Creating and Importing Subtitle Files

Often you may want to create your subtitles outside of DVD Studio Pro. There can be several reasons for this:

There are two approaches used to create subtitle files for import into DVD Studio Pro: Use a single file with the text embedded in it or use a group of graphics files, one for each subtitle, with a master file that controls which files appear at which time.

In both cases, the subtitle files can be opened with a text-editing program such as TextEdit. This makes it easy to verify the file’s settings and make any necessary modifications. Be sure to save the file in a plain text format if you do make any changes.

Using a Single Subtitle File

When you use the single file subtitle method, you specify a timecode for each subtitle’s start and end, as well as the actual subtitle text. You can also embed commands that affect how the text appears on the screen, such as the font, position, color mapping settings, and fade in and fade out settings.

There are two disadvantages of the single file subtitle method:

  • It requires your authoring system to have the correct fonts installed. This can be an important issue when working with foreign languages that require special characters.

  • The subtitle can only include text characters. However, you can manually import graphics files to use in addition to the imported subtitle file.

Using a Group of Graphics Files

When you use a group of graphics files for the subtitles, each file provides the graphic for one subtitle. A master file provides a list of timecode values for the start and end of each subtitle, along with the name of the graphics file to use for each subtitle.

An advantage of this subtitle method is that the graphics files do not need to actually contain text. This method is useful if you want to include graphics elements along with the text, such as a logo. This also means that the DVD Studio Pro system is not required to have the same fonts you used to create the subtitle graphics.

A disadvantage of this method is that you have to manage a folder with a lot of large graphics files, as compared to the single file method with its single small file.

The graphics files follow the same guidelines as overlay files. See Creating Overlays for more information.