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Best Way to Grab Movie Clips? 58

Posted by Cliff
from the no-we're-not-talking-full-rips-here dept.
DorkusMasterus asks: "I work for my church in a volunteer sense, and I'm trying to produce a video that will incorporate video clips from films (short, less than 30 seconds per clip, more likely 5-10 seconds), and I am wondering what you fine folks use to grab clips from DVD and TV (in preferably an MPEG or AVI format when completed). Please keep in mind that I am not interested in something that would copy a full-length film, nor am I'm not advocating discussion on how to best pirate films. What utilities would you use to retrieve short clips from DVDs and other digital sources?"
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Best Way to Grab Movie Clips?

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  • DVD Shrink & TMPGenc (Score:5, Informative)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @02:31AM (#17125298) Homepage Journal
    I run a church media ministry [vipministry.com] out of my home, and we use DVD Shrink [dvdshrink.org]. The software is freeware, and it is excellent. It lets you select what scenes/chapters/frames you want to copy, and creates a new DVD-compatible clip on your hard drive. What is nice about VOB files (the DVD files) is that they are MPEG-compliant, so you can just rename the VOB extension to MPG and off you go.

    If you need to shrink the file to lower res than DVD, I recommend TMPGenc, which works very well. You can also import your VOB/MPG into Adobe Premiere Pro and export it to a new format, while editing clips together with fades, titles, etc.

    What is your budget? Do you prefer F/OSS? Windows? Mac? Linux?
    • by Baricom (763970)
      Are you familiar with the fair use/DMCA implications? An administration organization that deals with Christian music says public performance is exempt [musicservices.org] from copyright restrictions, but does that also apply to DVDs?
      • by dada21 (163177) *
        Here's a tough one -- I'm an anarcho-capitalist Christian, so I actually don't pay attention to whatever laws you guys voted for. They're irrelevant for how I live my life. That being said, MANY congregations that I serve are VERY cautious about violating copyright. There's a huge debate that comes up every 6 months or so over at www.churchmedia.net (worst community ever, but its the only one, so that's where we go) about what Fair Use is and isn't.

        I use it all, and if anything, my use of "unlicensed pro
        • by Baricom (763970) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @03:13AM (#17125496)
          I understand, and I'd completely agree that the media industry has definitely been taking things overboard in all sorts of ways, and that church performances help them far more than they lose in revenue. However, I don't know if I'd go as far as not paying attention to all laws - see Romans 13:1-7, for example.

          Anyway, for the reference of everybody, I did my own research and CCLI claims you need a separate license for performance of movies. The license costs $50-$600 annually depending on which studios you license and your church's attendance, and it seems to imply [cvli.org] that you must play clips off the original media - no dubbing allowed, even for production purposes.

          I suppose one should let the Holy Spirit and one's fear of Roman/corporate punishment determine how to proceed. Best of luck regardless of what path you take.
        • Hrm, I'm curious. I could say that I don't pay attention to the rules that a Mafia sets up. I'd hardly call that wise though. I'd pay a lot of attention and take action (like, um, move away?). The thing is, any organization that has the potential to have a significant impact on your life (let's say, arrest you) shouldn't be straight up ignored.

          I find anarcho-capitalism intriguing. What you want is for capitalism to extend into the public utilities, law enforcement, etc. should be run on a capitalist
          • I'd pay a lot of attention and take action (like, um, move away?). The thing is, any organization that has the potential to have a significant impact on your life (let's say, arrest you) shouldn't be straight up ignored.

            That's completely true, but as someone who has a faith belief, I will not offer resistance if they want to come and take me away. I believe in natural rights and I believe that I can not force anyone to do anything against their will. By default, the law is force. I can not take advantage
            • ... I truly believe that most Christians have no clue about the Bible, because they sure don't live it. They're accepting the word of some egomaniacal "pastor" and then they teach their kids the mumbo jumbo that they learned. ...

              Well, I think it's reasonable to think that you should be able to trust your pastor et al. when it comes to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus considering that's their life, but when people blindly follow without questioning, you get pastors who abuse that trust.

            • The only trouble is that everyone disagrees with each other over which 5% you are supposed to follow :-)
          • Religion is one of the most hierarchical organizations on earth. It's a step beyond autocracy. Did you ever get to choose your leader? What makes it right for him to rule? Why does he have that power? Do you know that he's perfect, or just take his word for it?

            While some religions and, indeed, some denominations of Christianity do have a hierarchical structure, please be aware that this is far from universally true. The church I am a member of did select our pastor (a search committee was formed to find on
        • I'm an anarcho-capitalist Christian, so I actually don't pay attention to whatever laws you guys voted for.

          In soviet^h^h^h^h^h^h democractic America,
          laws pay attention to you!
        • I'm an anarcho-capitalist Christian, so I actually don't pay attention to whatever laws you guys voted for

          How does 1 Peter 2:13-17 [nccbuscc.org] fit into your beliefs?

          my use of "unlicensed products" probably sells more of it

          Then explain this to the copyright owner in your letter seeking an offer. If they wanted to sell more of it, they would license clips to you.

          • by jZnat (793348) *
            I'm no scholar, but I think Peter is talking about being a martyr, not succumbing to draconian laws in general.
          • by dada21 (163177) *
            Good question! 1 Peter was written for the Jews who accepted Christ after His Resurrection and Ascension. Christ had told His followers that He would return quickly/soon/in their lives. Was He a liar? I don't think so. In order for the Great Commission to be fulfilled (and end with end of the old age/covenant), the Gentiles also needed to see an outward conversion, not just an inward conversion, in preparation for the coming of the New Convenant with man -- the Kingdom, as some of us call it.

            I see 1 Pe
    • If you are using a Mac, download the free HandBrake. you can select which chapters you would like transcoded from the main feature or otherwise, and select some high-quality formats such as H.264 which can them be imported to iMovie
    • WWJR (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What Would Jesus Rip?
  • I plug a player into the video input on my computer. A lot of TV tuner cards have video capture.
    • I plug a player into the video input on my computer.A lot of TV tuner cards have video capture.

      Those two vertical bars you see on your screen mean "paused". TV tuner cards sold in the United States after October 1998 halt recording when they detect a Macrovision signal.

  • MEncoder (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dutch_Cap (532453) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:08AM (#17126420)
    MEncoder (the media encoder that comes with mplayer) should be able to do this pretty easily.

    mencoder -oac copy -ovc copy -ss <START> -endpos <END> dvd://<CHAPTER> -of mpeg -o <FILENAME>.mpg
    ..will copy part of the video to an mpeg file, where START and END are formatted as [[HOURS:]MINUTES:]SECONDS. Note that -endpos is relative to the starting position, it's not the position in the file.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by simm1701 (835424)
      There is a problem in doing this with MPEG4 clibs in that you have to start at a key frame otherwise it gets a little messy

      Its a little easier with DVDs since there are usually 2 key frames per second (or more) where as MPEG4 will usually only have a key frame once every 10 seconds (240 frames) or on scene changes.

      If you want to take a section of a MPEG4 clip (or even from a DVD if you are getting problems) you can tell mplayer to re-encode a larger section of the file (atleast 30 seconds either side of wha
      • Mplayer also has a method of printing out exactly where the key frames are, I can't remember it exactly off hand but its in the man page so shouldn't be hard to find. One problem I have found with mplayer is its granularity is seconds - atleast on the version I last used. I don't know of a way to specify timings by frame number (I would love to hear of a way if there is one!)

        It sounds like mplayer could use a -nearest-keyframe option to find the appropriate frame close to your -ss value. Does that exist?
        • by simm1701 (835424)
          iirc that is the default behaviour for playback in mplayer - it looks for a key frame to start playing from, starting at the position you specify

          However mplayer copies from the exact second you tell it, though you can get mypler to list the numbers for the key frames.

          I would be very happy if mencoder simply allowed you to specify start and end frames rather than only seconds
  • Please keep in mind that I am not interested in something that would copy a full-length film, nor am I'm not advocating discussion on how to best pirate films. What utilities would you use to retrieve short clips from DVDs and other digital sources?"

    Regardless of your good intentions, I don't think that you'll find any officially sanctioned programs that will let you copy part of a DVD. Even if you restrict yourself to the most obvious fair use, you'll still have to do it with the same tools the pirates use

  • Running on Windows, Virtual Dub (Free) will let you take movie files and clip them whilst re-encoding the audio or video and resizing and filtering them too.

  • What does everybody use for grabbing clips from DivX/Xvid files? Is there a way to grab a clip and automatically resave it as a new Divx/Xvid file? This would be a huge help for making AMVs from downloaded anime as well as splitting up the scenes in my um....personal...movie collection.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @02:00PM (#17133106)
    You could go the traditional church route and get a bunch of monks to "illuminate" the excerpts you want by having them painstakingly reproduce each frame by hand and scan each frame back into a computer and sequence it for full motion playback. Get a few more trained in the foley arts and some excellent impressionists to get the soundtrack.

    With the man hours involved, no one would dare accuse you of exploiting the works for profit.
  • I saw no specification of OS platform. iMovie works pretty well for that.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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