Updated 02/01/2013Home » Guides » Permanent Subtitles Guide

Permanent Subtitles Guide

This guide explains step by step how to embed or paste subtitles directly into your AVI (DivX, XviD, etc.) video file permanently. The subtitle file can be in any format such as SUB, SRT, SSA, SMI, TXT, etc.

Permanent subtitles are specially useful if you are about to create a VCD, or when you want to watch a subtitled movie on your portable video player.

Also, many DVD players do not support external subtitle files, in this case you would prefer to embed your subtitles in your video.

Step 1: Install the subtitler filter

After you have downloaded the VirtualDub Subtitler Filter, copy subtitler.vdf into the PLUGINS folder under the VirtualDub program directory. If the PLUGINS folder does not exists, create it.

The above picture is an example of the VirtualDuband its Plugins folder structure.}

Step 2: Edit the subtitle file

Even if your subtitles are already in SSA (SubStation Alpha) format, this step is required to customize the subtitles aspect. We'll use DivXLand Media Subtitler to convert the subtitles to SSA and/or edit their font aspect and position.

Open the subtitles with DivXLand Media Subtitler from the File menu.

Then go to Settings > Format Settings. In the popup dialog select the SubStation Alpha format.

Configure the format with a clear font such as Trebuchet MS and a font size of 36pt. Here you can also change the subtitles alignment and margins if desired.

After that you can save the subtitles from File > Save As. The following dialog will popup:

Make sure to select the SubStation Alpha [SSA] format and click OK to save the subtitles.

Step 3: Apply the subtitles with VirtualDub

After you have created your SSA subtitles, start VirtualDub and open the target movie. We'll recompress the movie with the subtitles in this last step. Note: There is no way to apply the subtitles without recompressing the video.

Go to the Video menu and select Filters...

Click the Add... button.

Select the subtitler filter and clickOK.

After you click OK, the Subtitler Configuration dialog should appear. Click the "..." button and browse to the SSA file you have previously saved with the SubStation Alpha editor.

If you want to use the original subtitle file word wrapping mode, select Manual word wrapping. You can also use the Automatic or Smart word wrapping modes, but when playing the video and applying Pan&Scan feature, long subtitle lines won't fit the video viewable area.

Click Show Preview to see how your subtitles will appear in the encoded video. Below you can see the result of our subtitles with the settings specified earlier in DivXLand Media Subtitler.

To scroll faster here, hold down SHIFT while moving the video position slider.

If you are satisfied with the results, proceed by closing the subtitler and Filters dialogs.

Step 4: Save and encode the video file

To save the video file with the embedded captions, we will have to recompress the video and leave audio stream as is.

Under Video select Full Processing Mode, and under Audio select Direct Stream Copy.

If you want the output file to match a specific file size, you will need DivXLand Bitrate Calculator to calculate the video bitrate.

Go to Video > Compression, and choose the DivX or XviD codec that you have installed. Click the Configure button to setup the codec.

Finally go to File > Save As AVI... and enter a file name for the output video. The encoding process will start and your output video will include the subtitles permanently.

Note: Please notice that this encoding process may take several hours to finish the conversion, therefore it is recommended to do this process at night or whenever the computer is not in use.


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