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  1. Hi there,

    I've been searching high and low and cannot seem to find a way to do the following: rendering subtitles with more than 2 lines (specifically, with 2 lines of text and some extra blank lines) on the Mac. The reason I want to do this is because I sometimes subtitle movie clips with text already present in the picture (e.g. name of person interviewed), and need to be able to move my subtitles up the screen so they don't overlap.

    I usually work with SRT subs, and my tool of choice for rendering is Submerge. Unfortunately, Submerge only renders the 2 first lines of a subtitle. I've emailed the developer asking about this improvement, and it's not on the roadmap.

    I have access to the following software:
    - Submerge
    - Annotation Edit
    - Handbrake
    - Jubler
    - ffmpegX
    - VisualHub
    - MKVtools
    - DVD Studio Pro
    - Quicktime 7 Pro
    - If all else fails... Windows via Parallels.

    My end goal is to have movie files with hard-burned subtitles, (as opposed to the "flattened" files from Submerge, which only play correctly in Quicktime) - and VisualHub usually does a great job at that.

    What I'm missing is a way to move certain subs up the picture frame, and presumably adding extra blank lines under the text of a subtitle is an easy way to do this. I've tried editing the SRTs by hand, adding blank lines, but no success so far. The closest I've gotten is adding a dot to the empty lines in the SRT and using MKVtools to create an MP4 with burned subs. This works, but obviously I don't want the dots. in the picture. Also, I really like the styling that Submerge creates (by default, white text on a transparent gray background). MKVtools doesn't seem to offer that much styling freedom.

    There's got to be an easy way to do this...! Thanks a bunch for any pointers

    Cheers
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  2. Member
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    SRT subs don't have any position or styling options - for SRT subs that would be the function of the sub renderer filter

    You can try avidemux for mac, it's SRT subtitle filter has position/size/color options (at least on the PC variant, it should be the same on linux/mac variant)

    Alternatively, you can use convert to SSA/ASS subs with aegisub - you have a lot more control over subs this way
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  3. Originally Posted by doobya View Post
    What I'm missing is a way to move certain subs up the picture frame, and presumably adding extra blank lines under the text of a subtitle is an easy way to do this.
    So, you don't really care about having the ability to add extra lines. You really want the ability to place the subs somewhere else on the screen besides the bottom center.

    I don't use a Mac but this is a piece of cake when using SSA subs. None of those pieces of software you mentioned support the use of SSA subs?

    A little checking shows that Jubler supports SSA subs.

    Edit: pdr made another suggestion. If his doesn't pan out, try converting SRT to SSA and editing them.
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  4. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    There is, as poisondeathray noted, an OS X version of Aegisub, which you can use to generate .ass/.ssa-format subtitles that indeed support the effects you're looking for. However, keep in mind it's classified as 'alpha-level' software, so it may or may not have issues if you use it.

    AVIDemux does have a way to hardsub from .ass/.ssa subtitle files, but some have reported problems trying to get it to work under Lion.
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  5. Thanks guys! But still no dice.

    avidemux: I couldn't figure out how to pick a font and select color/styling options in avidemux. The wiki says to look for it on the "Subtitle Filter" window... I only see a browse button to pick a subtitle file, and options for Line spacing, Font scale, Top & bottom margin. Also, I wasn't able to find a clear explanation of the available flavors of MP4 (AVC, ASP Xvid, ASP avcodec?). And finally, it crashed on me a couple times. Willing to give it another try with extra pointers, but so far this doesn't feel encouraging...

    So, you don't really care about having the ability to add extra lines. You really want the ability to place the subs somewhere else on the screen besides the bottom center.
    Correct. Assuming I can replicate the nice white text/gray box styling of Submerge with Jubler, I'm happy to use it and the SSA format if it allows me to move individual titles around. The thing is Submerge won't load SSA files, so then I'm back to finding a solution to render/burn SSA subs into a video (e.g. MP4) file on Mac. Any suggestions there?

    I do this stuff for a living, so I need reliable tools and a fast (or at least consistent) workflow. My clients are happy with Submerge's results - except when it comes to films with preexisting titles. I've been spoiled by its point-and-click ease of use, so I'd like to find the quickest possible way to solve the above: repositions individual subs and render hard-coded subs, with some flexibility in terms of text styling options.


    Thanks!
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  6. Originally Posted by Ai Haibara View Post
    There is, as poisondeathray noted, an OS X version of Aegisub, which you can use to generate .ass/.ssa-format subtitles that indeed support the effects you're looking for. However, keep in mind it's classified as 'alpha-level' software, so it may or may not have issues if you use it.

    AVIDemux does have a way to hardsub from .ass/.ssa subtitle files, but some have reported problems trying to get it to work under Lion.
    Thanks - I've tried Aegisub before, and it went up in virtual flames often enough that I stopped pursuing that option. I need production-level software that works, I usually can't afford the time to debug and tweak...

    And as for Avidemux, see my experience above... I downloaded it straight from the link on this site, which may not be the latest (will check next). FWIW I'm still using Snow Leo/10.6.

    Cheers!
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    Originally Posted by doobya View Post
    avidemux: I couldn't figure out how to pick a font and select color/styling options in avidemux. The wiki says to look for it on the "Subtitle Filter" window... I only see a browse button to pick a subtitle file, and options for Line spacing, Font scale, Top & bottom margin. Also, I wasn't able to find a clear explanation of the available flavors of MP4 (AVC, ASP Xvid, ASP avcodec?). And finally, it crashed on me a couple times. Willing to give it another try with extra pointers, but so far this doesn't feel encouraging...
    xvid is the official xvid implmentation of mpeg4-asp (mpeg4 part 2) , avcodec is the ffmpeg/libav implementation. AVC is mpeg4 part 10 or h.264 . Most often xvid would be used in AVI container (but that' s not going to happen on a mac) . Most of the time you would use AVC... better quality and compression - I'm not sure what other kind of explanation you're looking for? Or maybe you can clarify the destination goal - how is this hardcoded export going to be viewed? (on a device, mac, pc , flash, etc...) ?

    There might be differences between windows version and other os's of avidemux, or you might be using an outdated build, not sure. These are the options in the SRT filter . Size & position opens up a sub window where you set the horizontal and vertical placement


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    Too bad the mac version of aegisub is alpha/beta , the windows version runs well.

    ASS format will fix all your problems and more - very versatile format, you can make very fancy subs, animations, effects, fonts, styles - almost unlimitless options . You're really limiting your options by using SRT

    manono mentioned jubler had SSA support - how is that for stability on OS X ?
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 8th May 2012 at 16:36.
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    It looks like the avidemux for mac hosted on videohelp is 2.5.4 (quite old)

    A quick search doesn't reveal anyone hosting newer compiled builds for OSX

    You probably don' t have time to compile it yourself but here are instructions on how to compile a newer build
    http://www.avidemux.org/smf/index.php?topic=9960.msg53651#msg53651


    I'm going by rusty memory here, but didn't FCP (at least before FCP X) have some SRT import plugin? Could you hardcode and position the subs that way ? I know After Effects has scripts that you can import SSA subs.
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 8th May 2012 at 16:51.
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  9. VH Wanderer Ai Haibara's Avatar
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    Hmm... looks like Selur's Hybrid can also hardsub from .ass/.ssa. Not sure about any other subtitle formats, offhand, though. And, Selur can be contacted here on VH, if you need help with Hybrid.

    According to WineHQ, the Windows version of Aegisub apparently works with WINE, so I'm wondering if it would work with Wineskin Winery:
    Wineskin, Play your favorite Windows games on Mac OS X without needing Microsoft Windows
    ...haven't tried it, of course, but as long as it works with Wine, it should theoretically work under Wineskin.

    Edit: Have you tried the 2.1.9 version of Aegisub, which was released on February 4, 2012? It's (hopefully) a bit more stable than the previous version.
    Originally Posted by Aegisub changelog
    The Mac OS X build should be more stable overall, largely due to bug-fixes and improvements in wxWidgets.
    Last edited by Ai Haibara; 8th May 2012 at 18:13.
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  10. Thanks guys for all the pointers and explanations!

    Jubler works OK, but I found the documentation to be scarce. Sometimes I'm not able to preview the style changes I make to a subtitle, and I'm not sure why. Also, I'm not sure what all the Advanced settings do (margins etc) and I couldn't find a doc file... The website only contains a small forum with a couple FAQs and howto's, but nothing relevant. Google wasn't much help on this, either.

    From there, I am however able to convert my SRT into SSA and add extra blank lines to specific titles to force them up the screen (using newlines and a special non-breaking space unicode character from the system Character Viewer window). From there, I got a glimpse at the titles using Avidemux (tried the latest version on Windows, but it ended up freezing on me as well - HD video is too demanding I guess). The subs looked way too small and too low in the frame, so I still need to tweak that. Once I find a more efficient way of rendering the SSA subs, I'll be happy to tweak the file manually in a text editor to style and position my titles just the way I need.

    I just gave Hybrid a go, but it throws an error when I load an Input file (tried several MP4, MOV and MPG files, both SD and HD, no dice). The error is "Found no video or audio data in input." I see Segur is in Germany and offline now, so I'll PM him and hope for an answer tomorrow. I'm in the same time zone (Amsterdam) and it's 1:30am, time to call it a day

    Thanks again for all the help, looking forward to cracking this seemingly simple question soon!!

    FWIW I also gave DVD Studio pro a try (worked fine until I found out it would only output DVD files... I don't want to have to do that and rip back to MP4 - too lossy). I tried Final Cut but got frustrated when I couldn't easily load my subtitles (had exported to FCP XML from Annotation Edit) - might look into it again if all else fails.

    Again, I really like the way Submerge renders by default (and the quality of the result), with the subs on a transparent gray panel which enhances contrast from the background image. The resulting Quicktime file contains a rendered subtitle track, apparently in PNG (although it is obviously a movie, not a still picture). If I try and extract that track, I get a new Quicktime movie containing only the rendered subs, and the pixel size of that movie is basically the space for the two lines of text + the gray background. I've considered working from there, but I've no idea how to expand the pixel size ("Canvas size" in Photoshop parlance) nor how to shift some parts of the "movie" upward (the moments when the subtitles appear that I want to move out of the way). If there's a way to do this, please suggest - but it sounds like an unnecessarily complicated approach...

    Have you tried the 2.1.9 version of Aegisub, which was released on February 4, 2012? It's (hopefully) a bit more stable than the previous version.
    Thanks for that pointer, too. Aegisub 2.1.9 still crashed on me after a couple of clicks...
    Last edited by doobya; 8th May 2012 at 18:46.
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  11. FYI Selur spotted the bug and fixed it - there should be a new release of Hybrid/Mac soon if it's not public already. Thanks again to you all for the great support!
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