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Subtitles with outline and drop shadow effect

Style options for burnt-in subtitles

When choosing a subtitling style, it is useful to consider where the video will be shown, aesthetic elements already in your video e.g. the background, colours used etc. as well as the technical requirements of your video. We have long since used the following guide to display the options available to our clients in a straightforward manner and so we thought we would publish it on our blog.

The choices below are relevant for hard-coded (burnt-in) subtitles, where the subtitles become a fixed part of the image that cannot be removed or switched off. The alternative to burnt-in subtitles is delivering a subtitle file, which allows you to turn the subtitles off if you wish.

Option 1

This is a good standard choice due to its simplicity and can be implemented quickly.

Subtitles Option 1
Subtitles with outline and drop shadow effect

Option 2

This option is also highly recommended, particularly if there are concerns that subtitles may not stand out from the background.

Subtitles Option 2
Black box fits around width of subtitle text

Option 3

This choice is designed for web and multimedia video only and requires the subtitles to be placed outside the title-safe area, meaning that the text may appear cut off if the video is later used for DVD or on television monitors.

Subtitles Option 3
Subtitles on one line, outside title safe region

Option 4

This style is similar to Option 2, the main difference being that the black box fits the width of the screen. By default the box stays on screen even when the subtitles are not.

Subtitles Option 4
Permanent fixed width black strip across video

Option 5

This style is also similar to option 2, the difference being that the black box fits each individual line.

Subtitles Option 5
Black box fits around subtitle text title safe

Custom styles

Matinée can also handle requests for custom subtitle styles and layouts, including the use of multiple colours, fonts and the repositioning of individual subtitles to avoid overlap with existing on-screen text. Such requests may require additional time to complete due to the customisation involved.

You can view an example of a customized subtitling solution we created for Sony, below.

Sony Pro - Subtitling in FIGS