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Technical questions about Subtitle Workshop and VirtualDub
Thread poster: Karin Maack

Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:29
English to German
Jul 26, 2007

Hallo all of you,

I made the subtitles for a short feature with Subtitle Workshop and want to burn them into the video with VirtualDub. When I open the two files (.avi and .ssa) in VirtualDub, they look quite different from what they looked in Subtitle Workshop. Sometimes there are two lines instead of one or even three instead of two. Perhaps that is so because the font apears to be larger. Does VirtualDub not support all fonts?

Can anybody tell me what mistake I made? And, by the way, does anybody know about a German documentation of VirtualDub and its subtitle filter - that might also help for I am a beginner with authoring software.

thanks a lot!

Karin


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some answers Jul 27, 2007

Karin,

It seems that you are past the trickiest part, which is installing the VirtualDub subtitling plugin and loading the *.ssa file. What you miss is theory, I mean, information, which is not as easy to find as by (preferably someone else's) trial and error.

If you ever bother to open any subtitle file with Notepad, depending on the type you open, you'll see that in addition to the subtitles and their in/out times, there are some settings. The actual difference between SSA, SRT, TXT, and the other 4-5 dozen other formats Subtitle Workshop offers you is the subitle+timecode format, and the layout of all remaining information.

What you see on the screen with Subtitle Workshop is the PREVIEW font with the PREVIEW size. You can select them on the menu. However they are not necessarily related to the OUTPUT menu settings. For instance, I use 40-size font for output, and 9-size font for preview. Once I subtitled a video with 9-size letters and they came out as what you might call fliegekaken on the screen! If you don't find it in the output menu, you may edit/check font size it in the subtitles file.

Another freeware that may let you see how it's coming out is Media Subtitler, from http://www.divxland.org/subtitler.php . I don't use it for spotting as the real-time play process it entails is too adrenalin-based.

However VirtualDub has the "Preview Output from Start" option, which will let you watch your subtitled video in real time before rendering, so you can fix anything before actually subtitling.

I wouldn't know of any German documentation on video. In spite of my Polish/Austrian surname, my knowledge of German is zilch. All I know about DVD (and it enables me to do the whole job) came from http://www.videohelp.com , in English.

If you want to go about authoring DVDs with freeware, a good solution is AVI2DVD from http://www.trustfm.net/divx/SoftwareAvi2Dvd.html - up to 3 subtitle tracks, and up to 3 audio tracks. I haven't tried its menu creation features. Note that this program doesn't burn the subtitles onto the image like VirtualDub, but leaves them selectable through the "Subtitle" button on the DVD player remote control, and "None" is the fourth possible option. This is why it takes much longer to process, better done overnight.

Good luck!


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:29
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Part of the problem has been solved Jul 28, 2007

José

thanks a lot for your help! I have changed the font size manually now. Curiously I was too hasty and first opened the subtitle file in WordPad, not in Notepad - but it looks exactly the same in WordPad and so I set the fontsize to 14 and it looks fine.

Only problem now is, that the font colour is white and the background colour is grey! And when I open it in Subtitle Workshop and change the colour settings, nothing happens. Except that I have to readjust the fontsize in WordPad.
Do you have any ideas about this?

www.videohelp.com looks great - but what a lot of things to read and to learn! I guess that will keep me busy for a while.

Again, thank you for your advice!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The rest of the solution Jul 28, 2007

Karin Maack wrote:
...so I set the fontsize to 14 and it looks fine.


14??? I use 40, usually with Trebuchet.

[quote]Only problem now is, that the font colour is white and the background colour is grey! And when I open it in Subtitle Workshop and change the colour settings, nothing happens. Except that I have to readjust the fontsize in WordPad.
Do you have any ideas about this?[quote]

You'll find that in Settings | Output Settings. Then, on the left choose SubStation Alpha. I think it's the easiest way to set that up. Note that you have the "Cosmetics" and "Others" buttons, that will take you to different setting windows.

www.videohelp.com looks great - but what a lot of things to read and to learn! I guess that will keep me busy for a while.


Nobody ever said DVDs were simple nor easy to make. The worst of it is that I get involved in too many things on top of translation. When months elapse between one DVD and another, possibly taken by heavy DTP (PageMaker is as natural for me as riding a bike), I forget most of the video tricks I use, and have to re-learn them again. Fortunately, right now I'm at the top of my skills, subtitling 6 DVDs, but I had a hard time recapping.

A weird-interfaced but extremely useful video conversion freeware that might help you is http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html .

Have fun!


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:29
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again! Jul 29, 2007

I found the output settings and it worked fine. Funny thing is, when you have found out how to do it - after a friendly person has told you -, it doesn't seem to be so complicated at all - until you forget it again!

14 seems to be very small (actually I changed it to 16) but it is not meant to fit on a big screen. I want to include it in my website as a kind of reference. I'm afraid that might take some time yet - I think I need another software for encoding. At least that's what I found in an article on www.videohelp.com

I know the Super converter from erightsoft, it is really helpful.

So I'm going to learn a lot more of these complicated things - but that doesn't matter because I find it interesting.

I'm glad there are experienced people like you who care to share their knowledge!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Picture size Jul 29, 2007

Karin Maack wrote:
14 seems to be very small (actually I changed it to 16) but it is not meant to fit on a big screen. I want to include it in my website as a kind of reference.


I forgot to mention that all my subtitling so far was on DVD format, 720x480 pixels, so 40 was a good font size. Maybe this will help you to calculate a proportion.

I think I need another software for encoding.


For encoding what? VirtualDub will give you a finished AVI, just remember to select an adequate codec for compression. Once I forgot to compress, and ran out of disk space in the process, in spite of having 160 GB on my hard disk! Then use Super or any other converter to MPEG or whatever you want.


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:29
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Finally found the compression Aug 2, 2007

I think I have got it now! I didn't understand what compression was about, now I have found the path: Video->Compression and then File->Save as AVI. And again: really simple after one has found out!

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andrea_vk  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 08:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Query about SUbstation Alpha and VirualDUb Nov 12, 2007

Hi

I know this is an old post, but I was reading it because I am having problems, but your this thread did not help much either.
I created the subtitles with SUbstation Alpha and choose a font, which I later changed with DIVXLand.
WHen I open the .ssa file with notepad, the font specified is teh one I selected in DivXland, when I preview it in DIVXland it is fine, but then I use TMPGenc to create the MPEG file, and the font is much smaller, it has a shadow which I removed in DVXland, and it is not clearly readable.

If I previewed the final MPEG created with TMPGenc in VirtualDub, it opens two video windows . In one it shows this ugly unreadable font, in the other one it shows the font I chose with DIVXland , and below it shows the subtitle again with the unclear font.
WHat am I doing wrong?
Also the font I chose with DIVXLand it shows it clearly but in a black box. How do I get rid of this box. ?

I would appreciate any help with this.
Thank you
Andrea


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andrea_vk  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 08:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
VirtualDUb and TMPGEnc Nov 12, 2007

Well, I have solved the problems with the font, not sure what I did different, but now is working,except that the line of teh subtitle is wider than the movie.
But now, suddenly I cannot hear the sound when watching the video.
TMPGEnc created the MPEG file and the WAV file, But they not seem to be linked. Is there a setting I need to check?

Thanks
Andrea


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Are you groping in the dark with TMPGenc? Nov 12, 2007

Andrea,

I never used TMPGenc, and it seems that you have, and are familiar with VirtualDub. Have you got its Subtitler plugin? That's the way I do it.

Btw, I use Subtitle Workshop instead of SubStation Alpha, but your problem doesn't seem to be here.

Good luck!


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andrea_vk  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 08:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not sure what I am doing Nov 13, 2007

Hi Jose

No, I am not sure what I am doing. This is the first time I am actually doing this/ Someone told me to use TMPGENc, but I cannot seem to make it work.
How do you do it with VirtualDub. According to your previous post, I opened teh video, add teh filter, but when I preview i
also do not get any sound.
Then I compress the file, and when I say it save as avi, it takes a long time. it shows the video with no subtitle and no audio. Still running so I am not sure this will actualy work either.
Is there anything else if I want to use just virtualdub?

Thanks
Andrea


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Get a tutorial Nov 13, 2007

Andrea,

There isn't much use in me trying to reinvent the wheel here. I suggest you go to http://www.videohelp.com and find a tutorial on subtitling. The problem there is that there are too many to choose from. So, read a few, choose one you like by the software it uses, and do it from beginning to end.

That's exactly how I learned to do it.

Good luck!


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Milan Radivojevic
Serbia
Local time: 08:29
Member (2011)
English to Serbian
+ ...
What do you need to do? Nov 23, 2007

andrea_vk wrote:

Hi Jose

No, I am not sure what I am doing. This is the first time I am actually doing this/ Someone told me to use TMPGENc, but I cannot seem to make it work.
How do you do it with VirtualDub. According to your previous post, I opened teh video, add teh filter, but when I preview i
also do not get any sound.
Then I compress the file, and when I say it save as avi, it takes a long time. it shows the video with no subtitle and no audio. Still running so I am not sure this will actualy work either.
Is there anything else if I want to use just virtualdub?

Thanks
Andrea





By using virtual dub you can put the subtitle and glue it on to the video, but later can't remove it. It's used usually to create a divx file with glued subtitle, to later burn on a cd/dvd and played by a stand-alone dvd player that can't read subtitles from a separate file.
If you want to author a dvd w/subtitles that can be turned on/off, there's no way to do it by using virtual dub and filters...
On the other hand, if you don't want to get to know how to set up a compressor for the video and audio, and your only goal is to get the subtitles on the video, than use auto gordian knot, where you simply select the video and subtitle file, and it does all the work. The result is a divx file, though.
One way or another, you still have to create a subtitle file with correct timing and duration, by using some subtitle creating software, and subtitle workshop does the job rather well. Just save it as a default (srt) extension, and the AGK software does everything else.
So, do you need to create a dvd (mpeg2 standard video) or divx with subtitles? Do they need to be able to be turned on/off?


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