Adventures in deinterlacing…

So, a while back, I mentioned wanting to edit an AMV. I started laying the groundwork for that today, and so far, it’s an uphill climb. I’m working from’s guide to making AMVs on the Mac, a helpful reference since most of the easily-found AMV guides are for Windows users.

So far, though, just ripping the DVDs in an editing-friendly format is a struggle. I had originally thought it would be as simple as going through Handbrake and making sure to account for interlacing. Problem is, Handbrake is far more inclined to give you a playback-oriented transcode (e.g., H.264), than something amenable to scrubbing in Final Cut. Ishitori’s guide suggests using MacTheRipper to de-CSS the files and get plain ol’ VOBs on your hard drive. Check. To do anything with them, of course, you need the QuickTime MPEG-2 Component, which I had a copy of like 8 years ago at Pathfire, but ended up re-buying today.

The next couple steps involve getting the footage in shape for Final Cut. That means:

  • Deinterlace
  • Convert to square pixels
  • Demux (actually, AMVs generally only need the video track
  • Transcode to Motion-JPEG, Pixlet, or some other editing codec

Ishitori suggests using Avidemux for deinterlacing and general image filtering, but I found both the X11 and Qt versions to be completely unusable. The X11 version won’t open a file unless you run it as root from the command line, and even then it seems to mis-read its plugin files. The Qt version just crashes a lot, and can’t work with any drive other than the boot volume (hilarious). Tried building from the latest sources in subversion, but that failed too, and I wasn’t really inclined to go on a wild dependency chase.

Plan B: I found JEI Deinterlacer. Cool! Oh wait, it won’t read later VOB segments from a long rip. Not so cool, unless you only want to deinterlace the menus and not the main program.

Plan C: Use MPEG Streamclip to pull all the VOBs together, and demux the entire video stream into another file.

OK, this might work…
MPEG Streamclip demux preview

Takes about 5 minutes…
MPEG Streamclip progress

Next, open it in JES Deinterlacer. Not the most intuitive GUI ever, but all these video tools have a million options and read like a brick.

JES Deinterlacer open panel

Downside #1: JES Deinterlacer pegs the CPU and puts up a SPOD (“spinning pinwheel of death”) for about 10 minutes while opening the file.

Anyways, JES Deinterlacer can transcode as you go, so I figure I’ll save a step and export my deinterlaced video to Pixlet.

JES Deinterlacer progress

Only two problems here: first, I didn’t set a bitrate and figured I’d let QuickTime decide. That defaulted to the highest possible quality (about 30 Mbps) and a 40 GB file. Kind of overkill, considering the source was 5 Mbps MPEG-2. Other problem is that at some point about 2/3 of the way through the file, it got stuck on one image and encoded the rest of the file with that same image. Niiiice.

Anyways, I’m letting it run again with a saner output bitrate for Pixlet (6 Mbps, which should give me a 6-7 GB file), and hoping that it doesn’t get locked on one frame again. It started about an hour ago, and looks to be about 25% done (on the dual 1.8 G5… would be interesting to see how it performs on a Core 2 Duo).

So, maybe I’ll be ready to edit when I get up tomorrow, or maybe I’ll be really pissed off.

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Comments (3)

  1. Argggh. Once again, JES Deinterlace got stuck on the same frame and lost the last third of the video. Pixlet at 6 Mbps doesn’t look that hot either (or maybe I needed different noise/jaggies options in JES Deinterlace). At any rate, looks like I need a Plan D to get deinterlaced.

  2. […] than continue to post comments to my previous blog about trying to rip a DVD, de-interlace it, and convert it to an editing-friendly codec, I’m […]

  3. […] in line with what’s needed by actual users of media software. I also blogged a couple times (1, 2, 3) about how the process of ripping, de-interlacing, and re-encoding the video from DVD was […]

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