Creating Subtitles with DVD Studio Pro

Before you create a subtitle, you must have first created and selected the track where the subtitle will go. Because the contents of the track’s video and audio streams typically determine the subtitle placement, you should not start adding subtitles until these streams are set.

Creating a Subtitle Clip

There are several methods you can use to create a new subtitle clip.

Note: Remember that you have to create the subtitle in a subtitle stream (one of the streams labeled S1 to S32), and not in the V1 stream.

To create a new subtitle clip
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click in the subtitle stream at the approximate time position where the subtitle clip should appear.

  • Position the track’s playhead where the subtitle clip should appear, then choose Project > Timeline > Add Subtitle at Playhead.

  • Position the track’s playhead where the subtitle clip should appear, Control-click in the subtitle stream, then choose Add Subtitle at Playhead from the shortcut menu.

  • Position the track’s playhead where the subtitle clip should appear, then press Shift-Tilde (~).

  • Control-click in the subtitle stream at the approximate time position where the subtitle clip should appear, then choose Add Subtitle from the shortcut menu.

Figure. Shortcut menu that appears in the Track Editor when you Control-click in a subtitle stream.

All methods create an empty subtitle, with the duration and colors set in the General and Colors panes in DVD Studio Pro Preferences. Click the Viewer tab to see the video frame that corresponds to the start of the subtitle.

Positioning and Trimming a Subtitle Within a Stream

You can use your mouse or the settings in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector to adjust the position and duration of the subtitle.

To position and trim a subtitle
  1. Change the subtitle’s position on the timeline by doing one of the following:

    • Drag it to a new position.

    • Enter a new start time in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

  2. Change the subtitle’s duration by doing one of the following:

    • Drag one of its edges to a new position. You may need to change the timeline’s zoom level to make it easier to see any changes you make, especially if the subtitle clip appears very small. The pointer changes to indicate when you are over an edge and can start dragging it.

    • Enter a new duration in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

    • Enter a new stop time in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

Note: Subtitles cannot cross chapter markers. When you build your project, any subtitle clips that reach a chapter marker are clipped at that point.

Selecting Subtitle Clips

Once you have multiple subtitle clips in a stream, you can use a variety of methods to select one.

To select a subtitle clip in a subtitle stream
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Subtitle > Next or Project > Subtitle > Previous.

  • Click a subtitle clip in the subtitle stream.

  • Click the left and right arrows in the Viewer tab.

  • Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move the playhead through the timeline, stopping at each clip edge and marker.

Entering Subtitle Text

If you have experience using graphics applications, most aspects of entering subtitle text will be familiar to you. You can type directly in the Viewer tab or in the Text area in the Subtitle Inspector.

To enter subtitle text
  1. Do one of the following:

    • If the blinking insertion point is showing in the Subtitle Editor, you can start typing the text. The insertion point automatically appears at the default position in the Subtitle Editor.

    • Click in the Text area in the Subtitle Inspector.

  2. Type the text. Press Return to start a new line.

Note: When typing text in the Subtitle Editor, press Enter to exit the text entry mode.

You cannot create more than one text entry per subtitle. For example, you cannot enter a sentence, position it in the upper-left corner, and enter a second sentence and position it in the lower-right corner. If you need this functionality, create a graphics file that contains the text as required, and import it into a subtitle. See Importing Graphics Files for Subtitles for more information.

See Setting the Subtitle Font if the font is not the right size or style. See Setting the Subtitle Color if you see the insertion point move, but no text appears in the Viewer tab, or you want the text to be a different color.

You can edit the text by clicking to place the insertion point or selecting existing text and typing new text. You can also drag the text in the Subtitle Editor to a new position.

Copying Text Between Subtitles

You can copy text from one subtitle or other text source to a subtitle. Depending on where you paste the text, you can even maintain the font and size of the copied text:

  • To use the font and size information in addition to the text: Paste at the insertion point in the Viewer tab. The text’s color and justification are not copied.
  • To use only the text: Paste in the Subtitle Inspector’s text entry area. The text uses the subtitle’s font and size settings.
To copy text to a subtitle
  1. Select the text to be copied.

    This text can be from almost any text source, including other subtitles or TextEdit files.

  2. Choose Edit > Copy (or press Command-C).

    This copies the text to the Clipboard. The selected text is not affected.

  3. Select the subtitle to copy the text to, then do one of the following:

    • To add it as new text: Click the insertion point.
    • To replace existing text: Highlight the text to be replaced.
    • To add it to existing text: Place the insertion point where the copied text should go.

    Use the Viewer tab to retain the font and size settings of the copied text, or use the Subtitle Inspector’s text entry area to use the subtitle’s font and size settings.

  4. To paste the text, choose Edit > Paste (or press Command-V).

Entering Subtitles in Multiple Languages

One of the great things about subtitles is that you can have a completely different stream for each language. In the Viewer tab, you can type the subtitles on that stream in any language that your system is configured to handle.

When you build the project, the text subtitles are converted to bitmap images. The system on which you build the project (if it is different from the one used to enter the subtitles) must have the proper fonts installed to create the bitmaps. However, once the project is built, the fonts are not required to view the title using DVD players.

You can copy each subtitle clip to a new stream, preserving any attributes, such as fading, fonts, and duration, you have already set.

To copy a subtitle clip from one stream to another stream
Do one of the following:
  • Option-drag the existing subtitle clip to the new stream. You can place the clip freely within the stream.

  • Shift-Option-drag the existing subtitle clip to the new stream. The subtitle clip is forced to the same timeline position as the original.

Formatting Subtitle Text

You can format your subtitle text in a variety of ways. You get to choose:

  • The font family and specific typeface attributes (bold, oblique, and so on)

  • The font size

  • The colors, including transparency and outlines

You can also mix multiple fonts and sizes within the subtitle, although they must all use the same colors.

Note: You cannot set the color of subtitle text as you do a text object in the Menu Editor. You must choose colors from the Color Palette. See Setting the Subtitle Color for more information.

Setting the Subtitle Font

You can set the font attributes either before or after you type subtitle text.

To set the font attributes
  1. To open the Fonts window, do one of the following:

    • Choose Format > Font > Show Fonts (or press Command-T).

    • Click Show Fonts in the toolbar.

    The Mac OS X Fonts window opens.

    Figure. Mac OS X Font panel.
  2. If you’re making changes to existing text, select the text in the Subtitle Editor by dragging across it.

  3. In the Fonts window, select the font family and the typeface style to use. The list of available fonts and styles is based on fonts currently installed on your system.

  4. Either select a size in the Size column (use the slider to scroll through the list) or select the existing size and enter the new value, then press the Return key.

Note: If you open a DVD Studio Pro project that uses a font that is not on the computer you are opening it on (either because the font was deleted or the project was created on a different computer), any items using the missing font have a different font substituted with no warning.

To help make the font list manageable, you can assign fonts to collections, creating groupings of similar fonts. This makes it easy to get to a specific font type, such as script or serif. For more information, see Mac OS X Help.

Setting the Subtitle Color

You can set the colors that subtitles are displayed in. As you type text into a subtitle, you are actually creating an overlay graphic, exactly the same as an overlay graphic you might create with a graphics application. As with an advanced overlay, a subtitle contains four colors that you map to the actual colors that are displayed in the finished title. Each color also has a transparency setting. For subtitles, however, the function of each of the four colors is fixed: Color 1 is the text, color 2 is the first text outline, color 3 is the second text outline, and color 4 is the text background.

You usually set the opacity of color 4 (the text background) to 0—other opacity settings apply color 4 over the entire picture (except where the text is). Color 2 (text outline 1) and color 3 (text outline 2) let you apply a text border to help improve the contrast with the video underneath the subtitle. For example, you could set the text to be white and the outlines to be black, making it easy to read the text over light or dark video content.

You choose the colors that appear for each of the four overlays/text functions from a 16-color palette, exactly as you do with the standard menu creation method. You can define the colors in the palette either in the Colors pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences or by clicking Edit Palette in the Colors tab in the Subtitle Inspector.

Note: The subtitle Color Palette is independent of the menu Color Palette. Changes you make in one do not affect the other.

To set the text colors
  1. For each of the four overlays/text functions, choose a new color from the Color pop-up menu. See Color Mapping Palette for details on setting the color palette.

  2. Adjust the opacity (0 is completely transparent; 15 is completely opaque) for each color you set.

Note: The Mapping Type setting only applies to imported graphics, and does not affect subtitle text.

Positioning Subtitle Text over the Video

Once you have typed your text and set its font attributes, you can set its final position. There are several tools you can use to set the text’s position:

  • You can set the default position for subtitles in the Text pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences. Any new subtitles you type will be placed according to your settings.

  • You can drag the text to a new position.

  • You can use the buttons in the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector to automatically position the text horizontally and vertically. You can also fine-tune the placement by entering an offset for each direction, which moves the text the distance you specify from the position selected with the Horizontal and Vertical buttons.

The Text pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences and the General tab in the Subtitle Inspector use similar settings for positioning the text. In both cases, you use horizontal and vertical alignment settings to get it close, and then use the offset settings to position it exactly.

To position subtitle text without dragging
  1. Select the horizontal alignment (left, center, or right).

  2. Enter an offset value, in pixels, to adjust the position selected with the alignment setting. Positive numbers move the text to the right. Negative numbers move the text to the left. A value of 0 positions the text at its default position for the selected alignment.

  3. Select the vertical alignment (top, center, or bottom).

  4. Enter an offset value, in pixels, to adjust the position selected with the alignment setting. Positive numbers move the text down. Negative numbers move the text up. A value of 0 positions the text at its default position for the selected alignment.

Note: It’s easy to enter an offset value that makes the text disappear completely. If you cannot see the text, enter 0 for the horizontal and vertical offsets.