Subtitler:Avid Media Composer, Symphony and Xpress

Belle Nuit Subtitler creates TIFF files, which are edited in the Avid as Realtime Matte Key Effects. You can export the spotting from Subtitler to Avid via a CMX3600 EDL.
Note: You need to install EDLManager to be able to read and export EDLs with the Avid.

Depending on your subtitling workflow, there are various methods to make work Avid and Subtitler together:

This document will also discuss some special cases:

Workflow: Spotting in Belle Nuit Subtitler

  1. In Avid, export a QuickTime movie of your sequence. You have to choose a codec which can be played in realtime without hardware (DV, MPEG1, MPEG4).
  2. In Subtitler, open a new document, define the video format and the file format TIFF-RLE.
  3. Import the movie. Set the Framerate. You may want to set an offset to have identical timecode with the Avid Sequence.
  4. Spot and translate in Subtitler.
  5. Use the Preflight tool to check your spotting.
  6. Render and export the titles.
  7. Export to EDL.
  8. Import the EDL into EDLManager and transfer it to the Avid.
  9. Import all titles into a new bin with the options 601 non-square, 601-Levels, Invert Existing Alpha and Deselect Import Sequential File.
  10. Create a sequence of your imported titles and load it into the source monitor.
    1. On a Media Composer, sort the titles by name, select them all and shift-control drag them to the Composer window
    2. On an Xpress, sort the titles by name, select them all and drag them to the timeline.
  11. Load your program sequence into the Composer monitor and add a new video track.
  12. Link the track of the source to the subtitle track of your sequence.
  13. In the timeline, display Sample Plot and zoom in so that you can see about 15-20 seconds at once.
  14. You can now do your editing with only keystrokes.
    1. Go to next title (S)
    2. Mark in and out (T)
    3. Toggle monitor (ESC)
    4. Go to next title (S)
    5. Edit overwrite (B)

Toggle monitor (ESC) and so on.
You can automate this repetitive operation with the Avid Helper Tool. This tool sends keystrokes to the Avid to edit the timeline. for details, see the Subtitler:Avid Helper Tool chapter in the Reference Guide.

Workflow: Spotting in the Avid

  1. In the Subtitler, create some placeholder titles (a series of titles with the text "title001" ... "title999"). Export the titles as TIFF-RLE.
  2. Import all titles into a new bin with the options 601 non-square, 601-Levels, Invert Existing Alpha and Deselect Import Sequential File.
  3. Create a sequence of your imported titles and load it into the source monitor.
    1. On a Media Composer, sort the titles by name, select them all and shift-control drag them to the Composer window
    2. On an Xpress, sort the titles by name, select them all and drag them to the timeline.
  4. Load your program sequence into the Composer monitor and add a new video track.
  5. Link the track of the source to the subtitle track of your sequence.
  6. In the timeline, display Sample Plot and zoom in so that you can see about 15-20 seconds at once.
  7. You can now do your spotting with only keystrokes.
    1. Play to in point (JKL)
    2. Mark in (I)
    3. Play to out point (JKL)
    4. Mark out (O)
    5. Toggle monitor (ESC)
    6. Go to next title (S)
    7. Edit overwrite (B)
    8. Toggle monitor (ESC) and so on.
  8. As you have finished the spotting, digital cut the sequence to a VHS.
  9. Scripting: Write down your dialogs, using the defined borders in the spotting. Use Belle Nuit Subtitler or use a Word Processor.
  10. Translating: Translate your titles in a second window in Belle Nuit Subtitler.
  11. Export the titles.
  12. In the Avid, select the placeholder titles in the Bin and do a Batch Import.Show the batch import tool the location of the new titles.

Note: By default, titles are numbered on a "0000.tif" format. You will be safer, however, if you name the titles in Subtitler explicitely with the /file comment. This will allow you to add additional titles in corrections without creating a confusion on the filenames.

Workflow: External spotting

The spotting and the translation is provided as a file by an external service bureau. In this case, you import the file into the Subtitler file.

  1. Import the external subtitle file into Subtitler with the Import Tool .
  2. Add the formatting and export the titles as TIFF-RLE.
  3. Export an EDL with the Export List Tool and import it into EDLManager and transfer it to the Avid.
  4. The title sequence will consist in a series of offline clips with the tape name corresponding to the title number.
  5. Edit the title sequence into your program sequence.
  6. Import all titles into a new bin with the options 601 non-square, 601-Levels, Invert Existing Alpha and Deselect Import Sequential File.
  7. Create a sequence of your imported titles and load it into the source monitor.
    1. On a Media Composer, sort the titles by name, select them all and shift-control drag them to the Composer window
    2. On an Xpress, sort the titles by name, select them all and drag them to the timeline.
  8. Load your program sequence into the Composer monitor.
  9. Link the track of the source to the subtitle track of your sequence.
  10. Display source in the timeline to see the title numbers. On both sides, select only the title track.
  11. You can now do your editing with only keystrokes.
    1. Go to next title (S)
    2. Mark in and out (T)
    3. Toggle monitor (ESC)
    4. Go to next title (S)
    5. Edit overwrite (B)
    6. Toggle monitor (ESC) and so on.

You can automate this repetitive operation with the Avid Helper Tool. This tool sends keystrokes to the Avid to edit the timeline. for details, see the Subtitler:Avid Helper Tool chapter in the Reference Guide.

Making corrections

Subtitling is an interactive process which has often several steps of reviewing and corrections. Keep the Subtitler document open while editing in the Avid. If you need to make a correction:

  1. Go to the Subtitler, correct the text, export the individual title.
  2. In the Avid sequence, select Match Frame and then Find in Bin to select the source clip in the bin.
  3. Batch Import the source clip.

If you make also corrections on the spotting. You can update the changes you made in the Avid:

  1. Use EDL Manager to export an EDL CMX3600 of the subtitle track, including the file comments.
  2. Use the Import Tool in Subtitler to import the EDL.
  3. Use the Spotting Tool:Update Timecode to update your original Subtitler file based on the imported document

Creating and additional language

Once you have created one language version, you can recreate other language versions without much work.

  1. Create a new subtitler file with the same number of titles in the new languages.
  2. Export the titles to a new folder.
  3. In the Avid, duplicate the subtitled sequence and delete all tracks except the subtitle track.
  4. Decompose the track. Decomposing will unlink the titles so the batch import will not screw up the old sequence.
  5. Select the sequence and batch import. Show the batch import tool the location of the new titles.
  6. Edit the sequence into a duplicate of the program sequence.

Note: Keep in mind that other languages can have titles as much as 50% longer than the same title in English. You have three solutions: Summarize more strongly with some creativity, have a slightly smaller fonts or have two lines instead of one. Making more titles would not be an option, because you would exceed the attention a public can give to subtitles.

Workflow Subcap Effect

On newer versions Media Composer has the Subcap effect, where you can import and edit subtitles. The advantage going through the Subcap effect is that you are faster and that you can easily edit the text after importing. The disantvantage is that you have less options for formatting: For example, there is no option to have individual titles in italic.

Subcap supports two import formats:

In most cases, it is easier to use the Avid DS format.

Media Composer 7.x / Xpress 2.x

These older versions do not support the Batch Import. You will therefore need to import the titles manually.

  1. In the Subtitler, export the titles as TIFF-RLE.
  2. In the Avid, import all titles into a new bin with the option Invert Existing Alpha and Deselect Import Sequential File.
  3. Create a sequence of your imported titles and load it into the source monitor.
    1. On a Media Composer, sort the titles by name, select them all and shift-control drag them to the Composer window
    2. On an Xpress, sort the titles by name, select them all and drag them to the timeline.
  4. Link the track of the source to the subtitle track of your sequence.
  5. You can now do your editing with only keystrokes.
    1. Play to in point (JKL)
    2. Mark in (I)
    3. Play to out point (JKL)
    4. Mark out (O)
    5. Toggle monitor (ESC)
    6. Go to next title (S)
    7. Edit overwrite (B)
    8. Toggle monitor (ESC) and so on.

You can automate this repetitive operation with the Avid Helper Tool. This tool sends keystrokes to the Avid to edit the timeline. for details, see the Subtitler:Avid Helper Tool chapter in the Reference Guide.

Media Composer 6.x / MCXpress 1.x

These older versions do not support the TIFF format.

  1. In the Subtitler, export the titles as PICT-alpha.
  2. In the Avid, import all titles into a new bin with the option Invert Existing Alpha and Deselect Import Sequential File.

You will need to edit the titles manually, as Batch Import is not supported on these models.

  1. Create a sequence of your imported titles and load it into the source monitor.
    1. On a Media Composer, sort the titles by name, select them all and shift-control drag them to the Composer window
    2. On an MCXpress, sort the titles by name, select them all and drag them to the timeline.
  2. Link the track of the source to the subtitle track of your sequence.
  3. You can now do your editing with only keystrokes.
    1. Play to in point (JKL)
    2. Mark in (I)
    3. Play to out point (JKL)
    4. Mark out (O)
    5. Toggle monitor (ESC)
    6. Go to next title (S)
    7. Edit overwrite (B)
    8. Toggle monitor (ESC) and so on.

Avid on a Windows PC

The subtitler file and the exported files are platform-independent. The rendered files can be imported into the Avid without any further problems. Or you can use Belle Nuit Subtitler for Windows now.

Tape names start over after 200 titles

We give the titles tapenames, so you can identify them easily enabling View Source in the timeline. However, Avid EDL Manager will give an error when you import an EDL with more than 255 tapes. Therefore tape names start over every 200 titles.

Avid EDL Manager does not support more than 1000 titles

You can make an EDL with more than 1000 titles, but Avid EDL Manager will give an error when you import the EDL. If you have more than 1000 titles, split your document in two and export two separate EDLs.