Limecraft can be used to automatically convert audio into high-quality subtitles. Depending on de genre of the content or the type of distribution channel, you may want to modify the styling and timing characteristics of the captions, referred to as 'spotting rules', to optimise for readability.
Using Limecraft, you can pre-configure such spotting rules in advance. These will be taken into account during segmentation of the transcript, thereby minimising the need for post-editing. This article explains how to access the subtitle settings, and how to use the different settings.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Before you begin
- Configuring how the subtitles are displayed
- Subtitling 'Spotting Rules'
Before you begin
By default, Limecraft uses the BBC style guide. You can modify the timing or styling requirements by editing the existing subtitle preset or create a new preset. Read further to find out how.
For configuring subtitle presets, you need Production Administrator or Admin rights. Navigate to Production Settings > Subtitle Editor to get started.
Select 'Add subtitle preset' to start creating a new preset. Give a descriptive name and an optional description for the subtitle preset. The name should be short as it will be shown in the preset picker in the subtitler when creating a new subtitle.
Configuring how the subtitles are displayed
The first step is to define how your subtitles are displayed in the player.
With the region configuration you can define where the subtitles appear on the video frame. This section lists the available regions you can choose from in the Subtitle Editor, Top region and Bottom region. You can change their position and size here.
The black rectangle below is the preview area which represents your video frame.
There are three buttons below the preview area which let you change the subtitle preview to better correspond to your intended material. You can change the text in the preview area, pick an image to use as a preview, and change the aspect ratio from the default 16:9 to one of your choosing.
Note: changes made with these buttons do not result in changes in the production preset settings. They are only used to change the preview, and the default preview is restored after refresh.
You can drag and resize the regions (cyan rectangles) to your desired settings.
Another option to set the position and the size of the regions is by configuring the values below. The values are given in percentages relative to the video frame size. Changing these values will immediately update the preview area.
With X and Y you can change the position of the top left corner of the region.
- X=0% will put the lift side of the region at the left side of the video frame.
- X=100% will put the left side of the region at the right side of the video frame (outside the visible area)
- Y=0% will put the top side of the region at the top side of the video frame.
- Y=100% will put the top side of the region at the bottom side of the video frame (outside the visible area)
Besides the overall position of the captions, you can specify the details of the layout of the captions and the background as follows.
NOTE: The Limecraft default font is Arial. With some OS Helvetica or Sans Serif might be used. If you wish to use other fonts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is how it is shown in the Subtitle Editor.
Subtitling 'Spotting Rules'
Subtitling 'spotting rules' are crucial for ensuring that subtitles are clear, readable, and synchronised with the audio and visual content. Spotting rules may vary on the type of content, language, and distribution channel. If you are not familiar with spotting rules, please refer to this article on the knowledge base.
In this section, you will learn how to the properly set spotting rules or timing of the subtitles.
Character limits defines the maximum number of characters that a single line of a subtitle can contain. The automatic subtitle spotting algorithm will undertake to respect the soft limit ("Max characters"), and will allow up to the hard limit if necessary.
?The number of characters may be different to optimise for readability, taking into account the type of content, the reading speed, and the specifics a particular distribution channel:
- When subtitling television content, a restriction of 38 or 40 characters on a line may be applied by the broadcaster;
- When producing subtitles for most streaming applications like Netflix, usually a restriction of 42 characters on a line applies;
- When creating square or vertical video for social media, best practice is to use a maximum of 27 characters on a line.
?The number of lines is indirectly related to the type of distribution:
- When creating subtitles for conventional television distribution or streaming services, the number of lines ('Hard lines limit') is typically restricted to 2;
- When creating subtitles for square or vertical video, given the number of characters per line is usually restricted to 27 (in stead of 38-42), best practice is to allow up to 3 lines of subtitles.
? While not mandatory, it may be helpful to use "..." as a pre-and suffix to indicate that sentences are split over different subtitles.