Converting Movies Into VCD/SVCD/DVD Compliant Video Basic Guidelines

 

 

 

Introduction:

 

This is a very basic introductory walkthrough on how to convert videos into a compliant video form.    Now you are probably asking Why bother?  The video works on my computer so if it aint broken why fix it?.   A number of reasons here, are a few:

 

 

  I am a big believer of KISS  (Keep It Simple Stupid).    When I want relax and watch a video, I want to pop it into my standalone DVD/VCD player and it plays.   Thats it.   No loading this or that or worrying about codec this and codec that.  I dont want to waste five or ten minutes figuring out why I have sound and no video   or  video with no sound.   I just want it to work.

 

   Although, I maybe a technical nerd, but someone like my mother is certainly not.    So, if I find a cool Chinese movie like Internal Affairs for her, there is no way in hell I will be be able to tell her how to browse for the file  yea right.    I think I would have a hard enough time telling her how to change language to Cantonese on a DVD.  So, something like a VCD for her would be perfect.   Put the disk into the dvd player, close the door, and it works.   Otherwise, I maybe wasting countless hours providing telephone tech support for a product that wasnt even made by me. 

 

  Standards are a good thing.   If we look at music and the internet when file sharing was the big news.   Everyone was swapping music all over the world.   The reason why it took off so fast because almost everyone shared  MP3s.   Sure where were some WAV, WMA, and AIFF and etc., but the defacto standard of MP3 took over and made it so even the non-techno nerd can use the internet to get the music they wanted.  Why dont they do that for video?   I betcha, greed and vanity has something to do with it.

 

So this FAQ is designed as the most common way that the average person would be using this TMPGENC program.   There are exceptions which I will cover in another file and some most common errors which are located at the bottom of this file.

 

 

The BASIC TMPGEnc Guide

 

 

 

Procedure:

 

1.   Start up TMPGEnc and open the Wizard.  (If you have closed it, it is located under  File->Project Wizard).

 

2.   Here do we select what format to create. VCD, SVCD or DVD  are going to be the most typical that you will choose as a beginner.  What is the difference?  In a nutshell,  good quality, better quality, and best quality.

 

 

 

3.   Select the one marked Select Video-CD NTSC for our example.   It is located above the entry marked by the red arrow in the picture above.

 

4.   Click on the NEXT button to continue to the next step.

 

 

5.   In this second step of five steps, TMPGENC is asking where are the video and audio files that need converting.   We will start with the Video File first.   Click on the Browse button for the video file marked by the top red arrow in the diagram above.  Locate your movie and it will be added here.

 

6.   Now, under NORMAL circumstances, the audio file line will be autiomatically filled in for you.   If it isnt then it is not in a format that TMPGENC likes.  You will need to use Virtualdub to rip the audio out of the movie.   See my FAQ on how to do this before proceeding.

 

7.   If you have a different audio file ripped to wav,  you can browse and choose that file the same way you did for video except of course it is the next line as marked by the second red arrow above.

 

8.   After you specified these two things, you can ignore the rest on the page and just press NEXT to go to proceed.

 

 

 

9.    Alright, step 3 out of 5 is for setting any special filters.  The first one allows you to segment the video up.   If your movie is less than 70 minutes long for a VCD, then you can ignore this step.   If you movie is over 70 minutes, then your VCD needs to be broken up into 2 (or more) smaller pieces.

 

a)   First select Source range, as marked by the red arrow in the diagram above.

 

 

 

b)   Now a Source range page comes up as shown above.  , as marked by the red arrow in the diagram above.  (side note:  If this is for the second half of the movie skip ahead to step (9f).  But for first timers, just keep reading.

 

c)  On the diagram marked by a red (1.), there will be drag box.   Click and drag this box till you hit about half way through the movie marked by the red (3.)

 

d)   Click on the Set End Frame which is marked with a red (4.)   If you look at the top of the dialog box, it will say how many frames you have selected between the start and end frame and how many minutes it comes out to.  Just check that it is under 70 minutes and you can press ok to go to the next step.     If not,  repeat the previous steps (9c) and (9d) again until the time is under 70 minutes.  

 

e)   Please note this end frame number because you will need this number, when you need to encode the second half.   If this is your first pass for the first half of the movie, you proceed to step 10.   If this is your second pass, for the second half of the movie, go to the next step (9f).

 

f)  When you do the second half,  you will just type this number in the start frame box.

 

g)   Click on the Set Start Frame which is marked with a red (2.).

 

h)   If you look at the top of the dialog box, it will say how many frames you have selected between the start and end frame and how many minutes it comes out to.  Just check that it is under 70 minutes and you can press ok to go to the next step.     If not,  repeat the previous steps (9c) and (9d) again until the time is under 70 minutes.  Your movie will need more than 2 pieces, maybe 3 or 4 pieces  (Lord Of the Rings Movies) are an example of this.

 

i)    If this second part of the movie is good enough to complete the movie then you are done, you can proceed to the next step  (10).  If the movie is so long you need a third slice or even a fourth slice, then you will have to note this end frame number because you will need this number, when you need to encode the third half.   Continue with FAQ and then come back to repeat steps (9f) to (9i) as many times as necessary to get the entire movie.

 

10)     The other commonly used filter used in the Filter Dialog box is located under the Other Settings.   Click on this button as marked ( 2 diagrams above).

 

11)     The MPEG Setting  dialogue box will appear as shown below.   Now, for begineers, you only really to check one thing.   Click on the second tab labeled Advanced.

 

12)      On this page, change the Video arrange Method to Full screen (keep aspect ratio) so the movie will look exactly the same as the original video source.   See red arrow in the diagram below.

 

13)      As for the rest you can leave it alone.    There is also the ability to fix some of the sound like boosting the volume under the audio tab.   But for beginners, you can skip that and press OK  to return back to the filter window.

 

 

14)     Ok, we can proceed to the next step,  press NEXT at the bottom of the Filter dialog window.

 

 

 

15)     Ok, step 4 out 5, is more of a visual check that your VCD will actually fit on a disk,  Select CD-R 74min or 80min depending on what media you are going to burn on. 80min means that you can fit near 80 min on a 80min CD and 74 min on a 74min CD.  So, chances are, it will fit so, you can just proceed and click Next.   Otherwise click Back and do some cutting as in step (9) to make it fit.

 

 

16)     Ok, the last of the steps, page 5 of 5.    On this page, is where you want to save the file.    If the default name is fine then you can press OK.

 

17)     Repeat everything to encode the other part(s) if needed.  Refer to step (9) about cutting  a movie into 70 minute pieces.

 

18)     Test the movies to make sure the run ok.  The resulting *.mpg files will play in Windows Media Player.

 

19)      Use your favourite burning program like Nero to burn it to VCD, SVCD or DVD.

 

 

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Problems and Tips:

 

So, I have just given you the basic template and procedure to do a typical AVI movie into VCD.   Now, with the video swapping world the way it is, with nobody deciding on a standard, you are bound to run into a problem sometime.   So I will list a couple of the most common TMPGEnc problems:

 

 

  If you get an error message when opening like file unsupported 

  can not open file

  file  is not supported

  you get an empty(black) video preview window

  video looks wierd in the video preview window like green or purple or pink

 

The problem here is that TMPGENC doesnt know how to decode the video properly.  It needs a codec adjustment.  Maybe even needs a special codec.

 

 First thing to try is to go to TMPGENC, under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader and increase the priority to 2 or to the top of the plugin-list and try reopen the video.

 

If that does not help be sure that you have installed DivX or XviD or MPG2 or DV Codecs.  Try running Gspot or AVIcodec to figure out what codec is missing.  I will list a couple of the more common ones here and what it will need.

To convert from DivX/XviD
video you have to install a DivX/XviD Codec, you may need both DivX 3.11 and the DivX 4 or 5.

 To convert from QuickTime MOV videos you must download the QTReader.vfp and copy it to the TMPGEnc folder.

 To convert from MPEG2/SVCD/DVD videos you may need the MPEG2 Plugin or a MPEG2 Codec/Player.

 To convert from DivX/XviD with AC3 Audio install the AC3 ACM Decompressor.

 To convert from MKV install the matroska / MKV Codec.

 To convert from OGM install the OGG Vorbis DirectShow filter/ OGM Codec.

To convert from DV video you may need to install the Panasonic DV Codec.

 

 

  No audio

  Audio sync problems

  Audio sounds funny

 

 Try to convert the audio to WAV audio using Virtualdub.  Then  use the WAV as audio source. (TMPGEnc can't handle VBR MP3 and AC3 that well). 

 

 

  TMPGEnc freezes

  TMPGEnc crashes when converting

  An  Unexpected decimal point calculation Error

  An Illegal floating decimal point calculation order

Write error occured at address 77F83AED of module "ntdlll.dll"

 

 Try first to change the directshow codec reader priority settings in TMPGEnc under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader and increase the priority to 2 or to the top of the plugin-list and try reopen the video.

 

 If that doesn't help try repair/fix the video source.   The AVI may have suffered some corruption.    Try DvixFix or feed it through Virtualdub to try to repair it.

 

 

  TMPGEnc says Can't load P3Package.dll or P4Package.dll

 

 Be sure that you have exctracted all files in the tmpgenc download zip file to a folder then go to that folder and start tmpgenc.exe or make a shortcut to tmpgenc.exe and it should work.

 

Try to copy the p3package.dll and p4package.dll to your windows\system32 folder and restart TMPGEnc.

 

 

  TMPGEnc says that the video time / runtime is way too long

   TMPGEnc keeps encoding after the end of video with only a black screen

 

Try change the directshow reader priority, in TMPGEnc under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader and increase the priority to 2 or to the top of the plugin-list and reopen the video.

 

 If that doesn't help try convert the audio to WAV audio before converting and use the wav as audio source.

 

 

 And if all that didn't help you can always use the source range to select exactly what to encode, under Settings->Advanced in TMPGEnc.

 

 

  How do I encode several video files to one MPG video file?

  Can I open several video files with TMPGenc?

  How do I open an image sequence (DCP_0001.JPG, DCP_0002.JPG,DCP_0003.JPG ...)?

 

 In TMPGenc under Option-> Environmental setting-> General, check the box for "Open sequence files as a movie". And then rename your movie source files like video1.avi, video2.avi, video3.avi (same name but with a number at the end) and all will be opened at once with TMPGEnc. Note that all files must have same video and audio settings.

 

 

  How do I convert video with AC3 audio?

 

 Install the AC3 ACM Compressor and you can convert AC3 audio.

 

 

  I cannot change any settings

  Settings are greyed out after I open a template

 

 Load your VCD,SVCD or DVD template or use the wizard as usual, then load the unlock template that you find in the extra folder in the templates folders. Now you should be able to change every setting. You can also right click on the setting word and choose Unlock.

 

 

  TMPGEnc takes away the widescreen

  video looks stretched

 

Be sure to select under Settings->Advanced under Video Arange Method: Full Screen(Keep aspect ratio).

 

 

  trouble opening WMV files

 

 Try and rename it to .asf and open it.

 

If that doesn't help try to change the directshow codec reader priority settings in TMPGEnc under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader and increase the priority to 2 or to the top of the plugin-list and try open the video.

 

 

  problem opening DV AVI files

 

 

 First install a DV Codec and be sure that you can play DV AVI with Media Player.  Then try change the directshow reader priority, in TMPGEnc under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the DirectShow Multimedia File Reader and increase the priority to 2 or to the top of the plugin-list and reopen the video.

 If that doesn't help you may need to convert the DV to Canopus reference DV (TMPGEnc do not support Microsoft DV AVI 1).

 

 

  Converting a fullscreen movie from a widescreen movie

 

 If the source is in WideScreen and you want it to be in FullScreen you just select under Settings->Advanced under Video Arange Method: No margin(keep aspect ratio) and TMPGEnc will then cut left and right so it will fit FullScreen.

 

 

  trouble open MPG/MPEG2/SVCD/DVD files

 

 If you have Installed the PowerDVD 4+ demo and use TMPGEnc 2.57+ and you should be able to open MPEG2.

 

 Try install the MPEG2 plugin for TMPGEnc.

 

Or Try and use the DVD2AVI method (note DVD2AVI do not convert the MPEG2 to AVI it only frameserves it to TMPGEnc)

 

 

  problem open DV video, DC30+,MJPEG captured video

  any AVI VFW

 

 Then try to change the settings in TMPGEnc under Option->Environmental settings->VFAPI plug-in and right click on the AVI VFW and increase the priority to 2 and try reopen the video.

 

 

  Improve the audio quality

 

 TMPGEncs Audio Utilities actually really sucks.   I recommend using virtualdub to extract the audio as a WAV.   The use your favourite editor like CoolEdit to fix up the sound or boost up the volume and etc   Then use that when re-encoding.