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-   -   What are "soft" and "hard" subs? (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=43687)

Question 2007-03-02 09:24

What are "soft" and "hard" subs?
 
Ive heard of these terms mentioned before. What are they, and are there any advantages/disadvantages that make a fansub group choose one over the other?

Arc Ressiv 2007-03-02 10:07

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fansubs...sub_techniques
See the part on "Hard" subtitles and "Soft" subtitles

In soft subs you can turn off the subtitles. AMV makers usually love softsubs because you can easily extract the raw. You can even extract the script and make changes if you want to.

Hardsubs have an advantage if you are trying to play a video on an old computer. I know for a fact that some of the Studio adtrw people who were working on kamichi before it was lisenced couldn't play the final version of their releases. Hardsubs also can do dancing flashy karaoke, if you like that kind of thing.



softsubs for life o/

Devastator 2007-03-02 11:44

Some of these points were already touched before, but this is what I've observed with my own machines and from others.

Softsubs:
Pros
====
- customizability of fonts, sizes, colours, and the text itself (with little effort!)
- does not introduce artifacts around the subs when lower bitrates are used for the video, since they're separate tracks
- and others for fansubbing purposes

Cons
====
- heavy ASS commands can cripple playback
- claims that certain programs cannot display soft subs properly (I've yet to come across one of these, aside from the dreaded VLC)

Hardsubs:
Pros
====
- heavy use of ASS commands has no effect on playback
- following the con of softsubs, all programs can play hardsubs as intended
- for fansubbers, things that they don't want changed can't be without the use of another raw (eg. credits)

Cons
====
- no customizability of fonts, sizes, colours
- changing the text would require an additional encode (as well as a raw)
- artifacts start to appear around the subs due to the appearance / disappearance of them, especially at low bitrates

Access 2007-03-02 20:36

Hard subs are added to the video and then the video is re-encoded. Soft subs are like on a modern DVD where subs are stored seperately from the video.

One other thing is that done properly softsubs do not require that the raw is re-encoded / re-compressed, which is a good thing (for quality and size) if the raw was compressed to begin with.

checkers 2007-03-02 21:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devastator (Post 849039)
Softsubs:
Cons
====

Don't Forget That People Can Steal Your Subtitles!!!!!

Devastator 2007-03-02 21:48

I sort of listed that as "customizability." Script "stealing" would also be more of a fansubber con as well, and only to those that truly believe in ownership. Claims of ownership and otherwise implying "stealing" is just bull shit to me.

Starks 2007-03-02 23:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arc
Hardsubs also can do dancing flashy karaoke, if you like that kind of thing.

That's why softsubbers hardcode their karaoke. It would take up too much memory to render them in real time.

Quarkboy 2007-03-03 01:31

Softsubs: The lower half of the subtitles is pixelated or censored in some way.
Hardsubs: You can see the entire subtitle.

No? Maybe I'm confused...

Starks 2007-03-03 02:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quarkboy (Post 849917)
Softsubs: The lower half of the subtitles is pixelated or censored in some way.
Hardsubs: You can see the entire subtitle.

No? Maybe I'm confused...

Eh? PICS.NAO!

Fimbulvetr 2007-03-08 13:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quarkboy (Post 849917)
Softsubs: The lower half of the subtitles is pixelated or censored in some way.
Hardsubs: You can see the entire subtitle.

No? Maybe I'm confused...

Ignoring encoding artefacts in the hardsub file, softsubs should look exactly like hardsubs. If it doesn't you are either using a broken renderer or you found a bug.

edit: So, it was a joke? Yeah I'm still laughing ...

Quarkboy 2007-03-08 15:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fimbulvetr (Post 856227)
Ignoring encoding artefacts in the hardsub file, softsubs should look exactly like hardsubs. If it doesn't you are either using a broken renderer or you found a bug.

edit: So, it was a joke? Yeah I'm still laughing ...

It's a sad commentary on myself when even my potty-humor goes over 90% of people's heads.

checkers 2007-03-09 01:06

I got it :)

Crovax 2007-03-10 12:58

Another disadvantage of softsubs is that not everyone sees the subs rendered the same. For example if your use libass in Linux to typeset your episode youll be shocked to find they are displayed quite differently in Windows cuz of a different renderer or w/e. (Not an expert on this, just know that a lot of trouble/effort and a custom-made VDubMod plugin was required to set it right. Which of course means, hardsubs.)

Basically, you get WYSIWYG with hardsubs whereas this is not true for softsubs.

Another (to me, very important) advantage to hardsubs is that as was mentioned, all players will play it as intended. Even standalone DVD-players which support avi-playback. (Though usually you'll need to encode it with DivX/Xvid to make it work, heh.)

Softsubs has 2 important advantages (to the viewer) imho:

- Higher quality video due to no recompressing/re-encoding (if the RAW was good) and due to no sub-artefacts.
- Fansub and RAW in one. In other words: ability to switch of subs.

xat 2007-03-10 14:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crovax (Post 858422)
Another disadvantage of softsubs is that not everyone sees the subs rendered the same. For example if your use libass in Linux to typeset your episode youll be shocked to find they are displayed quite differently in Windows cuz of a different renderer or w/e. (Not an expert on this, just know that a lot of trouble/effort and a custom-made VDubMod plugin was required to set it right. Which of course means, hardsubs.)

Basically, you get WYSIWYG with hardsubs whereas this is not true for softsubs.

This is changing over time; AFAIK (as in, last I heard) fundamental overrides (color, positioning) are now functioning mostly as they should.

Nicholi 2007-03-10 19:52

Currently libass only has very minor differences in the rendering of ASS subtitles. Nothing that would affect the original position/size/etc of the work done with a VSFilter outlook. I could post some examples if someone wants a particular fansub compared, just name a title. Also just on that note, libass is still a somewhat incomplete ASS/SSA renderer.

Unearthly 2007-03-10 21:45

One advantage I really like about soft subs is if you resize the video to a higher resolution the subs will match the higher resolution as well.

bx510 2007-03-11 02:51

What i like about hard subs is the effects on the subtitles.... And what i hate about hard is you can't resize the fonts.

Zu Ra 2007-03-11 09:13

How to extract raws from softsubs ? Can I do it using VDub I am clueless

martino 2007-03-11 09:18

Extract raws from softsubs? What do you mean?

Mentar 2007-03-11 09:19

Depends on the codec+container used - if the mkv contained a normal avi (e.g. xvid), you can easily demux it using the mkvtoolnix package (google for it), if it's a h264 encode, you can only extract it raw - and that won't help you much.

However, the whole point is that you can simply turn the softsubs off during playback. In this case the .mkv acts like a normal raw. Much better than demuxing.


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