Hello, I hope this is the best forum to post this question in.
As the title says, I want to make a DVD that is wide 16:9 from a laserdisc that is letterbox format.
I'm not sure exactly how to do this aspect ratio change. I have done plenty of LDs to DVD. And had wonderful results but I usually just leave the picture full frame Letterboxed.
I am using Sony Vegas on my PC. And I also have a now older version of Final Cut Pro on a Mac G5. I capture through a Canopus ADVC 500.
I'm thinking that the picture might look best if I was able to enlarge it during capture rather than stretch it after capture. I need to stretch and then mask. I could mask black areas during encoding to MPEG2. I use Procoder as my encoder btw.
Thanks in advance for suggestions. This must have been asked before.
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Problem I see is the fact that LD is interlaced, so you would have to take that into account when doing the resizing. Don't do it either in capture, in Vegas, nor in FCP. Best to do the crop+resize in AVISynth and then frameserve to Vdub & encode as intermediate to use in Vegas, or pipe directly to Vegas (there are some roundabout ways).
DeInterlace. (couple of ways you can do this)
Crop to 16:9 window (regardless of whether the movie is 16:9 or 1.85:1 or 2:39:1), which will likely be ~720x360.
Resize to 720x480.
Encode as 16:9 Anamorphic Interlaced.
Or, don't re-interlace and Encode as 16:9 Anamorphic Progressive.
Depends on the kind of material (though for LD, it probably would look better as interlaced).
As a generalization when converting 4:3 to NTSC 16:9, you crop 60 rows of pixels from both the top and bottom, resize to 720x480, and encode as 16:9. I have no idea whether or not the programs you're using can do the job, but it's simple when frameserving an AviSynth script into any MPEG2 encoder. Since your video is most likely interlaced (?), if it's a movie you should also IVTC the thing first so you don't screw up the resizing and can then encode as progressive. If it wasn't shot on film you bob it, crop and resize, followed by reinterlacing it.
I just thought of something that might also work. See if this makes sense
Capture the LD material in a higher resolution format like Prores. And then stretch the picture in Final Cut Pro to a perfect 16:9, or full anamorphic. FCP has a wireframe stretch thing that is rather wonderful.
Then render that.
Just ideas I am floating around. Somehow a higher res picture could/would stretch better, or not?
You cannot create resolution that wasn't originally there. And prores is not necessarily higher resolution (not counting improved color sampling). Uprezzing makes sense only when it is expected to be combined with other, natively higher rez stuff, or as a temporary preventive measures for subsequent processes that reduce quality.
The wireframe resize in FCP is reasonable, but not near the quality that the better resizers in AVISynth can do. And, uprezzed or not, FCP will make a mess of the crop+resize of interlaced material.
AviSynth script with the IVTC/Deinterlacing and the cropping and resizing done is the best way to go about what you want. And the results may not even be that much better than doing it as you've been doing it in the past. I do a lot of upscaling myself (usually VCD to DVD), but nothing can work miracles when there's not enough detail to begin with.
As far as procoder goes, it WAS one of the "best software encoders for mpg2". WAS. This is not 2003 though. It's long been surpassed by the free HCenc and in my opinion, the old Cinema Craft Encoder was probably better. The one thing Procoder had going for it was that it apparently did a good job at converting between PAL <-> NTSC but those kind of conversions are generally pointless in my opinion as you can just buy a converting DVD player and get on with your life instead of having to convert everything. If you must do them, going with AviSynth through HCenc is a good way to do it.
I've yet to find a capture device capable of capturing laserdisc in resolutions above standard definition. If you find one, I'd be interested to know what it is and what resolution you got it to capture at. I'm pretty skeptical about this whole upscaling idea but if you are hellbent on doing this, do 1280x720 and not 1920x1080. I do laserdisc captures on a somewhat regular basis and I use IVTC/deinterlacing to get my captures to 24 fps (they're all film sources) and make DVDs from them. As pointed out you definitely need to get the video captured first, get it to progressive frames and only then think about upscaling it.
manono's suggestion on cropping letterboxed laserdiscs is what I do, using AviSynth.
Procoder is just fine too for mpeg2, even better than HcEnc, if you have lots of gradients and shady areas in video, but you cannot resize interlace content in there, as was already pointed out. You can use it just for encoding. It loads Avisynth script as well.