Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

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mjp81
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mjp81 »

Description of problem or question:
I am trying to import Foreign Only subtitles and burn them in, however this creates a shadow font that I can't change. Deselecting Burn In keeps the font in original format without the shadow, but I want to be able to burn them in permanently without modification.

HandBrake version (e.g., 1.0.0):
HandBrake version 1.3.1, recently updated from 1.1.2, did not solve problem.

Operating system and version (e.g., Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Windows 10 Creators Update):
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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mjp81
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mjp81 »

Really would like some help on this problem. I provided everything required.
Woodstock
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Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by Woodstock »

You're comparing renders, not "original format", because SRT subtitles do not have font selection. The "original format" in the VOB you downloaded was probably standard DVD VOBSUB graphics, where the font size, color, and position were selected by the disk authors. SRT can be rendered however the player wants.
mduell
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Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mduell »

Code: Select all

[18:27:00]  * subtitle track 1, English [SRT] (track 0, id 0xff000000, Text) -> Render/Burn-in, offset: 0, charset: UTF-8
  
[18:37:55] [ass] fontselect: (sans-serif, 400, 0) -> ArialMT, 0, ArialMT
Specify and provide a different font that you'd prefer. May need to convert the subs to SSA/ASS for this.

Or don't burn in the subs, and leave the font selection to your playback device.

Dropshadows are popular for subs because they make it easy to see the text across a variety of background colors and patterns.
mjp81
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mjp81 »

That's all well and good, thanks for the explanations, but HOW do I choose a different fond or render for SRT subtitles? Is there a menu within Handbrake?
mduell
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Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mduell »

Convert the subs to SSA/ASS in a sub editor of your choice and specify a font there, then mux back in to your source.

HB largely assumes your input contains what you want and just needs transcoding, it's not trying to be an editor for all streams.
mjp81
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by mjp81 »

I don't know which sub editors are good ones, and what do you mean mux back into the source?

To quote Steve Carell, why don't you explain this to me like I'm five?
Woodstock
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Re: Subtitles have shadows when using Burn In

Post by Woodstock »

"Explain this to me like I'm five" is hard to do, since you have to be willing to learn a substantial amount of stuff to deal with text-based subtitles "just the way I want them". You can do amazing things with SSA subtitles and fonts... and you'll spend a lot of time learning how to do it.

"Mux back into the source" means to use a program like mkvmerge to combine all the individual tracks (video, audio, subtitle) into one coherent file that can be played or encoded.

If you want to have control over the fonts and such used for the subtitles, you need to use SSA (also known as ASS) subtitles, which can have that information in them, plus any special fonts you want to use, included in the source file itself. If you're using the "subtitles from file" option on handbrake, any fonts NOT native to your operating system will not come out exactly as you want them.

Handbrake does not allow you to select the font with "just" SRT files, but it will allow SRT files to include SSA-style font information, subject to the restriction that the fonts you chose have to be on your system already.

And you still need that pesky subtitle editor to make sure the subtitle file is in a usable format.

Oh, by the way - Like mduell says, the shadow is an attempt to make sure the subtitle can be read over similarly-colored backgrounds. People creating SSA subtitles will change fonts and subtitle position (SRT can't do that well) to make better readability possible, but most often they still use shadows.
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