CCE & IfoEdit

CCE is known as one of the best MPEG-2 encoders there is and I've just recently shown in another guide that it can create DVD like quality at bitrates low enough to fit at least 2 full length movies onto a DVD-R. But, in the pursuit of the best possible DVD backup people usually like to preserve the extra features and menus and re-authoring them is not that simple, especially when you're dealing with a DVD that has a complex structure.

This process has more or less been developed by people and moderators in my DVD forums and nowadays it is possible to re-create rather complex titles perfectly. It involves a lot of manual work and good knowledge in the DVD basics and you have to be willing to invest a considerable amount of time and learn how to handle an impressive number of programs. This guide teaches you how to re-create a multi PGC title which has different audio formats in different PGCs (another layer of complexity). We're going to use Sonic Scenarist in this guide (the mother of all DVD authoring tools) but using Maestro should also be possible though the Maestro guide does not cover the subject as extensively as this document. If you don't need subtitles, multiple audio tracks and your project contains only one PGC you can use a more simplistic DVD authoring program in step 4 (and of course skip step 3 if you have no subtitles) and then continue with step 5 and the rest. If you're interested in re-encoding the extras as well there's an additional guide that uses a different DVD as source and focuses mainly on the extras (so you still have to read this guide as well).

You will need the following software for this guide


Table of content

1: Preparation
2: Encoding
3: Subtitles
4: Re-author
5: Merge the Scenarist files into your project
6: Make the disc regionfree
7: Remove User option prohibitions
8: Final sector adjustments
9: Burn the DVD


Step 1: Preparation

In this guide we're going to put the DVD-9 Training Day, R2 having a total size of 7.5GB onto a single DVD-R disc. This edition of the movie contains 3 language tracks, a commentary track, multiple PGCs in the main movie VTS having different audio tracks than the main movie, 20 subtitle tracks and a lot of extras. If that doesn't scare you then I suppose you either don't know what the heck I am talking about and may be better off learning the DVD-R basics first or you re-author The Matrix for breakfast in which case you most likely have no use for this guide ;) This training day is going to take you very far into DVD-R land and you're going to see things you have never seen before. But if you stick to the path you should be getting where you want to go to.

To begin with here's the directory listing of the DVD:

29.03.2002 03:47 16'384 VIDEO_TS.BUP
29.03.2002 03:47 16'384 VIDEO_TS.IFO
29.03.2002 03:44 1'968'128 VIDEO_TS.VOB
29.03.2002 03:46 30'720 VTS_01_0.BUP
29.03.2002 03:46 30'720 VTS_01_0.IFO
29.03.2002 03:44 0 VTS_01_0.VOB
28.03.2002 04:18 1'073'739'776 VTS_01_1.VOB
28.03.2002 04:18 58'195'968 VTS_01_2.VOB
29.03.2002 03:47 79'872 VTS_02_0.BUP
29.03.2002 03:47 79'872 VTS_02_0.IFO
29.03.2002 03:45 8'607'744 VTS_02_0.VOB
28.03.2002 04:20 1'073'739'776 VTS_02_1.VOB
28.03.2002 04:21 1'073'739'776 VTS_02_2.VOB
28.03.2002 04:22 881'936'384 VTS_02_3.VOB
28.03.2002 04:23 1'073'739'776 VTS_02_4.VOB
28.03.2002 04:24 1'073'739'776 VTS_02_5.VOB
28.03.2002 04:25 1'073'739'776 VTS_02_6.VOB
28.03.2002 04:25 39'243'776 VTS_02_7.VOB
29.03.2002 03:47 20'480 VTS_03_0.BUP
29.03.2002 03:47 20'480 VTS_03_0.IFO
29.03.2002 03:45 0 VTS_03_0.VOB
28.03.2002 04:26 658'708'480 VTS_03_1.VOB

VTS_02 is obviously the main movie VTS set and it's going to be our first task to reduce its size considerably. In the end the VTS_02 set was only 2.57GB large, just small enough to fit it on the DVD with the rest of the files and no additional re-encoding. Now before you start worrying about bitrate calculations I suggest the following rule of thumb: Encode the main movie VTS along with extras it may contain to a level of quality you deem acceptable. If the extras don't fit around the main movie strip them or re-encode them. If you intend to go through with this guide transcoding a couple of additional extras should not be too bothersome.

You have to rip everything but the main movie VOBs (VTS_02_1.VOB, VTS_02_2.VOB up to VTS_02_7.VOB) to your harddisk in DVD Decrypter's file mode (pressing F will switch to file mode, then select all files minus the mentioned ones and press the rip button).

Step 2: Encoding

First let's have a look at VTS_02. Start up DVD Decrypter and press I to switch to the IFO parsing mode.

As we can see on the left VTS_02 has 4 PGCs. Judging by the length you can safely say that PGC_1 is the main movie. PGC_2 is the WB studio logo, PGC_3 the theatrical trailer and PGC_4 is a useless black still which we're going to keep just in case.

Now, you have to rip each PGC separately and you best put every PGC in its separate directory so that you won't mix them up later in the process. DVD Decrypter makes this process really straightforward, just click on the appropriate PGC and then press the big DVD -> HD button. If you want to know more about DVD Decrypter there's a detailed guide explaining everything you ever wanted to know about the program.

Once you've ripped all PGCs it's time to re-encode the video stream of each PGC separately. CCE is the best program to do this. Before you start you may want to rethink the re-encode each PGC strategy. Obviously you want to re-encode the main movie, but the 12 seconds studio logo may not be worth the effort. In our example case I re-encoded both PGC1 and PGC3 and kept the other two as they were. In case you're going to keep a PGC as it is, enable Stream Processing in DVD Decrypter before ripping (click on the Stream Processing tab, then check Enable Stream Processing), then select the video track and make sure Demux is checked, then repeat this for every audio stream.

And while you're in DVD Decrypter you can use it to find out more about the audio stream and their position in the VOB. To do that select a PGC, then click on the Stream Processing tab:

This is my PGC_1. I have 3 6ch audio tracks and one 2ch audio track (the director's commentary).

Then we have PGC_2:

As you can see, one 6ch and one 2ch audio track. And interestingly enough the 2ch has the same stream ID (0x83) as the 2ch track in PGC1. Write down the stream ID of every track in every PGC. In this example PGC_3 had one 2ch track having stream ID 0x84 and PGC_4 had no audio tracks.
Step 3: Subtitles

Subrip can output directly to the Scenarist format so it's the ideal choice for the job.

Step 4: Re-author

As mentioned before, we're going to use Scenarist as it allows for multiple subtitles and multiple audio tracks. Maestro is another possible solution.

The first thing you have to do is create a new project in the project wizard. This is pretty straightforward. You set a project name, the TV format (PAL or NTSC depending on the source disc), an aspect ratio (most DVDs are 16:9, this is usually written on the back of your DVD and when you created the DVD2AVI project you wrote down that value). Then we have the subtitle conversion colors. Make sure they have been set as shown here:

The next step once again involves subtitles:

Make sure that E2 and E1 are set as shown here and that E2 is set to 0% and E1 to 100%. The P color is your subtitle font color, select whatever color you like. As you can see I chose yellow, but many people prefer white. Also make sure that the slider is set to 100%. and last but not least set Bg to white and 0%.

Once the project has been created drag and drop your video file(s) and audio file(s) into the lower right part of the screen. Scenarist will then check the files for compliance.

Here you can see a part of my project. I have 4 m2v files, one for each of my PGCs, 3 5.1 audio tracks for PGC_1 along with one 2.0 track for the same PGC, a 5.1 and a 2.0 audio track for PGC_2, a 2.0 audio track for PGC_3 and no audio for PGC4.

Maybe you've noted the 2_0_dummy audio file. This is a particularity with certain DVDs.

Scenarist uses the first PGC as reference for all other PGCs you create. When it comes to audio streams this means that audio streams on other PGCs than the first one must match the corresponding audio track of the first PGC. In our example, the 2nd PGC has 2 audio track, a 6ch and a 2ch one. If you were to just add the 6ch, then the 2ch track to PGC2 you would not be able to compile the project. The 2nd PGC must have the 2ch audio track as the 4th track (giving it ID 0x83 as in the original DVD). In order to achieve that we have to work with dummy audio tracks, very small and basically useless AC3 tracks which help us ensure that the real audio tracks get placed in an order that Scenarist supports. Since Scenarist takes PGC1 as reference we should do that as well. As PGC2 requires the 6ch AC3 at the first position and the 2ch AC3 at the 4th position we need two 6ch dummy AC3 tracks. In order to ensure that the dummy AC3 have the exact same format I simply created them from the first 6ch AC3 in PGC1 and the 2ch AC3 in PGC1 giving me 2 dummy AC3 tracks which I then imported into Scenarist. BeSliced makes creating dummy files really easy so that's what I used for the process.

And on a last note on this trick: It's of course only necessary if you have an audio track setup as laid out in the beginning of step 2. If all PGCs have the same AC3 channel format at the same position, or if you don't even have multiple PGCs there's no need for dummy AC3s.

In the right "window" of the lower part of the screen Scenarist will show the results of the compliance check and eventual errors when you're importing assets. Then click double click on one of the imported assets (media objects are called assets in Scenarist) to bring up its properties:

If your source is NTSC you must set Drop Type to Drop frame for EVERY asset (including audio even if an audio has no framerate).

PAL projects don't need that step.

Once you've imported all the files, click on the Track editor tab and drag and drop the main movie video file to the track editor. There will be a dark gray rectangle in the main part of the window now representing that track. If you have multiple PGCs add the video streams corresponding to the other PGCs as well. In my example I have 4 video streams to be added. The last one is a very short one and when dropping it I got the following window:

Here I chose still show.

Once you've created all the tracks you have to export your Project to a script so that we can add the chapters automatically (unless you want to add 30+ chapters all manually by copying and pasting timecodes from ChapterXtractor that is ;) To do that select File - Export.

Select a name for the script file and make sure Export to Script is checked, then press OK. Now you can close Scenarist momentarily.

Start up ScenChap then drag and drop the .scp file you've just exported into ScenChap.

For every track you've created in Scenarist a new tab will show up with the appropriate track name.

Now it's time to start up ChapterXtractor.

Load the appropriate IFO file (in this case VTS_02_0.IFO) then press on the Formats tab. Define a new preset as follows:

Make sure you use the appropriate format string: %hh:%mm:%ss;%ff (copy and paste that just in case) and save the preset under a new name for later use. Then you have to make sure that you select the appropriate timebase:

For PAL the FPS Rate has to be 25000, for NTSC 29700. Title finally allows you to select the appropriate PGC. In my case PGC1 had 28 chapters. Once you've selected the Scenarist preset copy and paste everything that's being shown in the main screen into the appropriate tab in ScenChap. Here's an example of what you're going to copy & paste:


Then select title 2 in ChapterXtractor, once again copy everything shown in the main window and paste it to the appropriate tab in ScenChap. Normally only the first PGC is chaptered though but make sure you verify if that's the case for your particular project.

Once you've copied and pasted all chapters into ScenChap press the Insert Chapters button.

Now you can start up Scenarist again. In the project manager create a new project based on the script you've just created:

New from Script... would be the correct button to press here.

Then you'll get to this:

Make sure Import From Script is checked, select the chaptered scp file and don't forget to set a Scenarist file (that file will be created from the script file) then press OK.

Once Scenarist has created the project you can go back to the Track editor and you'll see that all the chapters have already been set.

Now you have to add the audio channels and subtitles. First open the track corresponding to PGC1:

Now drag and drop the audio channels from the data window (bottom left of the screen) to the track one by one and in the correct order.

If you recall, track 1 was English, track 2 German, track 3 Spanish, Track 4 the commentary track.

Don't forget to set the language for each track. Then we once again have to talk about dummy AC3 files. As our PGC3 has one single 2ch AC3 track having ID 0x84 that means that every PGC that has audio tracks (audio-less PGCs don't matter) must have a 2ch AC3 having ID 0x84. As we already have 4 AC3 tracks (having IDs 0x80 up to 0x83) we have to add a dummy AC3 track as a placeholder for the 0x84 stream (if we didn't we could not have an AC3 track having stream ID 0x84 in PGC3). As the dummy track is only 1KB large that's a small price to pay to ensure that the final product will work properly even on standalones.

Then it's time to import the subtitle tracks.

Press the blue button shown below (first one from the right).

Here select your subtitle script(s) then press Start and then OK to start importing.

If you get warnings about improper resolutions I guess you haven't been following my hints in the subtitle section of the guide and it's time to go back there ;)

As usual you can see the status of this operation in the "window" on the bottom left.

If you get errors like this

there's nothing to be worried about. It simply means that if you select a certain chapter and you have a subtitle that starts before the chapter point and ends after the chapter point, that subtitle will not be shown if you fast forward to the chapterpoint (but if you watch the movie normally it will be shown... your original DVD will exhibit the same behavior).

Don't forget to select the appropriate subtitle language and make sure that both W and L have been pressed. In the end our PGC1 will look like this:

Now you might be wondering what will happen to the additional 17 subtitle tracks. Honestly, I don't think anyone will bother to go through the lengthy subtitle process 20 times for a single DVD title. But, the final product will work despite the missing subtitle stream and if you select a stream that's not there nothing will happen (you just don't get any subs). If it bothers you that you still have these missing subtitle channels listed you could strip missing subtitle tracks away once you've merged the Scenarist output and the remaining files (after step 5).

Now that the first track is complete open the 2nd track in the track editor. Though before that I suggest a first quality control check.

While you still have the first track open in the track editor go to the simulation window by pressing the 4th button from the left in the main buttonbar:

Then use the timeline controls to advance in the movie to a point where you can see a subtitle in the preview window.

As you can see the subtitle is blue, not our favorite subtitle color. While there are color controls right below the preview window these apparently have no visible effect on the outcome as the values get reset again right away. But we do have an indication and that's the blue color. Now close the simulation window and select Settings - Color palette.

Now press Add to create a new palette, then change color 1 (the blue one as in the subtitle) to whatever color you would like to have for the subtitles. For instance if you click on the first color and set it to white all your subtitles would be white.

After that quality check you can now safely proceed to creating the other tracks.

As discussed before, we have one 6ch audio track having ID 0x80 (meaning it's the first one) so you add that track first, then we have to create 2 dummy 6ch tracks since the next real track has ID 0x83. So drag and drop your dummy 6ch AC3 twice, then add the real 2ch track and another dummy track - this time you use the 2ch AC3 dummy as we did for PGC1 to complete the audio track setup. Also don't forget the set the languages exactly the same as in PGC1, even for the dummy tracks you have to set the appropriate language.

As there are no subtitles for PGC2 we can now proceed to the 3rd track in the track manager.

Here we have only one real AC3 track, a 2ch one having ID 0x84. In order to ensure that that track gets the appropriate ID we have to add 4 dummy tracks. Since PGC1 has 3 6ch AC3 tracks then 2 2ch AC3 tracks we first add 3 dummy 6ch tracks, then one dummy 2ch track and then the real AC3 track. As usual make sure that all tracks have the proper language set.

As PGC4 contains no audio there's no further processing needed for the last track in the track editor. Now go to the Scenario editor. At the bottom left of the screen you can now select the track tab so that your tracks will be shown:

The first thing you have to do is add 3 titles to the existing VTS folder. You can do that by right clicking on the VTS_1 folder (that's the one with a golden disk on top) and selecting Add Title:

Keep the default names that will be proposed. Once you have 4 titles drag and drop the tracks onto these title folders. Track1 (PGC1) goes to Title 1, the 2nd track (PGC2) goes to Title 2, etc. In the end your scenario should look like this:

Whenever you drag and drop a track on a Title folder a PGC symbol will be created. As you can see we now have exactly 4 PGCs, as much as the original had.

Once done you go to the Layout editor, select DVD Video as project type, select an output directory (make sure there's enough space.. first Scenarist will multiplex everything which will take as much space as your project already takes, then it will create the VOBs and IFOs which till take as much space again).

Last but not least check the checkbox on the right of Create DVD video and set the sector size to 2048 bytes. Creating an image is not even necessary so you don't have to check it. Then press start to start the compilation. Get a coffee or something because this is going to take a while. A RAID definitely comes in handy for this operation as it's very I/O demanding.

Once done you'll find a VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS directory in the DVD Root directory that you set before. You can then play these files as described in the HD playback guide to check if everything works as desired. The movie will have no menu or anything, but should have all the subs and audio channels you want.

Step 5: Merge the Scenarist files into your project

By now you could think that the hard part is behind you and you're correct. However, better not do this just before you go to bed because this step will require your full concentration and it's very easy to mess things up.

Scenarist created the following files upon compiling the project:

17.07.2002 12:15 6'144 VIDEO_TS.BUP
17.07.2002 12:15 6'144 VIDEO_TS.IFO
17.07.2002 12:15 75'776 VTS_01_0.BUP
17.07.2002 12:15 75'776 VTS_01_0.IFO
17.07.2002 12:17 1'073'682'432 VTS_01_1.VOB
17.07.2002 12:19 1'073'709'056 VTS_01_2.VOB
17.07.2002 12:21 698'710'016 VTS_01_3.VOB

Since the main movie was in VTS_02 on the original DVD you have to rename the VTS_01 files to VTS_02. After renaming you should have the following files:

17.07.2002 12:15 6'144 VIDEO_TS.BUP
17.07.2002 12:15 6'144 VIDEO_TS.IFO
17.07.2002 12:15 75'776 VTS_02_0.BUP
17.07.2002 12:15 75'776 VTS_02_0.IFO
17.07.2002 12:17 1'073'682'432 VTS_02_1.VOB
17.07.2002 12:19 1'073'709'056 VTS_02_2.VOB
17.07.2002 12:21 698'710'016 VTS_02_3.VOB

From step 1 we have the following original files directly off the DVD:

17.07.2002 12:35 16'384 VIDEO_TS.BUP
17.07.2002 12:35 16'384 VIDEO_TS.IFO
16.07.2002 23:39 1'968'128 VIDEO_TS.VOB
17.07.2002 12:35 30'720 VTS_01_0.BUP
17.07.2002 12:35 30'720 VTS_01_0.IFO
16.07.2002 23:39 0 VTS_01_0.VOB
16.07.2002 23:43 1'073'739'776 VTS_01_1.VOB
16.07.2002 23:43 58'195'968 VTS_01_2.VOB
17.07.2002 12:35 79'872 VTS_02_0.BUP
17.07.2002 12:35 79'872 VTS_02_0.IFO
16.07.2002 23:43 8'607'744 VTS_02_0.VOB
17.07.2002 12:35 20'480 VTS_03_0.BUP
17.07.2002 12:35 20'480 VTS_03_0.IFO
16.07.2002 23:43 0 VTS_03_0.VOB
16.07.2002 23:45 658'708'480 VTS_03_1.VOB

Now copy VTS_02_1.VOB, VTS_02_2.VOB and VTS_02_3.VOB to these files. Do NOT copy the IFO files as well!

Once this has been done start up IfoUpdate.

Select the path of the original IFO file to be updated under Original IFO Path (DIF4U put this in the corresponding VTS folder for you, it's the same file as on your DVD disc), then set the Authored IFO Path to the corresponding IFO file Scenarist has created for you, make sure there's a valid Backup IFO path but before you press Update IFO let's have a look at the options first:

Make sure Copy Audio and Subpicture Tables is not checked (otherwise the settings of your Scenarist project will overwrite the setup contained in the original IFO files and since we didn't set any languages in Scenarist this wouldn't be too great), and check AutoCorrect VTS Sectors (When Updating) or your project won't work afterwards.

Repeat this process for every VTS_0x_0.IFO file Scenarist has generated for you (in this case one per VTS so 3 in total for the movie in question: VTS_01_0.IFO, VTS_02_0.IFO and VTS_03_0.IFO. NEVER!!! update VIDEO_TS.IFO!!!).

Once this has been done you're basically ready for burning. However, you may want to remove certain user prohibitions (as in not being able to change the audio track via the appropriate button on the remote while watching the movie), make the disc region free, or strip out subtitle and audio channels that you have no included in the re-authored project. You can find all these steps here.

This document was last updated on April 12, 2009