Adding Subtitles to your Videos

Subtitles are a part of your DVD architecture that can make life a lot easier. Here are some tips for retrieving subtitles from the net, adding your own subs, changing their color etc. I’ve added pointers on how to resync your subtitles if they go out of sync, as that also happens a lot, yielding funny lip movements. On a frank and serious note, these issues never arise in an original DVD or official download, and it actually is less stressful watching good ol’ box packs.

First get yourself VobSub. This is a free subtitle filtering utility that works on the Directshow environment. The files associated with it are .sub and .idx. There are other types of subtitle files; we will encounter them as we go along. VobSub is important as it is anyway needed to play subtitles for any AVI file in software media players, provided the .sub and .idx file are in the same directory as the movie, and with the same name.

Another option is to get SubRip from here. This essentially creates text files though the .srt extension. To create your own subtitles, the best software is a spanking new one called Aegisub, so grab it here.

Hard subbing
This is the fun and involving part, though not that tough to execute. I use VirtualDub; you can get it here. It’s probably the best AVI tool available. Install VirtualDub with all the plugin options; you are required to do this in the option provided while installation wizard. The main file we will need is actually from VobSub installation, namely called text sub, and it shows up as an option while running the wizard.

Once this is done, it’s very easy. All you need is the sub file (placed in a folder you can remember). Then open VirtualDub, get in your video, go to filter (Ctrl+F), and add the text sub-filter. The plugin will open and ask for the subtitle file (.srt), so browse and locate it. That’s all. Preview once and render. It could take a while.