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Old April 22nd, 2015, 01:07 PM   #1
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Closed Captioning?

I have a bride who had me film their small wedding ceremony earlier this year. They are planning a larger reception (party) in June with a couple hundred people and will play their ceremony and highlight video as a backdrop during the festivities.

They would like me to include closed-captioning of the audio because it may get rather loud.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I simply need to type out titles myself or is their a program/service that can do this for me?

Thanks!
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: Closed Captioning?

You'll likely need specialist software or pay someone to do it. The basic problem is timing the text in according to how fast something is being said, so it pops on the screen when they start saying it, and disappears when they stop. If you had a very short video, you could create a separate title for each caption and place it in the track above your vision, and adjust the timing manually, but this would get unmanageable fast. Better just to pay someone and add to the bride's bill. No idea what the cost is, but if you have an hour-length video, that will probably take someone 6-12 hours to type out, time in and check, so I'm skeptical it'll cost less than a few hundred dollars.

In terms of the technical side, there's different ways you can do it. Maybe your two easiest options are: (1) embed the captions into the video; (2) use a DVD authoring program that allows you to turn captions on/off. (These are both forms of "open captions", by the way, rather than "closed captions".)

Software -- Swift Open, ISIS, Wincaps might be worth looking into, and do Google round for other options as well. Swift used to sell for $1500. No idea what it costs now or what the others cost. Wincaps might be the cheapest. (Edit: looks like there are free programs out there as well, but the three I've mentioned are what the captioning companies use.)

The main thing to pay attention to when choosing between software is output format. You'll probably want to be able to export in something like "FCP XML" (for use with options 1 or 2) or "Adobe FAB" (for use with option 2 and Encore). FCP XML can be imported straight into most NLEs. The XML file contains the timing information, and all the separate captions are exported as separate image files, like tif, bmp, jpg. So it's just like importing a sequence.

Some subtitling programs will only support "closed" formats, like STL, SCC, SRT, SUB, or plain XML. STL is very common for broadcast, SCC is often used for NTSC broadcast, plain XML is used for DCP, SRT is common for YouTube. These programs won't export captions as images, but such files contain timing information and caption text, and sometimes other information like positioning of the text and font and colour (in broadcast, it's common to change colour depending on speaker, and to position the text to avoid obscuring faces, titles, significant action, etc, and sometimes to indicate where a sound is coming from). "Closed" means you'll need some way to trigger the transmission of the text. I haven't explored properly what options are out there for this, but I suspect some consumer devices/software can do this, if you want to go down this path, because there is an active community that types out subtitles from their lounge rooms and creates files in these sorts of formats. So, option 3 would be to produce captions in this sort of format, obtain software that allows you to play it, hook your laptop up to the projector.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Here's some contact info for a company in Richmond, VA that specializing in Closed Captioning:

Chris Heipel
Creative Caption & Video
(804) 330-2554
owner@creativecaption.com
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 03:26 PM   #4
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Here's a free though quite time-consuming alternative.

How To Make Your Own Subtitles With Any Text Editor & Aegisub

Basically: enter text into any text editor along with caption text and time in and time out. Change extension of file to "SRT". There's various programs that can then embed the captions, including VLC (Google for instructions).

SRT doesn't support positioning or colour information. It literally looks like this, with timecode in milliseconds:

1
00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:24,400
Howdy!

2
00:00:24,600 --> 00:00:27,800
Why, hello there!
What's your name?

The time-consuming part is finding some way to efficiently stop/start/rewind your video so you can see time in and time out, and then typing it out each time.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 06:09 PM   #5
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverman View Post
Here's some contact info for a company in Richmond, VA that specializing in Closed Captioning:

Chris Heipel
Creative Caption & Video
(804) 330-2554
owner@creativecaption.com
Thanks Mike!
I'll give them a call for the long video, but may try simple subtitles for the highlight video and just do that myself :)
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Sony Vegas you can do subtitles. And vasst has an add on program for subtitles.

Another program that specializes in subtitles is by telestream. Their program is great, easy and quick. I've had it for many years. They have a free download to test it out.
Captioning Software - Compare Models - Telestream

Good luck with it. James
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Atkins View Post
I have a bride who had me film their small wedding ceremony earlier this year. They are planning a larger reception (party) in June with a couple hundred people and will play their ceremony and highlight video as a backdrop during the festivities.

They would like me to include closed-captioning of the audio because it may get rather loud.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I simply need to type out titles myself or is their a program/service that can do this for me?

Thanks!
Hello Ian,

Here's a YouTube link to a close captioned wedding video I did just using what's available from YouTube. Just tap the cc button. Oops! Edit. You'll need to go to youtube to see the cc button. It doesn't show here on the forum.


I had to take the time and go in and clean up the mistakes the speech to text software YouTube uses, but it worked out well. While I was correcting the errors, I surmised that artificial intelligence still has a way to go.

But honestly, I only had to fix the errors. I didn't have to type in everything. The YouTube software saved a lot of time and typing. And you can move the text to the right places. YouTube has a tutorial somewhere. I'll see if I can find it and post the link. There are volumes and volumes of articles in the Creators Corner.

Addendum. I found the link:

https://support.google.com/youtube/t..._topic=4355241
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Old April 24th, 2015, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Wow! I had no idea this was possible. I will try this! Mike, I called the company out of Richmond. They are VERY reasonable. Thank you for the heads up.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Mike...that service out of Richmond is great. Thank you for recommending it! And anyone can use them because I worked with him exclusively through email/phone.

Basically I sent him a transcript of the narration. I happen to have a friend who is a stenographer so she did this for me as a favor :) I will pay her to do the full-length ceremony.

Once I had the transcript, he was able to code that to the file that Vimeo/Youtube needs. You simply upload the file to Vimeo/Youtube with the video under advanced settings and then the words are synced with the video. It's an amazing service and this Richmond office was extremely reasonably.

I did a test on a promotional video I am working on that will play in a loud tasting room:


Make sure to click "cc" to see it!
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Old April 30th, 2015, 09:31 PM   #10
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Low-rent solution

If money is an issue with the couple, you could explain to them that the transcribing is labor intensive, and adds greatly to the cost. You could cut them a deal by having them transcribe the highlight video themselves. They could watch their video, and then manually type the text into a TXT file that they email to you. And who has a better motivation to get it done (and done correctly) than the wedding couple?
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Old April 30th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #11
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Re: Closed Captioning?

Ian, that video was awesome. Not only the images themselves, but how well you stitched the audio together to tell a story and how well the images complemented the audio.

Out of interest -- was that gimbal or steadicam? And did you shoot some of the interviews first, so that you knew what images to get to accompany them, or did you have a feeling at time of shooting what images would be useful?

Also -- what did captioning end up costing?
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Old May 1st, 2015, 12:10 AM   #12
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Re: Closed Captioning?

You can either do it your own, or pay someone doing it.

To pay for the service, this is the one recommended by others. I have never used this service before. But it seems very iniexpensive

https://www.rev.com/caption

To do it yourself, it's also very easy. What I do is, I made a spreadsheet. Copy and paste the start and end time code from Premiere timeline. The third column is the CC text. Then I convert to SRT / WebVTT or Encore format with Excel functions. Then export back to a text file to import to Encore, or upload to YouTube.

The most time consuming part is to transcript the audio to text. You can ask the bride do it for you. Or you charge her for that.

For youTube upload, you need to enter this code as a YouTube Tag. This tag will force YouTube to turn on close captioning by default.

yt:cc=on

Without this tag, YouTube will not show CC by default. User has to turn it on manually.

This is one project I did it this way.

If you want, I don't mind sharing that excel file I have.
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