Ogg Theora Cook Book


Thoggen  (http://www.thoggen.net/)  is a simple, easy to use DVD extraction program for GNU/Linux, to  create Theora videos. Note that only the video part of DVDs can be encoded; any menus present on the DVD are going to be stripped out.

Encoding a DVD using Thoggen involves two steps:

  1. Selecting the DVD titles to extract and encode
  2. Configuring parameters of the encoding process 

If you do not have Thoggen installed you will have to first do this of course. If you are running Ubuntu simply type this in a terminal window :

sudo apt-get install thoggen

You will be asked for your password, and then Thoggen will be installed.

Selecting the DVD Titles to Encode

Upon starting, Thoggen will automatically detect any DVD media present in any DVD drive, presenting a list of titles it found on the DVD:


You are asked to select the titles that are going to be extracted and converted to Theora. The longest title is selected by default, as this is usually the main video. If this is not what you actually want, change it to suit your needs.

Note that you may also convert from a DVD image on your hard drive, instead of directly from a DVD. To do this select the image location from the 'File' menu. The same list of titles will then be displayed, as if it was taken directly from the physical DVD.

When done selecting, press OK and you will be taken to the next dialog.

Configuring the Encoding Process

The following dialog now allows you to specify parameters of the encoding process: 


If you selected more than one video in the previous step, this window will be presented once for each of them. For multi-language DVDs use this dialog to select which languages to include. Select the quality and video size, and where to save the video. If unsure which option to choose, just go with the defaults. Note that video quality is specified as a number in range 1 (lowest quality, smallest output file) to 63 (highest quality, largest file)

When you are happy with the settings, press OK, to start the encoding. You are then presented with a slideshow preview of the video along with a progress bar, while waiting for the encoding process to finish.

You can now use VLC, or any other player supporting Theora, to view your copy of the DVD, without having to actually search for and insert the DVD into the drive whenever you want to watch your movie.

A Note on Cropping

Thoggen can remove borders at the left, right, top and bottom when encoding the DVD, available from the Configure Cropping button. It is often actually a good idea to remove about 5% the movie's width and height. This is due to the fact that DVDs are manufactured with ancient analog televisions in mind, hence there are usually borders around the movie. Older DVDs sometimes contain noise and artifacts in the movie borders, only visible when playing the DVD on a PC.

For a typical DVD resolution of 720x576 pixels, try cropping 8 pixels on the left, right, top and bottom, leaving a total frame size of 704x560.