How to rip DVD clips to make a compilation DVD with menus - on a mac
May 16, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

What workflow should I use to make a compilation of DVD clips (with menus preferably) on a mac?

My goal is to have DVD or near DVD quality clips at the end (image posterization and compression artifacts in the background can be annoying at times.) How would you suggest improving the workflow, or are there shortcuts I can take and still maintain image quality with the final product? Other apps that might speed up or improve the process?

I'm compiling some clips from various DVDs I own and my last project workflow involved:

* Ripping clips from the DVDs with DVD Shrink (in a Windows virtual machine)
* converting the clips to MP4 files with Handbrake (usually 8-9 quality)
* importing the clips into iMovie '08.
* exporting a compilation to a Quicktime file
(I haven't burned a DVD yet from any of these projects.)

I would prefer to have each set of clips from a movie assigned a chapter for the final DVD menu, or if I have over 10 minutes from a movie, then I would want to split the clips into chapters.

If you have tips to provide from experience doing projects like this, those are also greatly appreciated.
posted by mtphoto to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why convert anything if you're starting with DVDs and you want to end up with DVDs?

Rip an ISO of the entire DVD
Import the ISO into a new iMovie project
Cut the clips you want, arrange them, discard the rest
Send the project to iDVD, where you add the menus
Burn
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:47 PM on May 16, 2011


This should awesome, much better than having to use Handbrake as a middleman.

How long might it take to import the ISO into iMovie? My guess it that it would be at least realtime, which would take two hours for an average movie. Although this would allow me to step away from the computer and not have to put each DVD clip into a Handbrake queue and then have to import the converted clips into iMovie...

Also, how much space is the two hours of a DVD imported into iMovie going to take up?
posted by mtphoto at 8:03 PM on May 16, 2011


That's a neat trick, obiwanwasabi - never thought of doing that!

Importing it should be faster than real-time, though it might still take a while - iMovie uses DV internally, so it needs to convert from the DVD's MPEG-2 format to DV. It'll also take a bit of disk space (8~13GB per hour). But, short of using a native MPEG-2 editor that can export with no/minimal re-encoding, it'll give you the best quality you can get.
posted by Pinback at 8:57 PM on May 16, 2011


I forgot to add: copy protection may be an issue if you're using a commercial DVD. Strip it out when making the ISO, if you can. Check this post and comments for details (and other tips about getting DVDs into iMovie '08).
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:28 PM on May 16, 2011


@Pinback
I've got experience using AnyDVD and DVDFab Decryper to strip out the copy protection. Thanks, a lot of people get hung up on this part.

I could compile the clips as I've been doing with DVD Shrink's Re-author feature. Using obiwanwasabi's advice, I would make an ISO (from DVD Shrink).

Not only would the ISO be much smaller, 1GB or less rather than 6-7GB for a full DVD, but it would also speed up the import process, and reduce the hard drive space needed when iMovie imports the footage. Most of the movies I've gone over so far will only require 15-20 minutes of clips each. Some are only 10 minutes or less.

This would alleviate my two big concerns: processing time and large amounts of hard drive space being used.

@Pinback
Good to know that iMovie uses DV natively, I was under the impression that it used some proprietary format.
posted by mtphoto at 9:44 PM on May 16, 2011


I'm a bit confused - why are your ISOs only 1gb or less? Is it because you're telling DVD Shrink to only create an ISO using particular DVD chapters? Or is DVD Shrink configured to do some sort of compression? Because if it's the latter, that would defeat the purpose - you've converted and compressed before importing and converting again.

The next time I do this I'll probably use VisualHub to convert the DVD to DV, then import that into iMovie. Skips the ISO process. Yeah, it might be a couple of tens of gigs, but terabyte externals are almost disposable these days.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:08 PM on May 16, 2011


OK, doing this now with a PAL retail DVD of Rambo: First Blood Part II on my late 2006 2 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 2 Gb RAM, iMovie '11 (the menu options are the same as '08). (Yes, I have something more important to do, but I'm procrastinating.)

==========================================================

MacTheRipper, main title extraction, 4.10Gb (to remove copy protection): 24 mins

Toast Titanium, make image file: 7 mins (there are plenty of free tools that'll make an image for you from a VIDEO_TS folder - if you're already using AnyDVD etc, then the first two steps will be rolled into one, I guess)

Double-click image (mounts with DiskImageMounter): instant

iMovie, Import, Camera Archive, mounted image file (or have iMovie running when you mount the image and it'll start the import automatically): 10 mins from clicking start til it stopped frigging about with thumbnails etc

Total time: 41 minutes to import a 92 minute movie, from inserting the disc to rip to ready to edit.

==========================================================

It'd be nice to know what it is about a particular set of TS_VIDEO folders that makes iMovie decide it's a camera archive. Why will it import from a mounted DVD image, but not the folders that come out of MacTheRipper? *shrug*

A quick note: the imported files aren't DV, they're 'Apple MPEG-2 SD Camcorder Video'. This was a real surprise for me, as I'd always thought iMovie did everything in DV, but it just moved the stuff over pretty much as it was. As a result, the imported files are much, much smaller than DV (see below) - about the same size as the original DVD in total (so I've used about 12Gb all up if I don't delete as I go: 4Gb for the rip, 4Gb for the image, 4Gb for the import).

For comparison, let's force it to use DV (Why? Because I'm still procrastinating):

==========================================================

MacTheRipper, main title extraction, 4.10Gb (to remove copy protection): 24 mins

Load resulting VOB files into VideoMonkey (a freeware successor to the discontinued VisualHub) and convert to PAL DV: about 38 mins

Importing DV video to iMovie (optimisation switched off): 16 mins to import, plus another 14 mins to frig around with thumbnails

Total time from inserting disc to rip to ready to edit: 92 mins, or real time

==========================================================

This surprised me: why it took almost as long to import DV into iMovie as it did to convert to DV in the first place is beyond me. Plus, you're using a monster amount of disc space - almost 20gb for the converted files that spit out of VideoMonkey, plus that again when iMovie imports it. I seriously wouldn't waste my time or disk space doing it this way. Do it the first way - rip MPEG2, import MPEG2, edit MPEG2, export MPEG2, skip DV altogether.

So, to answer your questions above:

- about 9x real time on my ageing Mac to import a ripped ISO to iMovie
- the import will use the same amount of space as the rip.

I will note that something seemed to go a bit screwy with the aspect ratio for the first one - I suspect it was Toast mucking about when it created the image (which is why it took 7 mins) - you shouldn't have this issue with the Windows tools you're using.

A final note - if you're willing to rip an entire disk and walk away, why not just get Handbrake to do it? If you've got VLC installed, it'll even rip protected disks. Convert them straight to MP4 (or just particular chapters), then import that into iMovie, ready to slice and dice. Might be the easiest way after all.

Well, I guess I'll go do that important thing now, unless there's something else I can do.

Anybody?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:10 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting about the 'Apple MPEG-2 SD Camcorder Video' - like you, afaiknew, iMovie did everything in DV. I wonder - do you have QTPro or the MPEG-2 Playback Component installed?

"It'd be nice to know what it is about a particular set of TS_VIDEO folders that makes iMovie decide it's a camera archive. Why will it import from a mounted DVD image, but not the folders that come out of MacTheRipper? *shrug*"

At a guess, I'd bet it's just that it's looking for a mounted (& possibly R/O &/or removable) filesystem. There's lotsa quirks like that surrounding Apple's handling of video; to be fair, most of them are pushing the boundaries of their MPEG licensing (IIRC, it boils down to Apple having licenses for MPEG-2 only in certain applications - playback in DVD Player, encoding in iMovie/iDVD - rather than a blanket license for Quicktime or OS X.

"This surprised me: why it took almost as long to import DV into iMovie as it did to convert to DV in the first place is beyond me."

Yeah, you and everybody else ;-). It's been like that forever. Offhand, I think it's because it remuxes the DV stream (or DV-AVI, or whatever) into an indexed Quicktime-DV container, then creates thumbnails. Encoding to DV is rather lightweight (decoding MPEG-2 is actually more complex), and often doesn't take much longer than straight copying of a similarly-sized file.

Regardless, this is all very interesting stuff I didn't know, & will be interested to fiddle with when I get the chance…
posted by Pinback at 6:46 PM on May 17, 2011


do you have QTPro or the MPEG-2 Playback Component installed?

I'll check tonight, but as far as I know, no.

At a guess, I'd bet it's just that it's looking for a mounted (& possibly R/O &/or removable) filesystem.

Mounted doesn't seem to make a difference, and nor does removable - it might be R/O that does it, but not sure.

If I use Toast to make a DVD-Video disc with the ripped TS_VIDEO folder, save this as an image, then mount it, iMovie happily says 'ooh, camera archive!' and imports away. But if I use Toast to make a TS_VIDEO disc from the same folder, save this an an image, then mount it, iMovie says 'nice try, but no'.

So there seems to be some kind of header, metadata or permissions thing in the image that says to iMovie 'no, really, I'm a DVD, straight out of a camcorder, honest!' and iMovie just runs with it.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:26 PM on May 17, 2011


I should have been more clear - mounted alone doesn't do it. I suspect it has to be mounted - no pointing to random folders on your main HD - but it has to be something else as well.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:36 PM on May 17, 2011


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