Importing Graphics Files for Subtitles

You can use graphics files, configured as overlays, to create individual subtitles. These graphics can be drawings or text created using a graphics application. See Creating Overlays for information on creating overlay graphics. You must also use the correct frame size when creating your graphics. See Understanding Pixel Differences in Graphics and Video for information on square pixels and a list of frame sizes to use when creating the graphics.

You can also use graphics in conjunction with typed text. Because the same color mapping settings are used for both the text and graphics, you need to create the graphics with the mapping setting for the four overlay colors in mind.

Importing a Graphics File

There are two approaches you can take to import a graphics file into a subtitle stream:

  • Add a subtitle to a stream and import the graphic through the Subtitle Inspector.

  • Drag a suitable graphics file directly to a subtitle stream.

In both cases, the graphic uses the normal color settings in the Colors tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

To import a subtitle graphic using the Subtitle Inspector
  1. Create a subtitle or select a previously created text subtitle. See Creating a Subtitle Clip.

  2. Click Choose in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the graphics file to use, then click Open.

The graphic appears in the Viewer tab, using the current settings in the Colors tab.

To import a subtitle graphic by dragging
  1. Locate the graphics file in the Assets tab, the Palette, or a Finder window.

  2. Drag the graphics file to the subtitle stream at the approximate position where it should start.

A new subtitle is created with the duration and color mapping set in the Colors pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences.

Using Graphics Files to Create an Animation

While subtitles are most often used to present text, the ability to import graphics files into subtitle streams makes it possible to use them for other purposes. For example, the video stream might show a mountain while the subtitle shows the route taken to climb it with a line that gradually grows from the start of the trail to the mountain top.

While you cannot import any kind of a motion asset into a subtitle stream, you can manually create an animation by adding a number of very short (one- or two-frame) subtitles, each with a different graphic that shows the line at a different stage.

Typical text subtitles have little impact on the playback bit rate—on average they run at around 10 kbps. When you use subtitles to create an animation, the impact on the playback bit rate becomes substantial, and may force you to lower the bit rate of the video stream. The DVD specification limits a subtitle stream’s bit rate to 3.36 Mbps (about the same as some MPEG-2 video).

The easiest way to create a subtitle animation is to create an STL subtitle file and import it. You can specify the exact duration and position of each graphic, as well as configure the color mapping settings. See Creating an STL Format Subtitle File for more information.