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Subtitles for documentary

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audun amundsen
Subtitles for documentary
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:25:29 am

Hello everyone.

I just finished my documentary and now i am struggeling with the subtitles.

I have exported the movie from fcp and then used compressor to make my hdv footage SD-MPEG-2.

then i have used Adobe Encore with .txt script files for subtitles, but the subtitles look crappy and really bad with jagged edges. I have 3 different languages/subtitles.

1. Can anyone suggest an easy way to make corrections to these subtitle txt files. Say if i want to change some timecodes in one of the textfiles... and then to the others as well... is there a way without having to do it manually on each and every txt. file. i find this process very unefficient. Is there a good subtitle-program out there for this?

2. And the most important thing; how can i make good quality subtitles, and why does my subtitles look CRAP!?

Any good workflows?

Help would be appreciated!


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Subtitles for documentary
on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:17:44 pm

I'm not up to date with Encore latest version, but a few things to concider:

Subtitles (those on DVD that can be turned on/off) are 4 colored bitmaps.

That means, 1 color transparant, 1 color outline, 1 color text
Leaving you with ONE color for anti alias !!!

Now that is not much, but you DEFINITLY want to make use of it.

If you don't make the subpictures yourself, you need to set up Encore to do it right. (Meaning, put the anti-alias between the text and outline, as that is where there is the most contrast. Some apps (eg DVD SP) put the anti alias between outline and video. Not so good looking IMHO.

So, check your settings. And if you want to make your own subpictures (with way more control over the looks), have a look at Subbits and its Render Engine. (Download the demo from my site)
If that looks nice to you, and it's a one time job, contact me and i'll make the files for you at a small fee.

smart tools for video pros

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