[How To]Creating Divx Files

tieng

Registered
Encoding stuff on a Mac is a pain in the ass right now. Mencoder and FFMpegX make it a little easier, but both of them have their downfalls, and I have trouble getting them to work consistently.

Here's another thread that talks about using ffMpeg instead; it might do what you're looking for in fewer steps.

encoding with ffmpegX



For me, the best combination of video stuff I've found is the following:

  • OSex, a ripper. Hasn't been updated in a while, and I had trouble getting it to work consistently under 10.2.5, but it's the best of what I've seen out there. Also tried command line based vobcopy, but I couldn't get that to work at all.
  • Diva, a front end to the 3ivx codec. Only does video at this point, but it's the only one of the tools out there that is MP aware, and has a graphical crop window, which is a lot nicer than having to manually put in values. The rate calculator in FFMpegX is nice, but I feel like the GUI cropping is worth more.
  • BBDemux, to pull the audio apart from the video track.
  • mAC3dec, to take the AC3 file and change it to an AIFF
  • QuickTime Pro, to encode the audio track into AAC, aka MP4, audio, and assemble the component parts into one movie.

The way I do it isn't the most straightforward way, but for me it's the fastest, and I get the results I want without trial and error at the command line.

  1. Rip the audio with 0Sex. Again, it's sort of hit and miss as to whether it'll work or not, but a series of login/logout and/or restarts will get it working. Pull the vob files out and put them somewhere. Make sure to have around 6 gigs free.
  2. Demux the vob into separate tracks with BBDemux. The m2v is the mpeg 2 video, and the ac3 is the audio track.
  3. Use mAC3dec to change the ac3 file into an AIFF. This might take a while with a full length movie soundtrack.
  4. While that's going on, open Diva and find your m2v file.

    * Pick an output file name and location

    * Open the crop and scale window. Go to the middle of the window and drag the blue lines so that there's only movie, and no letterboxes. The default size works well; most of my movies end up being 480 wide by however tall. On playback, this size is pretty decent for full screen, and is pretty decent for output to TV. YMMV.

    * Open the compression window. Use the pulldown to select the 3ivx codec, and select a data rate. You'll have to do some math here to make the right choice.

    Assuming you're writing this to a 700 MB CD-R, let's say you want to leave about 70 megs for the soundtrack, leaving 630 megs for the movie. The data rate will be given by

    (target video track size) * (1024) / (movie length) * (60) = Data Rate

    Go a couple K below the data rate given, just to be safe, and then click options. Drag the slider to somewhere between QP= 8 -- 12. This will help ensure that your final output is the right size and will fit wherever you're trying to put it. Also, if you don't want to keep the closing credits, you can bump the data rate a little bit up by calculating it without that extra couple of minutes at the end.

    * Hit encode. This will take a long time. On a Dual 1.25 G4, it can do about 30 fps, which is realtime. The best part about this is that if your movie is too long, you get to sit through this step again.
  5. While that's going on, encode the audio. Open the AIFF exported from mAC3dec in QuickTime, and export it as an mp4 audio track. You will need QuickTime Pro to do this. I've found that a sample rate of 44 khz, 64 kbit and medium encoder quality gives acceptable movie sound, and a good datasize. YMMV. Export it; this will take a while as well.
  6. When the video and audio tracks are done encoding, you'll want to assemble them into a single file with QuickTime Pro. Open both, select the entire audio track, copy, then switch to the video track. Under edit, select add scaled. Play a bit to see that this went smoothly.
  7. If all went well, then you'll have a single file with the entire movie. If you want to get rid of the credits, use QuickTime Player to select everything that you want, copy, and then paste into a new, blank QuickTime Player movie. This is sometimes a pain in the ass, as QuickTime only lets you select the movie in very rough chunks.
  8. Last step...with your final movie, minus the credits if you want it that way, select File > Save as. Make it a self contained movie, and verify that the combined movie is gonna fit where you want it to. If so, then do it, and you've got yourself a movie.
  9. The resulting .mov will play in QuickTime Player as long as you have the 3ivx codec installed. Won't work so hot in MPlayerX or VLC.
    [/list=1]

    Using Diva instead of ffMpegX or Mencoder means you sacrifice one click DVD to Divx encoding and the possible quality gains from 2-pass encoding. However, I've found the 3ivx quality to be more than adequate, even in just one pass. There are a lot of steps involved here, but here are the advantages of this way over some of the others.
    • GUI-based cropping.
    • Diva is MP aware, making things a little faster. Real-time simultaneous video and audio encoding on a dual 1.25 ghz is not too shabby.
    • Using QuickTime gets you mp4 sound, which IMHO is a lot better than VBR mp3, even at lower bitrates.
    • Doing it this way guarantees you audio sync, where many of the other tools have some problems with that.

    It's kind of a pain in the ass, but a lot of that will go away when Diva starts supporting audio in later releases. For now, this is the best way that I've found for me; maybe someone smarter than me will be able to refine this process a little more.
 

RPS

Registered
Or, use DivXRay 2. It's really easy.

Btw I have a very important question, how do you burn .avi's to play them on a dvd player?


(Doesn't matter whether it'll be VCD, SVCD, or DVD) I've been looking for an answer a long time now..:(
 

stardust

Registered
All those weird story's bout DivX on a Mac.
First: ripping a DVD on a Mac is easy with DVDibbler.
Look here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dvdibbler/
You have to have a G4 Mac that supports Velocity Engine. I rip a DVD in around 5 hours on my 1ghz iMac with no problems whatsover. Installing DVDibbler isn't easy, especially you have to do some tricks with some files in your library folder. Look at site mentioned above for the explanation.

Second: burning DivX on a DVD is only usefull for storage. You can't use it on a DVD player. Better copy a DVD for this with DVD2One. Even big DVD's (>4.7gbyte) can be copied with this tool. Simple drop files you don't want to use.
Burning the files with Toast give you real DVD's that can be played on almost every DVD player. Due to compression you will loose some quality but it's hardly noticeable.

Greetz
Some info off a DivX expert
 

hulkaros

The Incredible...
I use DVDBackup, QuickTime Pro, DivX Pro, ffmpegX, mplayer, mencoder, FireStarterX, Toast, GNU vcdtoolsX, DVDibbler, 0SEx, DVD2oneX, iRipDVD and I can anything that I want! I admit that some of those tools are not easy to begin with but at least the majority of them seem to become better/easier with each release!

With those tools you can do DVD/VCD/SVCD/DivX/QT/XviD/etc. Believe me! The sky is the limit!

Many-many tools to bake your cake and eat it too!

BTW I use Toast ONLY to burn those DVD VIDEO_TS folders although one can do it via the Burner of Jaguar too! :p

Still, I think that the quality of DVDs worth every single $ and that's why I buy as many originals as I can unlike the original Audio CDs which I think that are way TOO expensive! :rolleyes:
 

melisa

Registered
stardust said:
All those weird story's bout DivX on a Mac.
First: ripping a DVD on a Mac is easy with DVDibbler.
Look here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dvdibbler/
You have to have a G4 Mac that supports Velocity Engine. I rip a DVD in around 5 hours on my 1ghz iMac with no problems whatsover. Installing DVDibbler isn't easy, especially you have to do some tricks with some files in your library folder. Look at site mentioned above for the explanation.

Second: burning DivX on a DVD is only usefull for storage. You can't use it on a DVD player. Better copy a DVD for this with DVD2One. Even big DVD's (>4.7gbyte) can be copied with this tool. Simple drop files you don't want to use.
Burning the files with Toast give you real DVD's that can be played on almost every DVD player. Due to compression you will loose some quality but it's hardly noticeable.

Greetz
Some info off a DivX expert


Hey I'm new, I have a Mac G5 and I am wondering, which files do you burn to a DVD so you can watch them on any DVD Player? Sorry for my confusion.
 

tieng

Registered
If you want to backup a DVD, grab a copy of MacTheRipper, extract the entire disc, and burn the resultant VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS (if there is one) folders to a DVD...that should get it playable in most players.
 

tieng

Registered
So, a lot's changed since I first wrote this up. There are a couple great apps out there that simplify the process a lot.

For ripping, 0Sex is still hanging around, but Mac the Ripper is much nicer.
http://case.spymac.net/mirror/mactheripper266.dmg.bz

For encoding, use one of the following...

FFMpegX...lots of options, but still somewhat confusing and inconsistent.
http://homepage.mac.com/major4

Handbrake...simple, but sometimes hangs in the middle of an encode. Not as many options. Under development, and getting better steadily.
http://handbrake.m0k.org/

D-Vision...simple, works, but not as many options as FFMpegX. This is my preferred...the queuing feature works, and you can pause and resume the queue reliably.
http://www.objectifmac.com/english/downloads.php
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
I use Handbrake and ffmpegX and I'm quite happy and find the results more than consistant. One thing though, I'd like to find something free which can split files nicely rather than an artibrary chop, i.e. something I can visually scan through to make an informed cut. Any advice would be great.
 

driven1

Registered
I like to use mactheripper. Then you can join the vob files easily with the "cat" command in terminal or with dvision. Next use openshiiva: http://openshiiva.sourceforge.net
very easy to use, allows for easy cropping and encodes audio along with video. Final product is high quality mp4.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
fjdouse said:
I use Handbrake and ffmpegX and I'm quite happy and find the results more than consistant. One thing though, I'd like to find something free which can split files nicely rather than an artibrary chop, i.e. something I can visually scan through to make an informed cut. Any advice would be great.
A bit late, perhaps, but I use Explicit for splitting AVIs. For MPEGs, MoreMissingTools should be able to do the job (I've never personally tested that particular feature, though, so I'm not sure it gives you previews).

And, of course, for QuickTime movies, QT Pro is easy enough.
 

laterthanyou

Registered
I might be missing some thing so I apologize in advance.

I downloaded a public domain movie called Dementia 13 in DiVX Format. It was the first movie written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Anyway, how do I burn it to DVD to play on a dvd player? I originally tried Divx doctor and then tried to burn the .mov to Dvd via Toast but it told me the movie was too long... I thought about buying DVD2one but that only works on TS Folders.... Suggestions???
 

GrBear

Registered
I highly recommend buying a DVD player that will play divx movies.. there are plenty to choose from, they are dirt cheap and alot easier to deal with than recoding into mpeg2. If you have kids that like to chew on dvd's, you can take up to 4 regular DVD's and easily fit them onto one divx encoded DVD and keep the originals safe and sound. Use something like D-Vision or Handbrake to convert them, burn them onto a UDP formatted DVD and plunk it in your home DVD player.

If you download TV shows, you can typically fit 13 episodes (half a season) without commercials on a single layer DVD as well and watch them on the big screen later. Shows I like to watch I'll record on the hard drive of my satellite receiver, transfer them using EyeTV and export them out as divx/xvid files. I'll be doing alot more of that once I get my new 5G iPod with video.
 

Esquilinho

Registered
GrBear said:
I highly recommend buying a DVD player that will play divx movies...

That's nice... if you don't have a DVD player already ;) I'm not going to throw mine in the bin, just beause it can't read DivX.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Then put one on top of the other... Or use one in a different room. They're really not that expensive anymore.
 

byronw70

Registered
I use OsEX to rip the DVD to a single vob. I then use ffmpegX to create the divx. ffmpegX is a GUI front end for some open source tools (namely ffmpeg, mencoder and mpeg2enc) that is extremely feature rich and will convert pretty much anything to anything. Once you have had a couple of successes, try fiddling with the bit rate etc if you want to create larger, higher quality files etc.

Now, with regard to the question about getting divx onto DVD, you can use this tool for that also, but.........I would recommend buying yourself a dvd player that supports divx/ mpeg4. There are tonnes around and they tend to cost about $50-60 here is Australia so it just isnt worth the hassle of converting. Quite frankly also, while mpeg2 converts very well, divx does not tend too so you will rarely get the same viewing quelit.

You can get ffmpegX from version tracker. I highly recommend donating the $15 dollars also, cos the guy who writes it just keeps refining and adding to it. It currently create divx, dvd, vcd, svcd, ipod, psp and tivo and a number of other formats so it will saave you a lot of mucking about.

Commenting on DivXray mention - also a good tool worth giving a crack, but I beleive more expensive now.
 

byronw70

Registered
oops...sorry, was at work, and missed a couple of pages of this discussion. As such it looks like ffmpegx and numerous others have been covered in detail :)

By the way, someone mentioned dvision. Still use that sometimes and agree that it is a nice easy app to use
 
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