Converting letterbox 4:3 fullscreen video to anamorphic 16:9 widescreen from DVD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by zen, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #1
    Hope somebody can lend some advice on this!

    I've got a number of videos on DVD which are letterboxed 4:3, when they really should be anamorphic widescreen 16:9. I need to extract the videos from the DVDs, convert them to 16:9, and then re-author the discs. So this means cropping the black bars at the top and bottom as well (as the DVDs are fullframe letterboxed).

    It's nothing to do with pirating DVDs - it's some bits and bobs filmed by myself and friends and authored to DVD as letterboxed video a few years ago. None of the original video elements exist, unfortunately.

    I've found a little bit of info on the internet but not much. Can anybody give me some tips on converting these videos into 16:9? I've got the following tools at my disposal:

    1. DVD Studio Pro 4
    2. Quicktime Pro 7
    3. MacTheRipper
    4. HandBrake
    5. Final Cut Pro 5
    6. FFmpeg

    Cheers!

    Zen
     
  2. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #2
    Well, I'm guessing you would loose 5.1 surround sound if you convert the movies, unless this is not an issue.
     
  3. zen thread starter macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #3
    No, it's not an issue - the files are all either mono or plain stereo. As I said they are just home film projects.
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    by converting them to 16:9 from 4:3 you're going to have to crop them, right?

    is the letterbox 16:9 - the part of the video that's not black?

    If that's the case, all you'll need to do is set up a sequence in FCP and set it to the 16:9 resolution, import/convert the files from the DVDs, and it should center it in the 16:9, but set the aspect ratio so that its off, so you might have to adjust that manually.

    Then you can just export to compressor and remake the dvds.

    Good luck and I hope this helped.

    D
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Just as an FYI you the 16*9 discs you make will probably have very noticeable degradation compared to the original 4*3 versions.


    Lethal
     
  6. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    I agree with Leathal, with the ripping from DVD & converting to DV & back to DVD is going to hit the quality hard. The aspect ratio conversion is scale the height by 133% so thats another quality loss. if you are mixing old & new you might be better scaling down the new footage and making it 4:3 letterbox. (75% reduction in height for the 16:9 stuff)

    It might be easier to plug the DVD recorder into the computer via your DV Cam & capture the footage straight into FCP.
     
  7. zen thread starter macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #7
    OK, perhaps I'll just live with it in letterbox format, if the quality is going to go down so much.
     
  8. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Use ...

    ... the ripping software "Yade" (http://www.macetvideo.com/dl_center/dl_center.html) to produce a VOB file containing video and sound, open it in "ffmpegx". There under the "options" you can crop the black parts of your 4:3 (you need to figure out how much exactly needs to go on either end of the image frame), under the "video" section you can choose 16:9 DVD.

    Transcoding won´t take too long and the quality loss is non existant compared to the method described above.
     
  9. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #9
    In addition to the quality loss, how would you frame it? You'll be picking a smaller, wider frame within the 4:3 picture, which means you'd be throwing away pixels on the top and bottom. If they're formatted for 4:3, it would be almost impossible to make it look normal in 16:9.
     
  10. zen thread starter macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #10
    Thanks for the tip about Yade.

    Just to clarify - the videos are currently letterboxed 4:3. So they fill a 4:3 screen, with big black bars at the top and bottom to preserve the wide aspect, so yes I need to crop the top and bottom to leave the rectangular wide video image. Sounds like Yade/ffmpeg can do that, right?
     
  11. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #11
    Now I see what you're getting at. My feeling is that the resolution loss will be too great. You'll be lucky if it looks if it only looks as sharp as VHS, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were jagged edges and weird pixelations. Since you'll be cropping out only part of the standard-definition video -- which isn't very good resolution to begin with -- you'll basically be blowing it up to fill a wide screen. Like using the digital zoom on a digital camera, only your starting resolution won't be nearly as good.

    You can try it with the above suggestions, but don't expect it to look very good.
     
  12. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    Yes, using Yade and ffmpeg would be able to do it. You need Yade to produce a .vob file containing your movie. ffmpeg doesn´t accept DVD input directly.

    If you take care to use the option "best quality" for your mpeg encoding and use a bitrate around 20% higher than the original material, you might end up with hardly noticable or any decrease of picture quality because of reencoding.

    Try around some mpeg settings using ffmpeg, it´s quite strong in features, so you need to trick around to get the best results anyway.

    The crop section is filed under "filters". First two boxes are height, the last two are for wideness.
     

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