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  1. Member
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    My client supplied me with a compressed format video file (.mov and .wav), as well as a DVD rip. I completed the subs with Aegisub, which was a pleasure to work with, and I saved out .ass subs and re-encoded using Hybrid and the .mov file. That process worked fine. However, they've now asked me to burn a DVD with the subtitles hardcoded. I'd like to do this process again, but retaining the higher resolution of the .vob file supplied with the DVD rip.

    I assume that I should hardcode the subs, which means that I'd have to re-encode the file. There's no way I can see to re-encode using Hybrid and yet retain the same codecs and file format. What should I do? Should I have Hybrid spit out some other encoding, and then use another tool to re-encode again back to .vob for the DVD? Using the "passthrough" setting in Hybrid doesn't re-encode, I've found.
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    You can't retain any higher resolution for vobs. Max is 720x576/720x480.

    But hardcode with hybrid and output high resolution mov with best quality settings. Then convert to dvd with anything like Toast.
    Last edited by Baldrick; 16th Oct 2015 at 04:41. Reason: Fixed frame size...
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  3. Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    You can't retain any higher resolution for vobs. Max is 720x576/720x756.
    720x480/576? And if he's in Oregon, it's probably 720x480 he wants.
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    Thanks! The resolution on the .mov/.wmv files was actually something like 640 x 300, so it actually was higher in the vobs. But I will take your advice and re-encode high-res movs and burn the DVD conventionally. (Once I figure out how to add options to the menus from the original DVD, which looks like it will be much easier to do with free tools if I install a Windows partition.)

    Thanks again!
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  5. Originally Posted by YahShoor View Post
    But I will take your advice and re-encode high-res movs and burn the DVD conventionally.
    'Conventionally' for subtitles in DVDs means selectable. Is there any particular reason they have to be hard-coded?
    I assume that I should hardcode the subs, which means that I'd have to re-encode the file.
    Hard-coding means reencoding the VOBs, yes. But by making the subs selectable no reencoding has to be done. You add the subs in whatever format your authoring program accepts, add the VOBs (you might have to demux), add the chapters in whatever format it wants, and author for DVD. I have no idea how any of this is done on a Mac or if any Mac authoring program even accepts ASS subs as input.
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    I chose to hardcode subs because I didn't want to have the end users have to struggle with sub selection. They are social service people; they need to be able to walk onto a site, drop a DVD into any player of any make, and have it Just Work. Also because the target languages for my project include Russian (would probably work with conventional sub tracks) and Burmese (not a chance).

    I chose .ass b/c of the flexibility of positioning and formatting. I didn't expect hardcoding that format with Mac tools to be so challenging, but most of my experience is with softsubs, so the whole experience is new to me

    Thanks for your input.
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  7. Originally Posted by YahShoor View Post
    I didn't expect hardcoding that format with Mac tools to be so challenging...
    And there are Mac encoding programs that accept ASS subs as input for hard-subbing for DVD?
    I chose to hardcode subs because I didn't want to have the end users have to struggle with sub selection.
    Subs can be easily made to play by default - no turning them on, although they can be turned off or switched for another language if needed. On Windows machines, anyway and probably by Mac-based authoring programs as well.
    ...and Burmese (not a chance)
    Why not? Burmese is a DVD-compliant subtitle language.
    I chose .ass b/c of the flexibility of positioning and formatting.
    Here's where the more common SSA subtitle format may be useful where the less well-known ASS files may not. Once again, though, it depends on what subtitle formats are accepted by your encoding and/or authoring programs.

    And encoding subs into a video always degrades the video quality, more even than reencoding the video without subs. And here's a case where you don't even have to reencode the video.

    But it's your project, of course, so good luck.
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    Many thanks for your informative reply. There must be some tool, command-line or otherwise, that can handle .ass subs on OS X - because Hybrid can do it, and my understanding is that Hybrid is just a front end for a bunch of apps that are CLI only, or have poor GUI, or et cetera.

    But more importantly - most of my complex script work is in print or in localization, DVDs are new-ish to me. Chaacter drops and encoding problems in complex scripts are the norm, not the exception. Are you telling me that properly encoded Unicode subtitles in Burmese will play in any DVD player, anywhere, without character drops? It seems impossible to me. Heck, when I see subs in Thai or Arabic they look hardcoded to me. Is there a reference work or FAQ or something like that for me to read?
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  9. Originally Posted by YahShoor View Post
    Are you telling me that properly encoded Unicode subtitles in Burmese will play in any DVD player, anywhere, without character drops?
    I don't make subs myself in any language other than English, but there are others here that do know about creating subs in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, etc. Burmese subs would be similar and, yes, properly created Burmese subs will play the way you expect. After all, subs on DVD are image files. Think of them being BMPs. What's on those image files or pictures doesn't matter. As long as they're authored properly they'll play. To prove the point, here's a guy with a tutorial on how to convert UTF-8 Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) ASS/SSA/SRT subs for DVD using a crappy Windows program called WinAVI:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uESOmUPbPKU

    Aha! Here we go. DVDStyler is a cross-platform encoding and authoring program that can do it for you:

    http://www.gofree.com/Tutorials/DVDStylerAddSubtitles.php

    I've been unable to find out which subtitle formats it accepts, but someone here that uses it should know. My guess is that it can use ASS or SSA or both, so that you can keep the styles you created.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    I've been unable to find out which subtitle formats it accepts, but someone here that uses it should know. My guess is that it can use ASS or SSA or both, so that you can keep the styles you created.
    DVDStyler will read .ass subs, but it won't use the styling information. When I use something that supports .ass well, then my subs look beautiful when hardcoded, and they dodge around a lot of onscreen material that I have made styles in Aegisub specifically to avoid. If I use DVDStyler, it ignores the fancy styling information, and looks jagged and, well, bitmapped, to boot. In print terms, it looks like it's 72ppi rasterized text in the midst of 300ppi graphics. Awful, in a word. I don't know what the proper terminology would be to describe it in video terms.

    Anyhow, your comments have been very educational, and thanks for being persistent.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    a guy with a tutorial on how to convert UTF-8 Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) ASS/SSA/SRT subs for DVD using a crappy Windows program called WinAVI:
    I forgot to mention that it really feels like the answer to my problems is just to repartition my drive and install Windows again - seems that the toolset for working with subs is more robust on that platform.
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