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Thread: Editing VOB contents without reencoding?

  1. #1

    Question Editing VOB contents without reencoding?

    This might sound silly at first but bare with me - I got asked to make a few edits to a DVD. The edits are all destructive, aka, cutting bits out. In theory this means no new information is being added. Therefore, it seems possible that I can demux the vob's, edit the contents somehow and then package them back up into a VOB and burn back to a DVD without having to reecode. Obviously reencoding will lose quality reencoding dvd contents over the top of itself which would be unfortunate but may be necessary.

    After spending hours trying all sorts of tools today (the best I got was things lik eDVDdecrypter) I found that the audio files I ended up with if I put them into windows movie maker (don't laugh, I haven't got premiere or anything on this PC) were longer than the video files! I don't see how because I used things like vodedit and many other tools to demux yet the video would either be unseeable in WMM or the sound would just be too long.

    In the end I found vobrator (stop chuckling) let me pull the video and audio from both files (the original stock was 2 VOB files that ran back2back) and the end result went into WMM no problem and lined up. So I cut the bits out from both autio and video that I didn't want, and then wondered how I could repackage it to DVD without having to reencode. The best I found (using windows vista ultimate btw) was to say publish to dvd which fired off windows dvd maker, and then burn from there. It took about 15/20m to "encode" though so I'm not sure if it went through reencoding the whole thing again, or just encoded the menu movie and the rest was just pulling the mpeg2 data back into a vob that it was encoding. I can't tell looking at it playing the DVD whether it was reencoded or not - some might say that's good enough then but for the sake of future work or where the original DVD source was higher quality than this one, I'd really like to know if it's possible to do what I was trying to do or not, and if so, how. I have more of these to do and they're wanted by someone urgently :/ All thoughts welcome

    UPDATE - I just tried out MPEG streamclip and it looked lik eit would let me trim/cut a vob then save back to a vob so I gave it a go but the save-as only let me save to mpeg. But I tried it anyway and sure enough it all worked and the whole thing was turned nicely into an mpeg with the sections I'd cut removed. It took under a minute to save I think so surely that wasn't reencoding anything? But then what would I do with the mpeg file to make it back into a dvd without encoding? Also streamclip wasn't easy to edit with since I couldn't heard sound and I needed to make some tight cuts with the sound aswell as picture.
    Last edited by Leozack; 10-31-2008 at 01:20 AM.

  2. #2


    Ok well noone seems interested in answering but I shall say what I've done anyway incase anyone is interested.

    For one DVD I used joinvobfiletool to join the 2 vobfiles (you'll note above I demuxed them seperately into 2 sets of a/v files with vobrator) into 1 vobfile, then used either vobrator or TMPGenc (I forget) to demux to m2v + wav. Then I used cutterman to make the cutting edits, make chapters, and saved/authored/whatever back into a new m2v + wav. Then I used IFOedit to author a new dvd and used the m2v + wav to create a new folder for a dvd, where it saved the vobfiles etc necessary to be burned. There - all done, with no use of WMM, and no reencoding.

    For the next one (a strange DVDRAM or something with a VRO file or something) I had to use TMPGenc MPEGtools to demux to m2v + ac3 since I don't think vobrator worked? I wish I'd made exact notes because I've forgotten amongst all the tools/methods that didn't work which one eventually did! Then I used cutterman to make the cutting edits, make chapters, and saved/authored/whatever back into a new m2v + ac3. Then I used IFOedit to author a new dvd and used the m2v + ac3 to create a new folder for a dvd, where it saved the vobfiles etc again. Once again job done and no reencoding necessary.

    However - I'm now interested having made lots of nice chapters if there's any freeware tool capable of making me a DVD menu. I can have either a still/video background, and a play option, but it'd be nice if it could also have a scenes/chapters option which listed the chapters to skip to - even better yet would be thumbnail still/video of each chapterstart for the selection (the sort of thing dvd burnign software does for you automatically - the problem being those are based on encoding a dvd out of videofiles and I've already got the vobs n chapters n everything done). I guess it'd also be nice to know of a tool that works as successfully as TMPGenc at demuxing (as you can tell, I've tried lots of tools for all parts of these processes


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Nelson, New Zealand


    Hi, I don't know of a freeware editing program, but the simplest mpg or VOB editing program I've used is Womble mpeg video wizard, Products - Womble Multimedia, Inc. you can get a trail to try, it has some tools to demultiplex and re-multiplex and it does smart rendering which is what you want, if you do try it, go to "Export" and select "Monitor" and in there you will find a tab called "Detail" it shows you the parts that it is re-encoding and the parts that are stream copied.
    It's a program I use a lot to take out adverts from TV programs.

  4. #4


    Yeah womble is $70 but it seems a lot of people use it.
    My adventures for the past 5 hours or so have been about adding a menu to a DVD you've already made, be it fully authored to vobfiles or still in m2v+wav/ac3 state.

    The 2 programs I've tried are GUIforDVDauthor and DVDstyler. DVDstyler is nice looking, simple, lets you add backgrounds and submenus etc, but I couldn't find how to make graphical buttons. I just want a chapterlist with a picture from the start of each chapter you click to got that chapter. Lots of DVD programs that do it all automatically do this but make the previews 10s clips rather an just images. I moved onto GUIforDVDauthor which seemed a lot more complicated and hardcore, yet everything was allegedly possible if only you knew how to do it. My problem has been (inversely enough) trying to acheive something simple amongst the complication - that being the chapterlists with images for each button isntead of text. You'd think it should be simple but as best I can make out, the most simple way to manage it is to line up lots of images, then make lots of text buttons but remove the text and set them to the same size as the image, and add hover-over frames. Seems a lot ahrder than being allowed ot just say "add button - use this image - add this border when hovering - perform this action when clicked".

    Oh well :/

  5. #5


    I'm sorry noone else got in on this topic because I thought it would be a fairly basic yet common procedure.

    In the end I had to use a variety of tools to combat both normallyt encoded DVD discs and also a DVDRAM with a .VRO or something. I also found I couldn't edit the sound which I needed for some of them if it was in ac3, and dvdauthor didn't accept wav's for a project.
    The general lineup though was :

    -Combine vob's into 1 with joinvobfiletool

    -Demux vob or other container (in case of the DVDRAM disc) with either vobrator, vobedit, or TMPGenc (didn't want to rely on that since it's not freeware)

    -Convert ac3's to wav with AC3tool

    -Edit any audio stuff with audacity

    -Convert wav to AC3 with ffmpeggui

    -Load demuxed m2v and ac3 into cuttermaran and make any cuts needed and add chapters and take chapter screenshots if needed and menu screenshot if needed

    -Load the cut/edited output m2v & ac3 & chapterlist into guifordvdauthor & create menus and chapterlists etc the choose createdvd
    (If you're not interested in a dvd menu then IFOedit can be used instead of guifordvdauthor)

    -Use imgburn to make an iso from the directory made with dvdauthor and then burn ay dvd's from that iso
    There - no video reencoding whatsoever. But I did work all through the night on them and skip sleep just to get them finihsed before they were needed /yawn

    All the above software is freeware with the exception of TMPGenc which was on trial. Hopefully the other demuxers always provided a way to get what I want without TMPGenc though for if I need to do the same thing again.

    Sidenotes I would say are editing in cuttermaran can be hard because it doesn't give you any sound, so you're left to make visual clues or line the shot up with what you view in a mediaplayer to hear where the sound is - and if you're trying to edit the sound to go with an edited video - good luck - you'll have to do that seperately then put it back in I guess. I had to edit the video then edit the sound seperately in audacity for a muscially accompanied dvd.

    Other tools that helped along the way were things like VLC mediaplayer for file testing/viewing/listening and even on one occasin converting (before I found AC3tool which is more reliable for ac3->wav) and I tested the dvds by dropping video_ts.ifo onto WMP and also tested the burnt dvd's on an xbox 360 to make sure all my buttons worked etc.

  6. #6


    Sony Vegas 8 allows direct capture of DVD's (non copyright) on to the time line and as long as you know the original encoding template, you can make one in V8 and output to a new non re-rendered MPEG,

    Try the demo download on the Sony website

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Nelson, New Zealand


    Hi If you need a freeware de-multiplexer have a look at Project X - DVB demux Tool it's primary use is for digital recoding from TV transmitions and makes them acceptable to authoring programs, but it might be sutable for what you want.


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