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I'm trying to add hardsubs to an AVI file using the H264 lossless codec in VirtualDub. The original video is 720x480. The resulting video is also 720x480, but the actual video that is seen becomes thinner. Everything looks stretched vertically. There are black borders on the sides. Why does this happen? How can this be done right?

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Cannot duplicate. But I don't use VirtualDub for this. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 1 '11 at 2:47
    
It's a setting in virtualdub that causes the aspect ratio to change/stretch/squash. I stopped using vdub when i found that i could do everything vdub could do with ffmpeg/mplayer/mencoder/kdenlive –  hbdgaf Jan 1 '11 at 3:07

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On the free software front mencoder should be able to do this as referenced here: http://ask.metafilter.com/98812/convert-vobs-to-avis-with-hardsubs

I'm pretty sure mencoder (part of mplayer) is the way to go. It wants to output .avi files by default. The mencoder documentation is pretty involved, and it's not even complete, but it's very powerful.

Here's how I would do a two pass encoding at 1000 kbps mpeg4 video and 128 kbps mp3 audio:

$ mencoder movie.vob -sid 0 -aid 128 -ovc lavc -lavcopts codec=mpeg4:vhq:vbitrate=1000:vpass=1 -oac copy -o /dev/null
$ mencoder movie.vob -sid 0 -aid 128 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vhq:vbitrate=1000:vpass=2 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr=128 -o movie.avi

The -sid 0 flag above designates subtitle id 0. The -aid 128 flag designates audio id 128. Try mplayer -v movie.vob with different -sid and -aid numbers to get the correct subtitles and audio.

another way to do it is here: http://sites.google.com/site/linuxencoding/x264-encoding-guide

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The problem is in the program you're using to put in the subs. You may be able to tweak settings to your liking, but I recommend just using a different program (Adobe Premiere Elements can do this, I believe).

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