Subtitles and Translations
Closed caption subtitles
Closed Caption subtitles are overlayed over video files. They are different from traditional subtitles which involved the process of creating subtitles inside a Video Editing application. That meant placing each title and rendering the video so that the subtitles are is burned into the image.
Many people favour Closed Captioning as it allows for a lot more flexibility when it comes to importing, exporting, converting and translation subtitles. Closed Caption subtitles are also referred to as CC subtitles.
Creating CC Subtitles
There has been a lot of work done on documentation of how to create subtitle files. It is possible to create them using an online tool called Subtitle Horse. However many people prefer to make them on their desktop machines as the stop and start of the video is more responsive which is a big factor.
Have a look at this manual on creating subtitle files here. There are 3 main desktop applications.
- Jubler (all OS)
- Subtitle Workshop (Win)
- Miyu (Mac)
Creating Stand alone files
Check out this file of a Transmission gathering.
This Matroska file allows you to select different closed caption subtitles when you play it in the VLC player.
For videos of international relevance, we should be doing this all the time. This is an open source container that can be used by the community and altered to suit our needs.
There is help for how to create Matroska files here.
Making Matroska files
Flash Web player Example
G8-tv.org have done amazing work on the Flash based system for playing a range of Closed Caption subtitles to create a truely mulitilingual site.
The system boasts the following features
- Transcoding to flash format
- Allowing online or offline creation of subtitle files
- Creating a list of Subtitles for Closed Caption display
- Offering Video and Subtitle files for seperate download
The closed caption creation tools and import tool was used extensively
during the time of the G8 protest and after that a multilingual DVD was
created using the exisiting subtitle files
Flash Web player Documentation
To find out how they did this you can look at the documentation.
Collaborative DVD project
After the London transmission gathering we decided to test workflow for creating a multi-lingual DVD via online collaboration. It took us about 6 months to do it but in the end we did. You can download this compressed file of a DVD structure, burn the files to a DVD and play the video with various languages as subtitles. Download the file here
We could describe our workflow here. But really it's not worth it. All it really involved was getting translators to create *.srt files which could be incorporated into a DVD. What we discovered is that we really need an online Content Management System that can host subtitle files and allow online translations. You see then the g8-tv.org site arrived and showed us exactly what we needed. Now we just need to create one we can use ourselves. Any offers?