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Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc

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Sam Lee
Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 4:40:32 am
Last Edited By Sam Lee on Dec 15, 2016 at 4:42:20 am

I'm looking for a 100% transparent, no compromise in quality burned in subtitles plugin.
I tried Sugar FX and unfortunately there are too many color banding noise. I couldn't figure out why it was rejected. But after 5 attempts, the culprit was the subtitles plug in that caused video artifacts.

It was rejected by Netflix's qc. And after many tests, there are indeed color noise added.
When I click on and off, I can see the subtle dithering and banding noises it added for darker, low light scenes.

It looks like this $200 plug-in from Sugar FX is not suitable for high end mastering. Any recommendations to the high quality burn-in subtitles for FCP or other apps that will pass Netflix's qc for burned in subtitles to the content?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 4:42:56 am

Is there a reason why you're not just turning it over to a subtitling service. I'm sure Netflix has a ton of vendors that are pre-approved.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Sam Lee
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 6:11:01 am
Last Edited By Sam Lee on Dec 15, 2016 at 6:12:04 am

I have very high quantity of content and want full flexbility in changes and revisions. Massive amount of hours. If it was only a few, no problem. The costs will get out of control when a small change is needed as well. Prefer to keep in house for full control.

The only other way is a separate subtitles file. That seems to be the preferred method for Netflix, Amazon and many others. This way the video will not be subjected to more unwanted noise.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 7:33:18 am

Try http://www.spherico.com/filmtools/

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Sam Lee
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 2:56:32 pm

OK. Thanks. Will check these out soon.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 3:13:01 pm

I chime in cause Noah mentioned my X-Title tools (spherico/filmtools).

Few things worth to mention here:
1) SugarFX Subtitle is 99 USD.
2) Burned-In subtitles shouldn't cause a problem anywhere.
3) 3rd Party companies - even if approved - normally don't deliver rendered movies.

So what to do? It's a bit trial and error:
Change subtitle color/saturation/brightness.
Try the same with the outline.
Try a blured and/or more or less transparent outline.
Try a combination of the above.

Some of the "Try ... " are easier to handle with Motion "Title" templates.
Deliver a separate subtitle file.

While this kind of self-promotion ☺ give X-Titles a try

Hope that helps.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Brett Sherman
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 15, 2016 at 2:57:09 pm

I don't get why you would want burned-in subtitles. I'm also not sure what 100% transparent, burned-in means. It's a bit of an oxymoron. If it's 100% transparent it's not burned-in. Maybe you mean no background box. Of course if it's burned-in you can just use Apple's built-in title tool.

There are many services that make subtitle files, like rev.com. But it sounds like it's translation for a limited part of the video. In that case you might want to use something like "Subtitle Edit Pro" in the App Store and make your own.

--------------------------
Brett Sherman
One Man Band (If it's video related I'll do it!)
I work for an institution that probably does not want to be associated with my babblings here.


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Nick Meyers
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 18, 2016 at 9:24:10 pm

he wants the process to be transparent, with no artefacts.


nick


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Sam Lee
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Dec 19, 2016 at 4:12:47 pm

Burned in subtitles are primarily for costs reason. Audio dubbing is much more costly to produce than subtitles when it's done in high quantity.

Come to the subject of subtitles, I don't see Netflix, Amazon have burned in subtitles. They're all separate on/off options and provided with a separate subtitles file. By using this, there should not be added encoder noise to the video and will pass qc.

I also tried Sugar FX subtitles for Pr CC 2015. The transcoding took about 5-8x longer than in FCPX. The color banding still exists, but dramatically much smaller. I suspect something is not done right with the SugarFX subtitles plugin in handling this.


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 28, 2017 at 6:25:44 pm

Okay...So, Sam. I'm WAY late to the game here, but I just came across this thread because I'm literally having the exact same problem. I'm trying to upload my feature film to Netflix, and literally subtitled the entire feature manually myself - only to find out after I was finished with it and tried to upload an entire new movie file w/the subtitles in them that Netflix wouldn't accept them. Now I'm searching around to try to find out how to be able to do this on my own w/o having to go to some post house that charges a pretty penny.

Did you ever resolve how to get your captions/subtitles going in FCPX and then accepted on Netflix?

Much appreciated.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 29, 2017 at 6:32:22 pm

If you want to submit an additional subtitle file ask Netflix for the supported formats and format specs.

Here what I've found:
https://backlothelp.netflix.com/hc/en-us/articles/215758617-Timed-Text-Styl...

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 29, 2017 at 6:51:29 pm

Thanks much.

Seems pretty darn complicated. : /


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Nick Meyers
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 29, 2017 at 11:50:20 pm

wow, good list.
i actually really appreciate the detail they go into.

20 frames minimum, seems pretty short to me.
i've been working off some BBC specs where they had a 1 & 1/2 second minimum. (or so i understood it anyway)
also a rather broad rule of 3 words per second.

so my subs have slowed down a bit on the last couple of films.
faster subs were ok, but did induce a mild panic, which seemed to work of those films !


nick


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Sam Lee
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 30, 2017 at 1:11:35 pm

The only way to get it accepted is providing a separate timed text file (TTML or .STL). This way, there's no added processing to the video that will fail manual qc.


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on Apr 30, 2017 at 4:25:49 pm

Thanks much for the response, Sam. I guess at this point I'm just trying to figure out how exactly to get the horde of captions that I already put on my feature to transfer from FCPX (where I made the captions in) to the TTML or .STL format so it passes Amazon's qc.


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Sam Lee
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 1, 2017 at 2:03:51 pm

Amazon's subtitles will need to be in .SRT format. Sugar FX subtitles plugin can export to SRT.

I'm shocked to find out the enormous cost for a critical evaluation video monitor. In order to Netflix qc requirements, you'll need at least a $30K for Sony BVM X300, PVM X550 monitors in order to detect pretty much all of the video flaws. Not only that, it has to be calibrated on a regular basis as well. Holy Moses! I can buy a true 4K PL lens from Fujinon for $30K. No wonder why it's virtually impossible to see any video flaws on a regular 27" Retina display monitor from Apple and others. I just can't see any subtle color banding from the subtitles plugin with these consumer level displays. This is an eye-opening experience. Just a decade a go, a decent HD Sony BVM broadcast monitor is about $10-12K. I thought that was high. But $30K is just way too much for most average indie post house.

Anybody owns or have extensive experience w/ the Sony BVM X300 and would like to comment whether it's worth the extremely high cost?


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 1, 2017 at 3:08:16 pm

“I'm shocked to find out the enormous cost for a critical evaluation video monitor.”

Exactly how I feel. When I found out, I was like “Welp. Guess I’m not subtitling using any outside source. Gonna have to figure out how to do this in house if I can.”

Seeming like it might be more and more difficult to do it in house, however. You just kind of spelled it out - discouragingly enough as it’s ultimately seeming at this point.

Wish there was some way to do it “on the cheap” kind of thing. : /


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 1, 2017 at 5:08:23 pm

[Sam Lee]Amazon's subtitles will need to be in .SRT format.
Sugar FX subtitles plugin can export to SRT.
[/Sam Lee]

Amazon accepts far more formats. Problems might be caused by "illegal characters". Example ellipses character "…“ compared to 3-character "...".
SugarFX by "default" acts to have burned in subtitles in the various hosts. So you need for example a .SRT (or fcpxml markers) to use SugarFX Subtitle. Editing of those inside the host starts be a bit more convenient starting by version 4.0.
Zeitanker Annotation Edit or my X-Title Extractor are the only apps available to work with standard Motion Templates.

[Sam Lee]I'm shocked to find out the enormous cost for a critical evaluation video monitor. In order to Netflix qc requirements, you'll need at least a $30K for Sony BVM X300, PVM X550 monitors in order to detect pretty much all of the video flaws. Not only that, it has to be calibrated on a regular basis as well. Holy Moses! ...[/Sam Lee]

While I don't think "video flaws" are any kind of reason to reject a internet video one might to think about subtitles as graphics.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Sybren Arnoldus
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 8:31:16 am

Just to add my subtitling experience to the discussion. I use 'Kolibri' to make the subtitles. Kolibri is a standalone app and works a bit like those expensive professional subtitling solutions. It's not perfect and needs an update but it's quick. It's about $40 in the App Store. Kolibri exports to a few subtitle formats, ready for youtube, vimeo etcetera. Unfortunately not ttml but you could use an online converter.

To burn the subs you can use SugarFX but imo it's too expensive. Digital Heaven SubtitleX with X-importer do the trick as well.


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 4:00:46 pm

Hey, Sybren. Thanks for the response. Yeah I thought the price for SugarFX was just a touch too steep for my current wallet...but $40 for Kolibri? Yeah. I can definitely do that. However, you said it doesn't export to ttml? Darn. I think that's actually the very format that's needed in order for the subtitles to be accepted by Amazon. You mentioned being able to use an online converter w/Kolibri, however? How does that work? How would I go about doing that?

Thanks much for your response.

Cheers,


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 6:16:47 pm

Javier,

For Amazon you don't need .dfxp/.ttml they do accept more formats. The Spruce Text List .stl would be the easiest.

Just out of curiosity:
If you have already have done the subs in FCP ... I guess at this point I'm just trying to figure out how exactly to get the horde of captions that I already put on my feature to transfer from FCPX (where I made the captions in) ... - why the hell do you want to do them in Kolibri again?

Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 8:57:47 pm

"why the hell do you want to do them in Kolibri again?"

Well, Andreas, it appears that FCP does not export the captions in any way that is accepted by Amazon. I mean...do you know of a way to get the subtitles I created in FCP to export in such a manner as to be accepted by Amazon? If you do, then you would be a Godsend. Otherwise, all the work I did on FCP simply won't be accepted by Amazon and I'll have to find another way to export them so they can be accepted.

I don't think FCP exports to .stl, right? so I'd essentially need to do another version of the subtitles using SugarFX or Kolibri right?


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 11, 2017 at 8:01:53 am

Hi Javier,

"... I mean...do you know of a way to get the subtitles I created in FCP to export ..."
If you've read the entire thread you should know 😉

As mentioned by Noah and me give my X-Title tools a try.
X-Title Extractor allows to convert to .srt, .vtt, .xml (DCP), .stl and Adobe Encore.

I was wrong with my note above about .stl (Spruce) - it's not accepted by Amazon. For the formats look here:
https://videodirect.amazon.com/home/help?topicId=201979140

All the tools together - X-Title Importer, X-Title Extractor and X-Title Render - are 40 Euro. The free version have limited numbers of subtitles but no water marks nor time limitation for usage. X-Title Render is free anyway.

- Andreas

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 11, 2017 at 6:05:18 pm

Thanks for the info, Andreas. Will give it a look.


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Sybren Arnoldus
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 8:40:24 pm

Hi Javier, look here: https://gotranscript.com/subtitle-converter super easy!

About Kolibri, I like it but the last update was 2013. My guess is it won't be updated so some day it will stop working. A bit of a gamble to buy it but not a huge loss if it stops working. Somebody should buy the source code and continue the development ...
And as Andreas pointed out, Kolibri does not import / export to FCPX.


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 10, 2017 at 9:06:44 pm

Sybren,

Thanks much for that link. How exactly do I transfer the subtitles that I created in FCPX to a format that the Subtitle Converter tool accepts, however? Step one in the Subtitle Converter says "Upload File"...but what exactly is the file that I upload to it? I would export the subtitles that I created in FCPX presumably...right? but how would I export those FCPX subtitles to a format that the Subtitle Converter would accept?


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Sybren Arnoldus
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 11, 2017 at 8:26:41 am

.. seems like creativecow didn't post my reply .. here is the short version:

For your situation, use Andrea's X-Title Extractor. Works very well and saves you a ton of time.
- make a new FCPX project and paste all your subs in there.
- export the xml of this project
- open X-title Extractor and bring the xml file in there
- export the srt
- if needed, convert the srt to ttml with the online tool

Andreas did a great job on the X-title tools, don't forget to make a donation. Also to get rid of the 50 subs limitation.
Kolibri is only for subtitling outside FCPX.


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Javier Calderon
Re: Broadcast quality subtitles plugin for FCP X that will pass Netflix qc
on May 11, 2017 at 6:02:11 pm

Will give that a try. Thanks very much for the info, Sybren.


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