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CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!

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Karen Yarosky
CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 5, 2019 at 9:16:11 pm

I am playing around with captions before I start creating them for a feature documentary and want to make sure I get it right. First question: Can someone explain to me the difference between Captions and Subtitles? I need subtitles as the film is in two languages (Swahili and English). I hope to get it broadcast so I may need closed captioning but in playing around I find open captioning is WAY easier to manipulate (especially because you can fit more words onto the screen at one time!). Can you create something that is adaptable for open, closed and subtitles (though I understand subtitles are burned in)? I actually came to Creative Cow because I am only able to create a new caption by going "file - new caption". When working with captions in the timeline I cannot double click, command click or control click and get the option to "add caption". Is this a glitch or am I doing something wrong? If I work with Open Captions I am able to hit the "+" button in the caption window and a new pane appears for me to write the caption in, but it does not show up in the timeline or as a new caption file in my bin. Suggestions? I am new to captions in Premiere Pro so hope this all makes sense (and apologies for jumping around with a million questions). Finally - I notice that there are many posts here about trouble exporting captions and this scares the bejeezus out of me as I imagine it will be a great amount of work to create all these captions and would be devastated if it all fails on output. I am an indie doc maker so am trying to do what I can on my own (and the dialect of Swahili I am translating is very specific so cannot outsource this to be translated or subtitled). But are there other more failsafe options than PP? What is the best way to make this a solid investment of my time? Hoping to understand what I am doing before I get into it! Many Thanks for any and all input.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 6, 2019 at 7:04:44 am

First of all, DO NOT do this in Premiere, or any other NLE.
It is slow, and your methods of exporting / reformatting / checking are limited.

Now, Captions (or Closed Caption) are generally for the deaf and hard hearing. So, not only is the dialogue written, important sound effects is also noted. The position and color of the captions indicate the speaker.
You can turn them on / off, the information is send with the video, and the TV sets overlays them.
Due to backwards compatibility, they are still ugly, have very limited space (as you have noticed) and then there is the problem that you need to know the load time to be sure they will appear. (Long technical story.)
To preview captions in Premiere, you need a card that supports that, and a monitor that supports that, and they have to be turned on. Can be a hassle, and as stated earlier, they need load time, so they don't always appear when you jump around.

Subtitles are just to translate the spoken content. They are generally white, and have no more than two lines.
They are NOT always burned in. It depends on the broadcaster.
Most of the time you have to supply a separate file to the broadcaster, who will add the subtitles on the fly while broadcasting. (So your master is clean, but the end user receives them burned in.)
But eg Netflix sends them as metadata, and the Netflix player will overlay them if the end user turns them on.

Then you have to learn about timing / read speed. You cannot simply translate everything and put it on screen.
(It will be too much to read in too little time.)
Depending on the languages, you need to shorten the text by 1/3 on average. That is often a challenge, and you end up re-writing parts of the text / re-arranging sentences. (People have tendency to talk very sloppy, if you read subtitles without the movie it always looks weird.)
This is hard work, and you will be doing a lot of revisiting.

Now, a feature film easily has 1000 subtitles. So you need a way or creating them that is fast.
I strongly suggest using a dedicated editor, and I recommend this:
https://www.videotoolshed.com/product/subbits-subtitler/
(But that might have to do with the fact that I'm the creator of the software.)

Bouke
http://www.videotoolshed.com


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Bouke Vahl
Re: CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 12, 2019 at 8:38:42 am
Last Edited By Bouke Vahl on Jul 14, 2019 at 7:50:40 am

Meanwhile I've made an instruction video showing how easy it is to work with my software.
(When you are done, exporting to a lot of formats is a breeze. Creating good text and timing is where the work is.)

EDIT, this link should work.






Bouke
http://www.videotoolshed.com


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Todd VanSlyck
Re: CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 18, 2019 at 2:41:01 pm

I'm not sure what the budget is on your project, but we've been using rev.com for the past 2 years. They will transcribe the file for $1/finished minute and give you whatever format you need.
I spent way too much time before that transcribing. They generally get it back to you within 1-2 days.
I don't work for them, they've just made my life a hell of a lot easier!

Dell Precision 5810 Intel Xeon 3.0 GHz
NVIDIA Quadro M4000
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
After Effects CC
Cinema 4d r14


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Bouke Vahl
Re: CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 18, 2019 at 2:49:30 pm

Well Todd,
You are perfectly right. (I know the company, and I also know that their CC output needs patching in some circomstances, hence I wrote software for that.)

BUT, at one buck a minute, a full feature will set you back say, 90 bucks?
And you expect perfect (shortened) translation and perfect timing for that?

That's impossible. For a pro subtitler, a full feature will take a full day, and that is if there is a script to begin with.

Of course, if your only aim is to get captions as cheap as possible, it works.
But you get what you pay for, and that is the lowest quality possible.
(At a price that can't be beaten, but again, why do you spare no money on making your movie beautiful and then be a cheap ass to get it across on the 8% (that is a BIG number) of people who need subs or CC?)

Bouke
http://www.videotoolshed.com


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Todd VanSlyck
Re: CAPTIONS .. questions before I embark on a large project !!!!!
on Jul 19, 2019 at 3:27:57 pm

I've had virtually no issues with what I've sent them. A quick scan to fix any potential errors and I'm off to the races.
Just an option...

Todd VanSlyck - Director of Multimedia
University of Northwestern Ohio
--
Dell Precision 5810 Intel Xeon 3.0 GHz
NVIDIA Quadro M4000
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
After Effects CC
Cinema 4d r14


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