W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Making the most out of your monitor screen and soft subs - Displaying the subtitles in the black area for widescreen videos

Since this blog is started because I had so much things I wanted to share, the posts may not be in the same chronological order in which these came to me. Not as if you'd care, anyway.

I guess I'd use labels (or tags) to help me sort out the posts, but for stuff like this where do they belong? Under tech (video) or under anime? Or how about both?

I discovered this in a partial accident (partial because I was playing around with the settings too much). If you have FFDShow (or any other codec packs using FFDShow e.g. CCCP), you can make use of its filters during playback. Actually, if I posted in chronological order of finding these thoughts, the article on sharpening would've come first, so you'd already know how to use those filters. Since I did not, so I'll have to say it once here:

When you're playing videos using FFDShow (XviD, H.264, depending on which CODECS (note: only the codecs settings is required for FFDShow to be used for playing the video, NOT the Haali media splitter, using that one to play AVI)(for those who don't know, it's under FFDShow Video Decoder Configuration, but not the VFW one), double click on the red square in the taskbar. That brings out the FFDShow Video Decoder Configuration window, except it only applies to that current video you're playing (it will save your settings though, but it's still a faster way to access rather than going through the Start Menu), which can be useful when opening multiple files for comparison.

To the left you'll see things like Crop and Deinterlacing. These are filters and can be useful if you use them right. And these will be the things I'll be using in this guide and others.

Nowadays, shows are produced in widescreen format, at least the better ones are. When you play those on a square screen, you get two black bars on the top and bottom. This guide is on how to display the subtitles (if it's soft-subbed) in the black area instead of on the picture itself to give you unobscured vision of the video, without any re-encoding of the video or playing with the subtitles files/streams.

Pictures speak for themselves: This is the video and roughly the scene which I discovered this, plus minus 20 seconds. (Actually, I think I might have thought of it before, but I let it slip pass my mind)

Asatte no Houkou. It's a good show. And this one has even the karaoke soft-subbed.

This should give you an idea how it works. Like those movies you see on TV huh?

It's surprisingly simple to setup. Under the filters which you just learnt of, look for Resize & aspect. Check Resize, Specify aspect ratio, make it the same as your screen (4:3 for 15-inch and 20-inch, 5:4 for 17 to 19-inch. Widescreen monitors, if you bought a widescreen you should know it yourself). Check process pixel aspect ratio internally. Check Resize always. Under Aspect ratio, check Keep original aspect ratio.

Although it says there resize, it actually does no resizing of the picture but only add black bars. To say it more accurately, there's no resampling of the video done, but the video is letterboxed. So no need to go into settings and select Lanczos. And the best part about this trick, you can leave these settings for the 4:3 videos also, nothing bad will happen to them, unless you're doing the show 4:3 video on 5:4 screen without the black bars trick, in which case the text may get cut off.

This trick can also be used in conjunction with the Lanczos resizing trick, but at a great cost of speed, because 1) You cannot use CoreAVC with FFDShow without doing a lot of things, so H.264 decoding speed is almost halved, 2) Resizing is already CPU-intensive, and now you're doing resizing with a slower decoder, the slowdown just piles up. In fact, if I do resizing without CoreAVC and have soft-sub karaoke, my Athlon 64 @ 1.9ghz (roughly 3100+) will lag in certain scenes. But then again soft-sub karaoke are even more CPU-intensive. Those with faster coms will not have this problem though, although I'm not sure if multi-core helps since I read somewhere that FFDShow doesn't do multi-threading.

There you go, enjoy your new settings!

I just realized that blogging takes a lot of time and makes me more withdrawn from society than I already am, and it's not productive (mentally productive, I consider watching Anime as one of the productive things I do). I wonder why I'm still at it though. Which is worse, doing something bad and not knowing it, or doing it while knowing?

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