I am going to be writing this multi-part series in authoring "professional" blu-rays. I am leaving the word professional in quotes because nothing truly can replace some of closed industry tools that are used and some of the skill involved. With that said, we can get close, and in some cases produce higher quality blu-rays than what you'd purchase at a store.
Let's face it. We live in a digital and streaming age - between services that put entire libraries at your fingertips for a monthly fees and the ability to host your own media servers, physical media is becoming more and more antiquated. I'm one of those people who has terabytes upon terabytes of data with my own media server. Little can come close to the automation you can achieve with tools like Sonaar, Radaar, Jackett, etc. So what, then, is the motiviation for blu-ray authoring? Or even acquiring blu-rays in the first place?
There are still numerous reasons for physical media, and better yet, authoring your own physical media:
Collections Gifts Historical Archives (streaming services revise or remove older media all the time) I am a collector. I really enjoy collecting physical copies of media that I really enjoy. In addition to this, it's also great to author blu-rays and give them out as gifts to people. There might be some ethical or legal questions if you pirate content and give them out to people, so use your best judgment. There is also interesting ethical questions relating to making a copy of something that you own, and the legitimacy of sharing copies with people. Again, these types of topics are beyond the scope of this thread, so just use your best judgment.
As a collector, I have become immensely frustrated with publishers who sell blu-rays that are, for lack of a better term, incomplete. Here are some issues I have run across when paying anywhere from $30 to $150 for collectible blu-rays:
The artwork in the case is poor The paper and ink used to house the artwork is low quality The case itself is cheap The disc art is lacking The main menu is some low-quality static background image The subtitles have many typos The subtitles font types are horrific The encoding is objectively bad Why? Why must you do this to me? I am trying to pay you money, and you send me crap. Well, no more.
In this series, we are going to cover the following topics which will allow you to author "professional" blu-rays:
Blu-Ray Specifications and Media Info Ripping DRM Removal and Region Lock Scrubbing Cleaving Subtitle Authoring Audio Encoding Video Encoding Transport Muxing and Remuxing Main Menu Authoring Burning BD Structure and Metadata Editing Cover Design and Printing for Cases Disc Design and Printing for Discs Examples
The following are some examples of some blu-rays that I have authored. This is about the level of quality you can expect to produce by the time you finish this series.
Cases and Artwork:
Operating System: Windows
Software: mediainfo (media info), AnyDVD Ripper (ripping, DRM, region lock), MKVToolNix / mkvextract (cleaving), Aegisub (subtitle authoring), eac3to (audio encoding), ffmpeg / handbrake (video encoding), tsmuxer (transport (re)muxing), Nero Video / multiAVCHD (main menu authoring), imgburn (burning), bdedit (BD structure + metadata editing), Photoshop / Nero CoverDesigner (cover design and printing), Photoshop / Epson Print CD (disc design and printing).
Some of these tools can be used on Mac and Linux, but unfortunately, not all of them. I have found all of the above tools essential to my authoring workflow, and unfortunately, most are limited to Windows. If anyone knows of any Linux alternatives that would allow us to achieve similar output, I would love to know.
What's with the weeb stuff
Listen, I won't convert you to my degen ways. However, this series will author an anime titled Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu that I want in my collection. This will serve as a perfect example to cover some of the topics that we wouldn't need to necessarily cover with traditional Western media. You'll be able to take what you learn from this series, and author your own non-degen content to your heart's content.
I am wanting to author some more media for my collection, so hopefully the remaining tutorials won't take me too long. Once I write these out, I will also make video tutorials.