the shared source needs to be able to handle files bigger than 2gigs
It could be NTFS. Linux has better NTFS support than Windows has for anything from unix-land.
Right now these programs i might have problems with finding equivalents:
Photoshop CS3 (and it would need to have pretty much all the capabilities...not sure if GIMP/GIMPshop does)
Director (and be able to port/convert director files)
Don't know what any of the others are since they're Windows apps, but I know Photoshop runs great in Wine. Maybe also the others.
I would also need to be able to rip DVDs and encode them into whatever format (preferably mkv)
Easypeasy. Wider variety of free software for linux to do this than there are viable commercial options under Windows. I've used K3B a lot for this.
I also would like to play games.
Thats why you can dual-boot to XP. Wine supports some, but hardly even "most". Cedega supports more, but your best bet for games is to be able to dualboot to XP.
A few use Onscripter
Whatever that is. Frankly, I don't care. Windows stuff, right? Thats all I need to know. Either it runs in Wine or it doesn't and you need to dualboot. You may find that you need to run IE6 in Wine to support some of this stuff.
Some games i'd also like to be able to hook machine translation + script grabber with as well. So say I am playing a game. A seperate program grabs the text in real-time and then a machine translation is run.
Yeah. Good luck with that.
And generally i just like watching stuff on my PC, but VLC imo is too restictive in its ability to tweak stuff.
VLC on Windows or VLC on Linux? VLC on Linux is excellent, but Totem (on Linux) is also awesome and both will play your videos just fine.
I want to see how much Mint can handle as i prefer as little rebooting as possible.
I suggest that you're NOT going to get away from using Windows for some of that stuff, so I'd recommend you use VirtualBox to create a virtual XP box to run Windows software. Assuming your core hardware (CPU and ram) is up to the task.