project/page date: December 2004
author: lyberty

This was my first attempt at converting some video. What I wanted to do was to take a DivX file, and convert it into MPEG-2 so I could make an SVCD. Basically, I had a bunch of Episodes (each one short).

In the end I was able to make an SVCD by encoding each episode individually, then using Nero to add them all to an SVCD disk.
I used Nero to make a basic menu of the episodes.

Using: TMEGEnc v 2.524 Project Wizard
[ TMPGEnc v2.524.63.181 ]

First: Windows XP will tell me some of the properties of my source file:

AVICodec will tell me the rest of the story:

DivX v5 with mp3 audio (48 kHz)
29.970 fps, 360x240 (4:3)

 

Before I select my video:

After I select my video (default settings):

According to the "Convert the AVI to DVD/MPEG-2" afterdawn Guide :.:
"Normally TMPGEnc can recognize the correct values automatically based on the video file you just opened.
As most of existing AVI files are pre-deinterlaced, the Video type is normally set as "
Non-interlace".
You should only change this value if you're sure that this selection is not correct (or if TMPGEnc suggested a different selection when you selected your video source).

Aspect ratio should be left as 1:1 (VGA) unless you're one of the guys we mentioned earlier and know exactly what you're doing ;-).

For PAL videos, the Content of Video: selection is normally grayed out,
but for NTSC sources, the selection is typically
Film Movie, unless the source is [digitally recorded (for example,] a DV cam recorded AVI)."

According the the TMPGEnc help [?]:
>>
Video Movie = The source consists only of a [digital] video [DV] movie (29.97 fps progressive [or] interlaced).
Select this option if you are trying to encode movies captured from digital camera.

Film movie = The source consists only from film movie (substantially 24fps).
This mode can [also] be used for [a] 29.97 fps interlaced [movie] file. Select this option
if you are trying to encode film [or] anime movies.

Video/Film mixed = Select this option if you have mixed source.

<<

What does this mean?
Basically, "Film" means the source is 24 frames/sec; "Video" means the source is 29-30 frames/sec.
From http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/frame/research/mpeg/mpeg2faq.html :
"Most of the movies encoded onto Compact Disc Video were in fact captured and edited (as Film) at 24 frames/sec.
So, in such an image sequence, 6 out of the 30 frames displayed on a television monitor (30 frames/sec, or 60 fields/sec, is standard NTSC rate in North America and Japan) are in fact redundant..
." (somehow the "3:2 pulldown" is also related to 24 fps film...)

And from "How Film is Transferred to Video":
"With very few exceptions, non-silent films run with a speed of 24 fps (frames per second). However, NTSC video runs at 30 fps and PAL video at 25 fps. This incompatibility betwen frame rates might look quite distressing, but they aren't all that bad. Fortunately, a frame is not the smallest unit of video timing. The smallest unit is a field, where half of the scanlines of the video image are shown. NTSC has 60 fields/s and PAL has 50 fields/s. For many intents and purposes, fields are much more important units than frames."

"3-2 Pulldown" is the most common method of committing 24 frame per second (fps) motion picture (film) material to 60 field per second video. Think of "pulldown" in this case meaning "slowdown", not something like a "pulldown menu."
The machine that does this 24 fps to 30 fps conversion (the film to video converter) was called the TELECINE, or "television from cinema conversion machine". [ more ]

Now what a "mixed source" would be, I can't imagine.
The TMGEnc wizard auto-filled "Video movie" for me (apparently) because my source is 29.97 fps.

[Note: In the "Advanced" tab below, "Inverse telecine" appears to be selected by default if you specify the source is Non-interlaced Film (?).
"Inverse telecine", converting 30 fps (video) to 24 fps (film), in sometimes done in the DVD production process when the only source material is video,
because it eliminates duplicate fields (namely the third of every threesome in video with 3-2 pulldown). This allows more material to be stored on a disk.
]

The only program I've seen so far that will just TELL YOU if your source avi is interlaced or not is the MPEG4 Modifier.

Project Wizard; Page 3 of 5:

I have no idea. Any body have any experience with these? Tell me if you've tried both on and off for one or more of these,
and I'll report your results here.

You should click on the "Other Settings" button before clicking "Next". You'll get the following screen:

According to http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/convert_avi_to_dvd_page_4.cfm:
"The most important selection here is the one that says Motion search precision:. You should definitely change this to "Highest quality (very slow)"
as this setting produces much better video quality than the default settings do.
[this is reinforced here]

You should also change the Rate control mode: to "2-pass VBR(VBR)": this forces TMPGEnc to do the encoding using multi-pass encoding."

VBR 2 is supposed to be "Encoding mode: High Quality"; But according to some poster on afterdawn [Thread: "TMPGenc questions re - Best settings ?"]:
"there is No real advantage useing 2-pass cuz
[Constant Quality] (CQ) will produce the same Quality in Half the time... "

The "Advanced" tab:

Again, no idea. Only tip I found was, if you have a DivX file as a source, to set the Source apect ratio to 1:1 (VGA).
Here's a tip though: if you hold your mouse over the choices, you'll often get a little "help" description
(as seen above for "Frame rate conversion"). But I must admit, it didn't help me enough to know if I should check
any of the boxes.... I did choose "No margin" as the "Video Arrange Method" just to see what it would do....
Shoey recommends: " Change Source Aspect Ratio to the Video Type and Aspect Ratio of your source file.
(You can get this by running Windows Media Player and playing the movie. Hit Alt-Enter to full screen and note if it's Full Screen 4:3, 16:9 or widescreen 2.3:1.)
For example, select '16:9 625 Line (PAL)' for a normal wide-screen PAL movie or '4:3 625 Line (PAL)' for a full screen PAL movie.
If converting a DivX, then select 1:1 VGA. Make sure 'Video Arrange Method' is set at 'Full Screen (Keep Aspect Ratio)'
."

Here's a weird tip:
"If you want to convert a 2.3:1 wide-screen movie to a 16:9 movie, then set as per Point 6 above, but, in the 2 small boxes enter 448 x 288 for PAL ( 448 x 224 for NTSC). Sometimes I have found I have to enter 448 x 372 or 400 x 256 for PAL ( ? for NTSC) to keep the correct aspect ratio. You may need to alter then further so if in doubt, do a small test run first and look for round objects that should stay round.
NOTE: All the numbers should ALWAYS be dividable by 16 or edge distortion will occur. "

- For the GOP Structure tab, Shoey recommends "Click the GOP Structure tab and make sure the GOP structure reads 1 4 2 for PAL and 1 5 2 for NTSC (or "FILM")."
- For the Quantize Matrix tab: who knows? Leave it I guess.
- For the Audio tab, Shoey recommends "[Select Use Audio Edit, click the Setting button, tick Change Volume box, then [click] the Normalize button. Leave at default 100 and click OK. It will now search through the audio stream and suggest a final %. Select OK If the number is greater than 100.":

When I did it, it came up with 75%. So I guess I unselect "Use Audio Edit".

moving on to step 4:

I can't change anything here, so I guess it's informational only (?).

Here's the Bitrate setting when you select "2-pass VBR":

I checked the "Auto setting" box manually (I think that's the point of VBR).

Expert button brings up the tabs again:

Here's my evaluation warning. You can also see the output format identified at the bottom of the window:

Start: 4:48, End: ??

 

Note: TMP-GENC doesn't, at first, seem to accept .m2v (MPEG-2 video only files):

But if you go to "MPEG Tools" you'll find you can, in fact, add the .m2v file there...