7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2010 7:14 AM by the_wine_snob

    What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?

    Positive Future Level 1

      Thanks to Steve Grissetti and The Wine Snob for their advice on Keyframing...

       

      *

       

      I'm doing a 35 minute project with a LOT of subtitles. I would like old school white on black background subtitles over my images if possible, but I can go lower quality if necessary.

       

      - Is it possible to do this in Elements?

      - If I have to use an external program, what is the most compatible with Elements? I'd like it freeware, or less than 100 dollars, and relatively user friendly.

      - What's the best Dummies Guide to subtitles out there?

       

      Thanks in advance again.

        • 1. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          Of course you can do this. I'm just not sure what you mean by white text on a black background.

           

          If they're on a black background (rather than over the video), they're technically not subtitles, are they?

           

          Or are you talking about add a black "lower third" box over your video with your subtitles in it?

          • 2. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            PrE does not support full Subtitles, like Encore does. Before I give you the method, let's do a bit of background.

             

            Real Subtitles are text/characters that can be turned on, or off, rather like their first-cousin, Closed Captions. In Encore (or other authoring programs), one creates a special text file, that is Imported into the authoring program, and then linked to a Menu, so the user can turn Subtitles on, or off, or select the language to display.

             

            In PrE, we cannot do that, but we can create what are called "Lower Thirds." These are captions in the form of Titles. PrE has several Lower Third templates to use, or one can just create them in Titler. Doing this from a template (whether it's from the PrE Library, or is created, and then Saved for later reuse) insure consistency. To do this in Titler, first create a rectangle that spans the width of the full Frame, and is tall enough to hold your text, but not obscure too much of your Frame. This will be your background, and I'd do this with a black Fill, and no Stroke. To accomplish this, choose a Style for the rectangle with Fill. You can then use the Color Palette icon to change the color to black. If your chosen Style has a Stroke, just turn Stroke off. Now, create a Text Block and a nice sans-serif font adequately sized to get your text into the Text Block. Set the text color to white. Keep the text short. Also, time the Duration of the Title to give the viewer enough time to read it 1.5x. I like Arial Bold, with enough Leading to make it easily readable. When done, place your Title above your footage Clips, say on Video Track 2. You can add Transitions to these Titles, to say Cross-dissolve them in and out.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Here is an example of a Lower Third. This one has a gradient background and title text, so it's in a display font, instead of the Arial Bold that I recommend.

               

              Lower-Third.jpg

               

              One could also do the rectangle and the text separately, so you'd easily have the same rectangle (a separate Title) with a changing text block above it (a separate set of Titles).

               

              Hope this helps,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Steve,

                 

                You both type faster than I do, plus you get the point across in few words!

                 

                Hunt

                 

                PS - I did have to take a break for my second cup of coffee.

                 

                • 5. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
                  Positive Future Level 1
                  EDIT: I tried to format this post correctly by spacing the questions but the forum changes the formatting... Sorry if it's hard to read.
                  Thanks to Steve G and especially Hunt for answering my previous questions about subtitles.
                  I have decided to do lower thirds on a black background, and have them burned into the film, so I suppose they are technically not subtitles, but captions. I have huge amounts of text to get down, about 10 pages of the stuff...
                  I appreciate some of these are obvious questions but after fiddling around for some time and finding nothing in help I have to ask here.
                  1) I have found a font I like, and a character size, and a correct height for the subtitles.etc. I have saved this as a style, but when I open the next title to add the next sentence, the style won't stick. Once I set a style how can I continue working in it for the duration of the project?
                  2) So I can either set a black strip across the whole movie, and then add titles in a separate track, OR have a "new" black strip set behind each title. What are the benefits of each method? I suppose the second is less heavy on my processor.
                  3) Can I add transitions and keyframing to individual pictures after doing the captions/subtitles? Is there any reason to do one before the other?
                  Thanks in advance again...
                  • 6. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    I'm not sure why you're having an issue with Styles. My workflow would be to do the Title (Lower-third), then Select the text, and click on my new Style to apply it.

                     

                    As for how you construct the Title, I do not see a difference between having the black rectangle on one Title, and the text on another. However, I would create a Title "template," with all elements. Then in Project View, I'd select that Title and choose File>Export>Title (might be in a different location by the version number of the program), and use that as my Template, making the individual changes, as would be necessary, for each use.

                     

                    This is a bit easier in PrPro, and one also has one nifty little feature, that is missing in PrE, at least through PrE 4 - the ability to do a new Title "Based on Existing Title" in the Titler. Part of that process is the renaming of the new Title, the one based on an existing Title in the Project, or in the Templates section. In PrPro, I create a Template (stored in My Documents) and use that to "base" all new Titles on it.

                     

                    For Keyframing, I usually do those before I add Titles, etc.. In PrE, I would do this most often, as one cannot easily turn of Visibility of other Video Tracks, as one can in PrPro. This would keep my Keyframing simple and free of distractions. Just personal workflow.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: What's the best way to do quality subtitles on an Elements film?
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      As for Templates that I have created, I have a sub-folder in my Templates for "Hunt," with "Mains" and "Lower-thirds." To get these new "templates" to show, I had to launch PrE 4 with Shift-Ctrl held down, to clear the Prefs, and force PrE to "see" my .PRTL files in those folders. [This is not necessary in PrPro, as all of my template Titles are seen, as soon as they are Saved to my sub-folder in that program. There, I choose Title>Based on Template, and just navigate to my Templates.]

                       

                      Good luck,

                       

                      Hunt