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Editing Subtitle Attributes

You can edit subtitles that you typed in Encore DVD or imported from a text subtitle script. You can change the text, reposition or resize the bounding box, apply new colors, or change the character settings. You can modify either individual clips or all the clips on a track.

  1. In the Project window, double-click the Behind the Scenes timeline to display it in the Timeline Viewer.
  2. Move the Timeline Viewer CTI to one of the Text Script subtitles you imported earlier.

    It should be on the Subtitle 2 track.

  3. Make sure that the Track Selector on the track you want to edit is selected, then click on a subtitle clip to select it.
  4. Do any of the following:
    • To restyle the text, highlight the words you want to change. Then select the type attributes you want for the text in the Character panel.
    • To reposition the subtitle, click a selection tool, and place the cursor over the subtitle text. When the cursor changes to a black arrowhead, drag the subtitle to the desired location in the Monitor panel.
    • To change the color group, stroke weight, or alignment, click a selection tool and select the clip in the timeline (not in the Monitor). Then change the appropriate option in the Properties panel. (These properties apply to the entire clip, not to individual characters.)
    • To edit or add text to the subtitle, use the Text tool, click an insertion point in the text or highlight the words you want to change, and type the new text.
  5. Use the Previous or Next Subtitle buttons in either the Monitor or Timeline Viewer (highlighted in the next figure) to move to another subtitle and perform additional edits.

Changing Subtitle Colors

You can specify the colors used in subtitles. You can use the same color set for the entire project, or each timeline can have its own set of three different color groups (each group can have different colors for the text, stroke, and anti-aliasing edge of the subtitle text or objects).

You can select a particular color group for a clip to ensure maximum visibility, or to distinguish, for example, between characters in a film.

  1. In the Timeline Viewer, Subtitle 2 track, select one of the subtitles you just worked on and click the Properties tab to open that panel.
  2. Click through the three Highlight Groups (ending up back at Group 1). Note that the text fill and stroke colors change from one group to the next.
  3. Click through the Stroke options from None to Heavy and note the thickness of the stroke.
  4. Finally, change the percentage value in the Alignment box and note how that changes the location of the subtitle within its bounding box.
  5. Choose Timeline > Edit Timeline Color Set.

Make note of a few things:

  • You are looking at the Timeline Default color set.
  • Each color set has three color groups.
  • Each color group has three colors: Fill, Stroke, and Anti-alias.
  • Each color has an opacity: 100% is opaque and 0% is transparent.
  • You can make as many custom color sets as you like but each Timeline can reference only one color set.
  1. Drag the Timeline Color Set dialog box off to one side so you can see your subtitles in the Monitor.
  2. Click the Timeline Color Set Preview checkbox.
  3. Click the Fill swatch for Subtitle Group 1 to open the Color Picker and change to a distinctly different color.
  4. Do the same for Stroke and Anti-alias (clicking the Create Anti-alias color from Fill and Stroke checkbox is a good way to avoid glaring color combinations).

    You’ll see that the changes show up in the subtitle text in the Monitor. Feel free to experiment.

  5. Once you have a color scheme that suits you, click the New Color Set button (highlighted in the previous figure).
  6. A message stating “Timeline default color set has changed…” will appear. Click No.
  7. Type in a Color Set name in the New Color Set dialog box, and click OK.

That new color set will become available in the Timeline Color Set dialog window. To apply it to a timeline, return to the Timeline Color Set dialog window (choose Timeline > Edit Timeline Color Set), select that color set, and click OK.

You can export a color set to use in other projects by clicking the Export to color set file button (to the right of the New color set button). Later you can import that color set by clicking the Import from the color set file button.

Adding Closed Captions

Closed captions provide assistance for the hearing impaired by displaying the audio portion of a program as superimposed text over the video. Closed captions typically include dialog as well as descriptions of sounds in the program. Closed captions work only in NTSC television sets, not PAL.

As with subtitle creation, most producers turn to production companies to create closed captions. It does take specialized software (you cannot create closed captions within Encore) and some programs require extra hardware as well, but closed caption creation tools are coming down in price.

Closed captions can come in several different file types. Encore DVD works with only one: SCC (Scenarist Closed Caption) files. A sample closed caption file is included in the Subtitles folder. This brief exercise explains how to import it, but Encore DVD does not have an option to display it. To actually see it (it says: “Caption #1, Caption #2, etc.) you need to burn a DVD and play it on a TV set with CC1 turned on.

Here’s how you add closed captions:

  1. In the Timeline Viewer, select the video clip you want to add closed captions to so it shows up in the Properties panel.
  2. In the Properties panel, click the Browse button for Field 1. (Closed captions typically use Field 1 and the sample file was created for Field 1.)
  3. Navigate to the Subtitles folder and double-click Closed caption sample.scc.
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