DivX to DVD - The Ultimate Tutorial
This article will describe step by step how to produce a Video-DVD out of a MPEG-4 file (DivX or XviD). Although a simple process, it is a long task for any computer so you might want to do it overnight for the computer to render while unattended. It requires minimum knowledge of computer use, and if you follow all the steps exactly, you don't even have to know what you're doing
Here are the basic stages:
- gather precise information regarding your source:
-> number of files: single/multiple
-> file format: DivX/XviD
-> video format: PAL/NTSC
-> aspect ratio: 4:3/16:9
-> audio format: AC-3/MP3
-> subtitles: yes/no, single/multiple
- convert your source to MPEG-2, the DVD format
- add subtitles (if necessary)
- test your result
- burn to disc
All required software is either freeware or shareware:
- GSpot (www.headbands.com/gspot/download.html)
- VirtualDubMod (www.sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdubmod)
- DVD2SVCD (www.mrbass.org/dvd/dvd2dvd)
- TMPGEnc (www.tmpgenc.net/e_download.html)
- CopyToDVD (http://www.vso-software.fr/download.htm)
- Subtitle Workshop (www.urusoft.net/download.php?lang=1&id=sw)
* Gathering information about the source *
Load the source AVI file into GSpot. The program will analyse it and provide you with information regarding file format, video format, aspect ratio, audio format and subtitles, as well as inform you if the file is corrupt or if you need to install additional codecs to work with it.
* Joining multiple files (optional) *
If your source consists of several files, you will have to join them, using VirtualDubMod. Open the first file (File -> Open video file), then check Video -> Direct stream copy (to avoid re-rendering), then subsequently add the rest of the files.
Choose File -> Save as -> somedesiredname.avi to save the complete movie. After export is complete, you should check the result in a video player, as the audio can sometimes go out of sync.
Next, Subtitle Workshop will help you join the subtitles (if needed). To do that, click Tool -> Join subtitles, then add the files one by one. Click Join. Afterwards, check your new subtitle file to see if it syncs perfectly with the video file.
* Conversion *
The most important step of the entire process. And the longest.
Install TMPGEnc and DVD2SVCD, choosing "AVI to DVD" as the main function. Launch TMPGEnc and make the following settings:
In the Encoder tab, check TMPGEnc then provide the path to the TMPGEnc executable file. Also, set a default folder to store your projects. Regarding quality, choose Rate Control Mode - 2-pass variable bitrate (VBR) and decide a value for Motion search precision (it's a compromise. Highest quality (very slow) is recommended; at this setting, rendering takes 10 hrs on an Athlon64 3800+ machine).
Load you movie, in the Conversion tab. Choose the desired aspect ratio of the output so that it matches the original one. Check to choose the original soundtrack of the movie.
In the DVD Image tab, it's better to tick "ISO image" and "DVD Author" so that the program should automatically create the image file of the DVD, after rendering is done.
Input the desired bitrate in the corresponding tab. Note that a lower bitrate means more video will be squeezed on a disc, but at a lower quality. Choosing 4464, for instance, will fit an 80 minutes long video on a DVD disc, at good quality.
Click the Audio tab, and choose the AC-3 sound format in the Output mode field. If the audio is already in the AC-3 format, preserve it by choosing Do not convert audio (use source audio).
Back in the Conversion tab, click Go! and then choose Add external subtitle streams. Then choose Rip subtitles and Permanent subtitles if you want your subtitles rendered along with the movie. In the Ext. subtitle font section you can format the subtitles (font, color, encoding etc.)
Return to Conversion, click Go! and Start conversion to proceed to the encoding.
Now take a long break and let your machine do the rest. Go get some sleep or grab a beer and watch Eurosport.
After encoding is complete, you'll have an *.iso file which you can burn to disc directly, by using CopyToDVD or any other disc burning software. You might want to check your result one more time before burning, using an emulator such as Daemon Tools.