Dion Madrilejo d.madrilejo at
Fri Jun 2 23:40:38 EDT 2000

on 6/2/00 09:04 PM, Michael Raine at mraine at wrote:

> Andrew,
> A tape with subtitles would certainly be easier to use. That's what I
> originally intended to do. With the help of the Animania group at the
> University of Michigan I now have a subtitled tape of Crazed Fruit -- though
> I'm not sure that it was worth the effort. Here are some problems I came
> across:
> 1: it's a pretty clear copyright infringement.

In the strictest legal terms, yes, but as long as you're not planning on
mass copying the 'fansub' you're probably not going to draw too much heat.

> 2: it takes a lot of equipment -- Avid editors are not cheap! Even using Sub
> Station Alpha requires a genlock and the results aren't that impressive.

Mileage apparently varies among the subtitling software out there with some
cranking out better subtitles than others.

> 3: it's extremely time consuming. I looked at using Premiere to make
> subtitles -- perhaps there's other, specialist, software.

Quality subtitling always takes a long time, AFAIK. There are two major
things which go into quality subtitling: good translation and good subtitle
timing. Up to a point, the more time you spend getting the timing, the
better the final product will be. However, some subtitling software will
time for you by matching the given script with spikes in the audio track.
This makes subtitling go faster but the resulting quality fluctuates wildly.

> 4: digitizing a VHS tape, adding subtitles, then recording back to VHS
> degrades the image  quality.

True. However, the use of a genlock card gets you around this since it just
adds the subtitles to the video feed that runs from your source deck to your
target deck.

> 5: once done, the subtitles aren't modifiable without going over the whole
> process.
> 6: Europe and the USA (and Japan etc) use different VHS standards.
> In the end I thought preserving the DVD or original tape image and
> superimposing subtitles was the quickest and highest quality method. It does
> get quite complicated if all you have is a tape though.... Still, if you
> have the time and the equipment, and don't care too much about copyright,
> I'm sure there'd be plenty of people happy to watch what you produce!
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-KineJapan at
> [mailto:owner-KineJapan at]On Behalf Of Andrew
> Utterson
> Sent: Friday, June 02, 2000 12:45 PM
> To: KineJapan at
> Subject: Re: subtitling
> hello,
> i'm also keen to try and get involved with some subtitling...
> however, the method i'd devised might be slightly hoof-footed? i have access
> to avid editing equipment and was planning simply to digitise the original
> footage, add subtitles, and then master the material back on to tape.
> i'm presuming, though, that there's probably a much easier way of doing
> things.
> please advise!
> many thanks in anticipation,
> - andrew utterson -

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