3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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3D Subtitler, a Tool For Easily Converting Subtitles for 3D Videos

September 3rd, 2011 · 14 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

Adding proper subtitles to 3D videos can sometimes be a real pain, even if you already have the subtitles in a text format such as SRT, something that is quite common for 2D videos, but still not as useful for stereo 3D ones. There is the ffdshow subtitles filter that you can use for displaying 2D subtitles properly over a 3D video file, but that method is a bit more limited and can cause some problems setting up and using. An alternative method is to convert the SRT subtitles and integrate them into the video, but I’m not talking about recompressing the whole video and hardcoding them inside the video frame, there is no need to do that. With the help of the free 3D Subtitler software you can convert the 2D SRT text file into the proper format for using with Side by Side videos or Over/Under formatted ones, adjust their position, font size and style and border. Then have the newly prepared subtitles integrated into an MKV video file using MKVmerge (MKVtoolnix) or into a Blu-ray video image with the help of TsMuxeR. As I’ve said this is done without hardcoding the text into the video, so you are able to enable/disable the subtitles at will. Of course using 3D Subtitler requires a bit of time to process the video with the properly prepared subtitles, it is not as easy as to just open the 3D video file with a player using the ffdshow subtitles filter and having the SRT subtitles in the same folder. But still the 3D Subtitler tool can be a useful alternative if you are having problems with making the ffdshow subtitles functionality to work properly for you.

Both of these solutions however will output by default the 2D text subtitles as 2D subtitles appearing at screen depth level, they will not make them into 3D ones that will have varying depth based on the depth information from the current scene of the movie. So if you have the subtitles displayed at screen depth level, but the current scene has some pop-out effects below the position of the subtitles you will be experiencing trouble getting the correct volume information. The same applies if the scene at the position of the subtitles uses a lot of depth, again making it hard to properly focus on the text and the image from the movie properly, making it uncomfortable for the viewer. That however should not be a very common problem and getting rid of it would require a more robust software for preparing 3D subtitles, not to mention that it will also require more knowledge and skill to be properly done, so it is not something that normal users would usually do. The results provided by the ffdshow subtitles filter (it also has parallax adjustment option for the 3D subtitles, but you can set it only once for the whole video and not vary it through the subtitles) or the use of the 3D Subtitler software should be quite good most of the time and easy to use by most people.

To download the free 3D Subtitler software for converting 3D video subtitles…

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Subtitling for Stereographic Media Can be a Real Challenge

June 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

If you live in an English-speaking country you probably rarely see subtitles when you go to watch a movie in the cinema, unless the movie is a foreign one of course or some of the characters talk in a foreign language. But if English is not your official language and you are not watching a local movie, but the most recent Hollywood blockbuster title, then you will either see subtitles or in some occasions get the movie audio doubled in your local language. And while doing subtitles for 2D movies is actually not a serious challenge for anyone now (not meaning it is an easy task when it is being done right), when we are talking about a 3D movie that needs subtitles, then you actually have a serious challenge in front of you…

One of the main things when talking about subtitles is the fact that you should be able to read them while watching a movie, but they don’t need to be the center of your attention as otherwise you’ll miss seeing the movie while trying to read the text too hard. The subtitles need to be clear and easy to read, small enough and placed at the right spot in order not to block the action in the movie and of course be on the screen just as little time as needed to be read by the viewers. Now these principles apply to both 2D and 3D subtitles, but actually achieving them with 3D movies is much harder than with 2D ones. You can of course decide to stick to 2D subtitles even for a 3D movie, but this means that the text will be constantly with a depth equal to that of the screen of the cinema where the movies is projected. Now imagine of you get something like a ball for example that is supposed to be jumping out towards you, but part of it is blocked by the text… the result is uncomfortable feeling, because you cannot get the right depth of the elements you see. A similar issue is present if you have to use 2D (at screen depth) subtitles with a scene where you have a lot of depth, but here the problem is different. You may have trouble refocusing your eyes quickly enough between the subtitles in front and the scene on the back and the result is yet again eyestrain and unpleasant feeling that something is not right in that movie. So you need to go for come creative approaches like using 2D subtitles on a black border of the screen with no actual depth, although that has its own issues too, go for 3D subtitles with static depth or a varying depth depending on what is being displayed, or moving the subtitles all around the screen to find the space with less separation and so on and so on…

But instead of me going all over that area from an enthusiast’s point of view, I better direct your attention to an interesting white paper covering that topic that is done by some professionals in the area that is describing the situation in more detail. I’m talking about a UK company called Screen Subtitling Systems that has been around for quite some time on the market for professional subtitling solutions, so you can be sure that in the 16 page white paper called “Subtitling for Stereographic Media” they talk about the topic based on a lot of experience.

Download the Subtitling for Stereographic Media white paper by Screen Subtitling Systems…

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