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Old 2010-02-22, 23:00   Link #21
SHiN-gx
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^ Still making better examples. Busy.
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Old 2010-02-23, 13:26   Link #22
pichu
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Well, I prefer texts that do not obstruct the video. The borders should be thin and light. Anything with thick borders and shadows is just horrid, sorry to be break the first post. Here is it should be:

1. Thin and Light borders, not too thin.
2. Fonts should be legible and thick enough but not too thick (follow number 1) -- not curly such as TrebuchetMS, any Serif, One Script, and Dom Casual... those fonts completely kill the video. Use styles such as Arial (Bold), Tahoma.
3. Font size should not be too big.
4. It should be bottom-aligned on the right place.

A good guideline for #3 and #4 is to treat safe areas (action safe and title safe regions). Action safe has a margin of 5-6%, and title safe has a margin of 10-12%. Consider a one-line subtitle, your subtitle should start at 6% from the bottom of the video and end at 12% from the bottom so that they don't disrupt the video. See the following picture



(From wikipedia)

Therefore:
For 720p, subtitles should have a vertical margin of 43 pixels with a size of 43 pixels with both left and right margins of at least 87 pixels.

For 480p, subtitles should have a vertical margin of 29 pixels with a size of 29 pixels with both left and right margins of at least 58 pixels.

Note, for two-liners, they will fall on the title safe area, which is desired. If you can get all of your subtitles one-liners, you can push all of your subtitles to the title safe areas (i.e. 12% margin)
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Old 2010-02-23, 15:35   Link #23
the.Merines
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One should also note that not all fonts have a "standard" size, i.e. 29 may be too small for one font and too large for another depending on how the original font-maker designed it.

Personally, I don't give two hoots about proper vertical/horizontal padding as I am not a professional typographer and don't pretend to be. That being said, very few people have ever complained about my styling (lately. There was an issue with Antique Bakery which resulted in the font being fukken huge) besides some of my fansubbing peers. Heck, several of the groups who continued Shugo Chara! after Formula quit just copied the style I'd used.
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Old 2010-02-24, 00:46   Link #24
pichu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the.Merines View Post
One should also note that not all fonts have a "standard" size, i.e. 29 may be too small for one font and too large for another depending on how the original font-maker designed it.

Of course, that's based on the font's definition. The height should not include line space or should minimize line space. I noticed some fonts tend have larger line spaces (i.e., bigger gaps between two lines), and hence they look smaller for the same size as another font. And, therefore the font sizes will vary, but the size I mentioned earlier isn't the font-size; it's the maximal characters size.

This is just a rule of thumb using basic mathematics.
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Old 2010-02-24, 05:27   Link #25
Willen
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Everyone should just use Helvetica. It's the font that most modern non-serif typefaces are based on.

On second thought, I'd enjoy some variety.
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Old 2010-02-24, 16:20   Link #26
Zalis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHiN-GX
Typesetters usually go for the white color fill with black borders like this:
Really? I thought they usually went for white fill with a border color matched to the main character's hair or common backgrounds, thus making them as unreadable "unobtrusive" as possible. I prefer the old "some light fill color + black border" approach over the modern "white fill + some color outline" approach. The "color-code by character's hair or dialogue type" approach is even more disastrous, although I've seen it work. Like in AI&A-F's Kanon '02, it worked because they used a simple font, shadows, and decent padding. Whereas in Shintani/Spoon's Hidamari Sketch/x365 releases, it failed bigtime because they ignored those other parameters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zergrinch
I have seen subs that use serif fonts. Provided that they are big enough, the effect is not entirely unpleasant.

What fonts are the most widely used in dialogue for fansubs? I stick to Gill Sans MT, and I'm curious how many others do.
I've seen serif fonts work sometimes, but they need to have the padding/colors/borders/shadows/sizes set right. And since most fansubs don't have those parameters set right, serif fonts just compound the problems. As for most common fonts, I'd say Dom Casual, Impress, and Forum436. Comic Sans also enjoyed a heyday in the early 00s I prefer Verdana, Lucida, Tahoma, Arial, and Abadi myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pichu
Well, I prefer texts that do not obstruct the video. The borders should be thin and light. Anything with thick borders and shadows is just horrid, sorry to be break the first post.
Any text will obstruct the video to some extent. So why not make it easier to read quickly? And what's so bad about shadows, anyway? I like them, as they're a feature of ASS/SSA that many fansubs sadly fail to take advantage of. They give that aforementioned fake 3D effect, and thus make the subs stand out from the video a bit more. I'll take thick black borders (like 3px) any day over the 1-pixel light borders I see in a lot of subs these days. Imo it's easier to interpolate what's behind the text than it is to discern thinly-bordered text that loses definition against backgrounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristen
I mean, to me, a good style is a dark blue outline of about edge 2 with a white inside, a shadow of 2 at 160 opacity, padding of 60 left/right, 30 vertical, plain font, and large enough to read at 2 feet away from a computer screen without difficulty (All this for 720p). Otherwise the subs just get plain intrusive.
I'd use settings similar to those for 480p (45 L/R, 35 V), as I prefer relaxing on the couch 6-7 feet away from my screen over sitting at my desk. A slight increase in those margins would put them within the 5-10% range that Quarkboy suggested, make them more readable from greater distances, and I don't think they'd be that much more intrusive.

And in general I consider the fansub standard, tiny thin subs with 1px background-blending borders at the very bottom of the image spanning the entire width of the image, to be more intrusive/obtrusive/distracting compared to Shin's suggestions or DVD subs. That's because they require more mental energy and eyescanning to fully process, energy that would better be spent on the actual content of the anime.


Or tl;dr, I'd rather read anime subtitles, not CAPTCHAS overlaid on anime.

Finally, I don't think it speaks much for progress in the fansubbing world when I can watch old 480x360 DivX3 files from 2001 perfectly fine from 6-7 feet away, while watching today's 480p/720p stuff often requires softsub setting manipulation on every episode.
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Old 2010-02-24, 21:43   Link #27
Desbreko
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Wait, what? Crappy styling aside, shouldn't sitting farther from the screen make it easier to read subs with small margins that span the entire width? The farther away you get, the less you have to move your eyes to focus on different parts of the screen.

While I generally prefer to keep subs out of the overscan area, I have zero problem reading two-line subs that span nearly the entire width of my 24" monitor from about 2.5' away. (Again, assuming the styling isn't utter crap.) I actually find it easier to read than breaking them up into multiple smaller lines since I can just scan through the entire thing in a couple seconds instead of having to repeatedly shift my focus back and forth between the video and subs.

A good example of line breaking being taken way too far would be a.f.k.'s Haruhi S2 subs. Every single little pause in the dialogue is accompanied by a new subtitle.
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Old 2010-02-24, 23:25   Link #28
pichu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zalis View Post
Any text will obstruct the video to some extent. So why not make it easier to read quickly? And what's so bad about shadows, anyway? I like them, as they're a feature of ASS/SSA that many fansubs sadly fail to take advantage of. They give that aforementioned fake 3D effect, and thus make the subs stand out from the video a bit more. I'll take thick black borders (like 3px) any day over the 1-pixel light borders I see in a lot of subs these days. Imo it's easier to interpolate what's behind the text than it is to discern thinly-bordered text that loses definition against backgrounds.
*sigh*
Why do you think I focused in perfecting placing translations as signs, when they can easily be placed as a regular subtitle? The reason is that I want them to blend into the video as much as possible. IMHO, subtitles do destroy the feeling of videos. There are studies that our minds will work transparently without you telling your own mind what to do, so you don't need crispy and obvious texts in order to comprehend. Our mind will catch them right away, unless of course, you're nothing but a low-life beast whose sole purpose in life is to survive.

For example, in live-action movies, ideally, the borders in the subtitles should be outer shadow at 0 distance or outer glow, blurry borders, simply because the boundary between objects are never sharp such as your text's border and shadows.. For example, take a look at Alien's subtitles in District 9 (not to mention that they're also within title safe area); they're white with low-profile shadows. In anime, your subtitle's borders should NEVER be thicker, sharper, and different color FROM the Anime's lines. Ideally, the borders on the subtitles should have the same thickness, blurriness, colors, and opacities as the anime's lines. I don't think I need to explain why... For example, in One Piece, it is safe to use black 2px border size for 720p, because the lines are sharp and black. However, the same border style cannot be applied to other anime, such as Bleach, and sadly they would look eye-cancerous.

"3D..." Oh please... If you haven't noticed, I already released two episodes with beveled and metallic subtitles (with diffused shadows) as tests (and I was the only one who attempted this)... It was possible with a small script I wrote for After-Effects that generates and stylizes the subtitles. But, the 3D effects turned out to be overkill even though they're very readable.
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Last edited by pichu; 2010-02-24 at 23:54.
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