Importing a Subtitle File

Before you import a subtitle file, you will usually have the video asset it relates to in place in the V1 stream. It is also a good idea to have the subtitle preferences configured before importing a subtitle file. Unless the subtitle file specifically overrides them, these preference settings will apply to all subtitles that are imported.

To import a subtitle file
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click in the subtitle stream to import the subtitles into, then choose Import Subtitle File from the shortcut menu.

  • Select an existing subtitle clip in the stream, then click Import Subtitles in the Subtitle Inspector.

Important: Importing a subtitle file deletes any subtitle clips in that stream that might already be present.

In both cases, a file selection dialog appears for you to choose the file to import. After you choose the file, a dialog appears stating how many subtitles were imported, and the subtitle stream shows clips for each subtitle.

If a Subtitle Import Does Not Work

There are several common reasons why you might have problems when importing a subtitle file.

Wrong Timecode

The most common problem is that the timecode in the subtitle file does not correspond to the asset timecode of the video stream. In some cases, this is due to the original tape’s timecode not being entered prior to the video being MPEG-encoded.

To see the timeline’s asset timecode, Control-click in the timeline, then choose Asset-Based Timecode from the shortcut menu. You can force an STL format subtitle file to import based on zero-based timecode (which sets the first frame as 00:00:00:00 regardless of the asset’s timecode) by setting the $TapeOffset command to False (it is True by default). See Timeline Command for more information.

You can also try importing the subtitle file into a track that has no video assets. This also forces the subtitle clips to import based on zero-based timecode.

Font Not Available

If you are using the single subtitle file method and specify a font to use, a dialog appears if the font is not found on the system, and DVD Studio Pro uses the default subtitle font (as configured in the Text pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences) as a substitute.

Note: The font must be installed as a Mac OS X font—Mac OS 9 fonts are not used.

Unable to Find the Graphics Files

In most cases, the master subtitle file and the graphics files it uses must be in the same folder. In some cases, however, the master file may be configured to use a separate folder for the graphics files. In this case, the path supplied by the master file must match the actual location where the graphics files are.

How Subtitles Are Positioned

When you import subtitles, they are positioned in the subtitle stream based on the start and end timecode values in the subtitle file and the video stream’s asset timecode. This means that the timecode values in the subtitle file must be relative to the asset timecode of the video stream’s clip, not to the timeline’s zero-based timecode. An exception is when you use an STL format subtitle file, which can choose to use the timeline’s zero-based timecode. See Timeline Command for information on positioning subtitles when using an STL format file. See Understanding Time Information in the Track Editor for more information on asset-based versus zero-based timecode.

Editing Imported Subtitles

Once you have imported a subtitle file, you can work with the individual subtitle clips as if you had manually created them. You can reposition them and change their color mapping and any other subtitle attribute. If you imported the subtitles as text from a single subtitle file, you can edit the text. If you imported a group of graphics files as your subtitles, you cannot edit the actual text.

You can also modify all of the subtitles in a stream by using the Apply to Stream controls. See Applying Subtitle Settings to the Stream for more information.