How to create Soft Subtitles

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msacks
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:51 pm

How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by msacks »

Hi,

I apologize in advance if this question has been answered previously, but I've searched the forums and could not find the answer. I'm trying to create an MP4 from a DVD and cannot seem to get the Soft Subtitles to work. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or not, and I'm hoping someone here will be able to assist. I'm using version 0.9.4(2009112300) - MinGW i386. I'm running this on a Windows 7 64-bit OS.

I'm pretty much using the defaults (I haven't changed any settings since installing Handbrake). I'm using the Normal preset. On the picture tab, I've not changed any settings; same with the Video Filters tab (everything is off). On the Video tab, the codec is set to H.264, framerate is "Same as source", and Constant Quality is at 60.78%. Audio tab has all default values as well. I've tried everything I can think of on the Subtitles tab to get Soft Subtitles to work, but so far no luck. For the DVD I'm working with I have three options; 1 English (Bitmap), 2 Espanol (Bitmap), 3 Close Captions (Text).

Questions:
1. My understanding of Soft Subtitles is that this will produce an output file with functionality similar to the original DVD in that while watching the MP4 or MKV file, I can turn the subtitles on/off. Is my understanding correct?

2. Can you create an MP4 with Soft Subtitles, or does it only work when the output container is MKV?

3. Can someone post the exact steps to produce working Soft Subtitles?

Thanks in advance! :D
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JohnAStebbins
HandBrake Team
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Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by JohnAStebbins »

In mp4, the only subtitles handbrake can make soft are:
1. A closed caption track from a DVD if it has one.
2. Imported SRT subtitle files.

The reason is that mp4 only supports text subtitles. The bitmap subtitles would have to be converted to text with OCR software in order to make them soft. Handbrake doesn't do OCR.
msacks
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by msacks »

John,

Thank you very much for responding. If I were to create an MKV instead of an MP4, what is the procedure for creating Soft Subtitles?
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JohnAStebbins
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Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by JohnAStebbins »

If the output file type is mkv, you should be able to add whatever subtitles to the list that you want and make sure the "burned" box is not checked. Burned means it is hard coded into the video, i.e. not soft.
msacks
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by msacks »

John,

Thanks again for responding. I was able to get this working using the MKV output container. Since neither Windows Media Player v12 nor the Apple QT player support this format, I downloaded and installed VLC for playback.

In the subtitle settings I initially chose both 1 English (Bitmap), and 3 Close Captions (Text) leaving all three check boxes (Forced Only, Burned In, & Default) un-checked. Then created a 30-second preview of one of the tracks. Upon playback in VLC I discovered that only the first track 1 English (Bitmap) produced subtitles when selected. Since this is in direct contrast to your earlier post in which you stated "The bitmap subtitles would have to be converted to text with OCR software in order to make them soft. Handbrake doesn't do OCR." I'm wondering if when you made that comment, it was in reference to MP4, so perhaps that doesn't apply to MKV. Or, is it possible that since the DVD has a close caption track that Handbrake is using it for the subtitles even though I have the bitmap track selected? As you can see, I'm making progress but still a bit confused. :)
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Rodeo
HandBrake Team
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Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by Rodeo »

MKV supports picture-based subtitles, so there's no need for any OCR, you just pass through the DVD subtitles.

OCR is required to convert picture-based subs to text-based subs for inclusion in a container than only supports such subtitles (like MP4).
msacks
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by msacks »

Rodeo, thanks for the response. I'm presently using VLC for playback but wondered if there was a preferred MKV player that I should consider.
kotatsu

Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by kotatsu »

If you install a codec pack, such as CCCP or K-Lite you will be able to play MKVs directly in Windows Media Player.
orleanslady
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:59 am

Re: How to create Soft Subtitles

Post by orleanslady »

I am currently using Dvd fab to burn my movies and handbrake to encode them to my NAS, I then in turn use plex for playback. I'm able to burn the movie with subtitles on demand as I call it, which is possibly really closed captioning? I test this by playing the burned file from pc which allows selection of subtitles on or off. So how can I transfer this setup to Handbrake, I have the DVD, do I still need upload the SRT file? What if I add the english subtitle under subtitles, but don't check off any of the boxes, I don't want them burned in.
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