Introduction to Subtitles

Each track can include up to 32 subtitle streams. Having multiple streams makes it possible to offer text in several languages, allowing the viewer to select the appropriate one.

Increasingly, subtitles are being used for other purposes, such as to create buttons over video (also known as interactive markers or interactive subtitles), which allow the viewer to make choices while watching the movie. You can also use subtitles to supply simple graphics to augment the video, such as arrows and lines.

You can create text subtitles directly in DVD Studio Pro, one at a time. You set their position, font, size, style, and color, and can have them fade in and out. You control their start and stop time either by entering timecode values or dragging in the timeline.

You can also import subtitle files containing all of the subtitles for a track. DVD Studio Pro supports files that conform to any of these formats:

Note: See Importing Older DVD Studio Pro Subtitles for information on importing SPU format subtitles (subtitles created with earlier versions of DVD Studio Pro).

Files in these formats should all contain multiple subtitle text or graphics images tied to timecode values, ensuring they are placed properly within the timeline.

You can also import graphics files and use them as subtitles or overlay them on the video. For example, you could have a graphic that traces a route on a map that appears in the video stream. By importing several graphics, you could effectively animate the graphic (by making the line move in the map, for example).

Subtitles can also be used to superimpose buttons over the track’s video. The viewer selects these buttons just as they would buttons on a menu. Creating buttons over video is similar to creating buttons using the standard menu creation method; that is, both involve overlays, drawing rectangles to identify each button’s active area, and color mapping.

There are no limits to how many subtitles you can add to a subtitle stream. However, there are limits to how many subtitles you can have that provide buttons over video. See How Do Buttons over Video Work? for more information.

There is also no limit to the length of subtitles—you can make subtitles as short as one frame or as long as the track.

Short subtitles can be useful if you want to create an animation effect, with simple graphics that move. See Using Graphics Files to Create an Animation for more information.

Subtitles can be configured so that the viewer controls whether they appear, or they can be forced to appear.