Subtitler:DVD Studio Pro

Using Subtitler with DVD Studio Pro 2, 3 or 4

Belle Nuit Subtitler creates still image files, which can be used as subtitles for DVD authoring.

Why use Subtitler? While it is possible to import STL textfiles directly into DVD Studio Pro, the approach with Subtitler has some advantages:

We following instructions apply both to DVD Studio Pro 2, 3 and 4. You cannot import subtitles into DVD Studio Pro 1 and 1.5.

  1. Select text color to white, level 100%, soft 1.
  2. Select border color to black, level 100%, width 4, soft 0. Note: It is important that the border is not too fine. It would be exagerated for normal video subtitles, but because of the lack of antialiasing, it needs to be thick to avoid flickering.
  3. Set the video format to PAL DVD or NTSC DVD.
  4. Set the file format to TIFF-DVD. This will create a TIFF with key colors white, red, blue, black.
  5. Export the subtitles.
  6. Export an STL Graphic file into the same folder as the rendered subtitles.
  7. Import the STL file into DVD Studio Pro: Select a subtitle track, control-click on it and select Import on the context menu. The import will replace all titles on the track. Note: You cannot import from the file menu. You must use control-click on the subtitle track.
  8. Transparencies and colors may be wrong. Select the first title in the timeline and go to the property window, set mapping type to chroma. Then set:
Type Key Color Opacity
Text Black Yellow or white 15
Outline 1 Red Edit Palette to mix a color between Yellow(or white) and black 13
Outline 2 Blue Black 11
Background White White 0
  1. Click on the Apply to Stream button.

If you choose not to have a border or an underlining rect, then your palette settings may have to be slightly different. Look at the RGB values in the palette comment of the exported STL file.

STL format specification

If you need to create the STL file by hand, refer to the DVD Studio Pro 2 manual to the details of the STL format.

You need DVD Studio 2, 3 or 4 for this workflow. Earlier versions do not support the STL format.

Importing problems

DVD Studio Pro often experience importing problems, when they first work with Subtitler. There are two things to remember:

Using STL Text

If you prefer STL Text, you can also export STL Text and import that file into DVD Studio Pro.

DVD Studio Pro 2 supports only MacRoman characters. Later versions of DVD Studio Pro support Unicode, but the file must be Unicode RTF.

If you use a right to left character set like Arabic or Hebrew, DVD SP may refuse to recognize the spotting in the RTF file. Add a first title in the beginning with latin characters (like "Hello World" or even ".") and it will work.

Sometimes DVD SP does not like the Unicode RTF file Subtitler makes. In this case, open the file in TextEdit and save it again under a new name.