I'm using Lagarith Lossless Codec AVIs in an effort to avoid transcoding quality loss when moving video from Avisynth and VirtualDub to Windows Movie Maker for final editing and rendering. The source is 4:3 720x576. The problem is that Movie Maker 6.0 inputs the Lagarith AVIs at square pixel aspect ratio (=5:4 display aspect ratio), so although you get 720x576 4:3 output, the image itself is narrowed with black pillarbars either side. Although this could be cropped and rescaled to 720x576 afterwards, that would involve horizontal resolution loss as well as re-encoding, both of which I'd really prefer to avoid.
As far as I can work out the Lagarith codec neither stores nor reads any aspect ratio information, and neither does the AVI container. What combination of lossless codec and container can be created by VirtualDub and read by Movie Maker 6.0 AND can correctly convey display aspect ratio? Or any other plan to losslessly move video from Avisynth + VirtualDub to Movie Maker with correct aspect ratio for anamorphic video?
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Last edited by fvisagie; 9th Feb 2013 at 12:03. Reason: Pillarbars, not letterboxing!
Why are you using Movie Maker? What do you want for final output? "Transcoding" to what format?
If your concern is for quality as you say, MovieMaker is not the way to get it.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
VirtualDub output to DV and rely on Movie Maker's smart/direct rendering not to re-encode unmodified frames, again in this case. However, in the general case where final output is something other than DV that would require re-encoding, which is why ideally I would like a lossless intermediate format to correctly work with aspect ratio.
PS. Perhaps Movie Maker 6.0 has a registry flag for filling the 4:3 display when no input aspect ratio is specified, the way Movie Maker 2.1/2.6 do it?
But I agree with sanlyn. Rather than trying to find a workaround for Movie Maker's deficiencies, why not just switch to using a better program, one such as DVD Slideshow GUI, if a DVD slideshow is what you're creating.
VirtualDub's and MM's smart rendering preserve DV DATECODEs. These are then extracted from the final DV render and authored to the DVD as date/time subtitles. Also, DV is the closest to a lossless editing or exchange format that many video tools can get. Except for something like Lagarith, which is why I'm looking into this aspect ratio issue.
DV isn't lossless.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
What editor would you guys recommend for DV? DV input, smart rendering of unmodified frames to DV, timeline that can take additional audio track/s? The ability to input and output some lossless format would be a bonus .
AviSynth handles any editing I ever want to do. I suppose it depends on exactly what kinds of transitions and effects you want. Any audio I'm keeping I bring in when authoring for DVD. Except for fades and cuts in the audio which I also do in the script and then save out separately.
Avisynth also. I'm not sure I follow your audio workflow, though. It sounds like you're combining video and audio again during DVD authoring after editing and storing them separately, is that right? Why? Don't you risk video-audio desync this way?
And what's the easiest way you scan through e.g. a holiday video, making trims and assembling them into a timeline? If you know of some nice Avisynth workflow write-ups, I'm not scared of reading!
I often have VCR captures from TV shows which have ads. I'll have the audio in there, cut out the ads (using a bunch of Trims), do fade ins and outs, that sort of thing. Everything's in synch at that point because edits to the video also apply to the audio. Then I'll demux the audio to work on in Audacity and later reencode to AC3. Then when authoring I add the audio back to the video that's also gone through a lot of work. It's still in synch. If the audio and video are in synch when the audio is demuxed and if the video framecount doesn't change later on, there's no reason for the audio to get out of synch. But maybe what I do isn't as complex as what you want to do.
The easiest way to scan? I do it in VDub, widening out the windows as much as possible so I don't miss the ads (or sometimes intermittent logos) as I move through the timeline. Later I'll go through the whole thing frame by frame looking for stuff that needs work - corrupt frames and the like. But I don't have to assemble anything as it's movies I work on. Again, maybe simpler stuff than you have to work with.