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Old 3 Jan 2003, 09:42 AM   #1
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Red face-2 We Need a Better Guide.

I'm not going to pretend here - I started encoding to DivX about 2 weeks ago. I can't say that I'm an expert by any means, as some of you have been doing this for years. However, I've had winter holiday off from school, and pretty much all I've done is learn this hobby.

When I first started out, I couldn't even decide where to start. I thought, "Ok, I have this DVD I'd like to shrink and put on my computer so that I can keep it on my hard drive at all times without taking up 7GB of space. I'd also like this DVD to fit onto a single cd, in case I need to archive it for a reformat or something." To do this, I hit google - type in "DivX encoding" and went from there.

What I found was a huge, HUGE amount of information on this subject. One would think that with such an enormous library of tutorials and guides, getting started would be easy as pie. I found this to not be the case. Differing opinions, different languages and different software caused lots of confusion in my mind.

Let's face it - many sites are outdated, incoherent, unattractive and misleading. I don't mean intentionally misleading, but they assume way too much - they assume that one knows already certain aspects of encoding to DivX that I, personally, did not know!

I've also found an utter lack of a standard of quality and dimensions in output of video. There needs to be a benchmark standard of image quality and output resolution so that newbies like myself can go by.

I propose that the experts here, if they be able, disregard the fact that some of you do have your own sites explaining how to do things. I have seen the personal site of nearly everyone on this forum that offers one, and you are not exempt from the problems mentioned above.
In doing so, I would like to assemble a site that explains, in detailed, step-by-step instructions how to go from utter START to perfected FINISH. Or even compile a guide, complete with updated images and steps.

After now understanding the basics of DivX encoding, I still have no idea what an .avs script is, whether my output video shows interlacing problems or not (I've never seen interlacing problems as extreme as some of the guides post pictures of).

I'm running out of words to write here, but I hope everyone can understand where I'm coming from.

I think if the program to use is Gordian Knot, and everyone despises FlaskMPEG, then maybe I'll learn to use GordianKnot as well. We need to explain what the hell virtualDUB actually IS because I STILL do not know what this program is about, or even what it does.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 11:17 AM   #2
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i'm not willing to spend an enormous time just to spare some time to some readers!

the dvd transcoding isnt a childs play even if some might pretend it was.

i think leading through one particular tool (the one i personally prefer) should be of massive help.

since a certain routine which is considered one of the best possible ways requires many different tools (hq-rips are hardly achieved with simple one-click-tools), it'll require too much time explaining ALL background information on every single tool/part.

why would anyone spend weeks of his spare time just to spare yours?

there are many sites offering information on tools, codecs, settings etc like digital-digest, doom9, vcdhelper and many more - help yourself to the details.

none of us learnt this stuff in a week, some of us havent even had all those good tutorials which are available nowadays and we had to learn it the hard way: by trial and error.

this said, you should consider yourself lucky starting this *business* now and not some 3 years ago!

everyone who ever wrote guides on this *hobby* knows that things change fast and routines may be out-of-date the next month.

providing a site with guides that are always up-2-date is imossible - i havent seen a single site that could call itself up-2-date on all aspects and of course i wouldnt dare considering my own page completely up-2-date, since i use different settings/routines myself now than what you will find in my guide - like lanczos resizer or convolution in the resizer/filter section or ogg for audio.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 11:29 AM   #3
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Most guides are fairly easy to understand and simple (with detailed step by step instructions and lots of big pretty pictures ). Maybe you just haven't been looking in the right places?

You should read Uncasms's guide and check out the guides at doom9.org
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 11:38 AM   #4
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i'm sure hdred did look around and read at some places.

and of course i didnt mean to offend anyone, but i know my stuff well enough to point those things out and i know how much time this takes some of us trying to help others.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
i'm not willing to spend an enormous time just to spare some time to some readers!
Enormous time? You certainly spent enough time to write out two guides on your own site, and those couldn't have taken you an enormous amount of time.

I'm not proposing that one individual construct this nirvana of information for millions of people to look at - I'm talking about many people, with lots of knowledge to contribute, coming together and building something helpful with that knowledge. Rather than a single rogue expert such as yourself writing out a half-assed guide on a page riddled with women in chrome bodysuits.

Quote:
i think leading through one particular tool (the one i personally prefer) should be of massive help.
There is nothing wrong with this, but it needs to be understood why you prefer this particular tool, and not just pointed out the fact that you simply prefer it for you and God to know, right?

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since a certain routine which is considered one of the best possible ways requires many different tools (hq-rips are hardly achieved with simple one-click-tools)
I disagree. I've achieved great quality rips with FlaskMPEG, a simple one-click tool if ever there was one. To over-complicate a process does not necessarily make the end result better, right?

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none of us learnt this stuff in a week, some of us havent even had all those good tutorials which are available nowadays and we had to learn it the hard way: by trial and error.
What, do you want some sort of medal? Are you suggesting that this process not evolve into something we all don't need to learn the hard way? I don't see anything wrong with using acquired knowledge to start off in this hobby rather than trial and error. Because even with all these half-assed guides out there, I've learned everything I know now (not much) by trial and error anyway. But it shouldn't be like that.

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everyone who ever wrote guides on this *hobby* knows that things change fast and routines may be out-of-date the next month.
The DivX codec has been around for years and so has mp3 compression - hardly months we're talking about here.

Quote:
providing a site with guides that are always up-2-date is imossible - i havent seen a single site that could call itself up-2-date on all aspects and of course i wouldnt dare considering my own page completely up-2-date, since i use different settings/routines myself now than what you will find in my guide - like lanczos resizer or convolution in the resizer/filter section or ogg for audio.
Sounds like you're saying, "Nobody else does it right; why should we start now?" A very cynical way of looking at it if you ask me. But if you're set in your ways, then maybe I'm not talking to you. Certainly there are other rational people out there with good sense enough to know we can change the scheme of things for the better...
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 11:50 AM   #6
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Certainly there are other rational people out there with good sense enough to know we can change the scheme of things for the better...
there certainly are


reading your *half-assed* statements (divx hasnt been around for years; or at least we should have to say there's isnt such a thing as ONE DIVX codec) i fully understand you havent taken your time thoroughly reading through the bits and pieces provided on this huge topic and i'm quite sure you will need some more holidays to achieve this task.

i didnt take your posting as an offence and neither did i mean to offend you in my reply.

i dont, on the other hand, see your point.

you're implying to be willing to read through information but still havent actually done so at all.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
reading your *half-assed* statements (divx hasnt been around for years; or at least we should have to say there's isnt such a thing as ONE DIVX codec) i fully understand you havent taken your time thoroughly reading through the bits and pieces provided on this huge topic and i'm quite sure you will need some more holidays to achieve this task.
Taking one statement of mine out of context and making a blanket assumption of my method of gathering knowledge isn't a good way to win me over Uncas.

You've failed to see the point of my post, as you stated yourself. Your last line there IS my point - I shouldn't have to sift through hundreds of pages of garbage to find one small bit of information that I can actually use towards achieving a knowledge of this hobby.

Quote:
you're implying to be willing to read through information but still havent actually done so at all.
You say that as if you know anything about what I've read. Do you? No.

I've read through MANY guides, including your own. Obviously you did take offense to my statement of your guide being half-assed (which it is, honestly). I'm not trying to be mean, but you even said so yourself - you don't have the "enormous time" it takes to put together a decent guide, so why become aggressive when I call you out on that?

This is why mathematicians do not always make for good teachers - I would apply this phenomenon to you as well. While you no doubt seem to know your stuff, you have, from what I've observed, an inability to instruct properly on said knowledge. Nothing wrong with that, but what I'm saying is that you need to break down that knowledge into edible bites and allow someone else who IS good at teaching the change to compile, along with others, a site or guide or whatever to bring those facts across to the layperson in as understandable and elementary fashion as humanly possible.

But again, you're the guru - you think what you want and as I said, perhaps you're not the type of person I'm directing my statements to.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 12:47 PM   #8
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You say that as if you know anything about what I've read. Do you? No

of course i aint and never will.

on the other hand i spend more time reading through guides and tutorials than complaining.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 12:55 PM   #9
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HDRed most people are able to easily encode with the present divx guides. If you put the same effort into actually working on divx encoding that you put in your lenghty arguments you could actually get somewhere.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 01:12 PM   #10
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Encoding is easy I guess, but then that doesn't take care of quality, size, interlacing, sound, filesize or any of that.

Encoding = easy.
Encoding well = hard.

I don't really complain alot, but I do ask questions! I ask alot of questions.....

Maybe you think I'm complaining alot because you don't get many posts of this type here - I think it's good to break up the party a bit and take a step back to see if it's being done properly.

You know, just because something is accepted doesn't make it right, or even beneficial. Maybe you like holding on to the hard work you've done of gaining all this knowledge, and I can respect that. I just don't think it has to be an exclusive club with cryptic language that we can't all understand.

At least make a freaking word bank or something!
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 01:24 PM   #11
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no one is holding back his knowledge and you're more than welcome to ask / critisize.

only i dont see specific questions and thus wont knwo what to answer in case i could.

information on codecs, interlacing, bitrate, audio and so on can be found at nickys, doom9 and other places google will spit out.

reading is the primarily task you will have to do, helping to understand the problematic parts could be done in a forum like this.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 02:31 PM   #12
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I think doing encoding and doing it well is akin to learning to drive. You don't just read and learn everything there is to do with the topic, and expect to comprehend everything at the end of the day. You simply keep practising until you get used to it (or shall I say until it's in the blood?), and you can see the important points (main highlights) of the whole subject.

As for those who create guides, once you got past that "learning" curve process, you'll find that you have narrowed down your choices to a few select programs. However, there are heaps of similar programs that are capable of similar tasks. Outlining them all and explaining why you have decided not to use them can be a daunting task. Not to mention that better stuff may appear in the near future and you'll likely change to that program sooner or later. This keeps happening and updating your guide for this is simply too time-consuming or trouble-some. A much better alternative would be to keep an eye out on forums. This particular forum is more like a troubleshooter forum. If you are interested in the latest development on video encoding, Doom9's forum will provide all you need to know (it can be daunting for newbies though).

To sum it up, I find that a lot of decent guides around the net have similar approaches to achieving DVD conversion. Once you have familiarised yourself with some of them, you'll then see which programs are the "standards" used for DVD-2-digital format conversion.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 03:22 PM   #13
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Enchanter, maybe I would learn better by example.

Let's say you tell us (if not too much trouble) just the basic steps you personally go through when you take a dvd movie's .vob files and turn them into a DivX movie that will fit onto a single 700mb cd.

If that's too much to ask it's cool.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 03:30 PM   #14
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You should offer us details on your precise encoding procedures, and define what your "quality problem" is.
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Old 3 Jan 2003, 03:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by HDRed
Enchanter, maybe I would learn better by example.

Let's say you tell us (if not too much trouble) just the basic steps you personally go through when you take a dvd movie's .vob files and turn them into a DivX movie that will fit onto a single 700mb cd.

If that's too much to ask it's cool.
It's quite simple really.

First of all, I extract the audio off the DVD and prepare the MP3 file for muxing later. Then, I use DVD2AVI to create the project file, which is input into the Avisynth script (AVS) template that I have created (I only use GordianKnot to do the auto-cropping and yield the values I should input into the script -> I'm too lazy to do it manually). As to the script, it calls on the various plug-ins and parameters that are to be used for processing the video. The template looks like this:

LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\mpeg2dec.dll")
LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\decomb.dll")
LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\lanczos3.dll")
LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\Convolution3D.dll")
LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\MSharpen.dll")
LoadPlugin("F:\Rip Tools\Avisynth Plug-in\Tweak.dll")
LoadPlugin("C:\WINDOWS\System32\vobsub.dll")
mpeg2source("D2V file location")
Telecide()
Decimate(cycle=5)
#The above 2 lines are for Inverse Telecining originally-FILM NTSC materials#
Convolution3d(parameters)
crop(values)
lanczosresize(x,y)
VobSub("IFO file location")
Tweak(values)

After inputting the required values for each plug-ins that I have decided to use (not all of them have to be used anyway), I simply load the script into Virtual/nandub and go about the configuration of the codec and start the conversion.

The script template probably looks confusing to you, so just ask me any question and I'll be more than happy to answer them.
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