

    (Update: I wound up finding the Panasonic DVD codec and installing that into my PC, and it enabled Virtualdub to read the capture files I created)
     
  20. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Pat - I have to do the same. I think the codec for the incoming video is handled by the capture card but when playing back you need to install the 3rd party one.
     

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