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Old 2008-02-11, 17:48   Link #1
Billkwando
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Best (plain) font & size for subbing?

I wanted to ask what the best (or most standard DVD-like) font was, and how big it should be for watching on TV?

Aegisub seems to output 20pt natively. I tried just doing Arial bold 30pt, but my wife thinks it looks a little big. It seemed pretty normal to me, but somewhat "off". Maybe the bold is what did it.

I don't want anything showy or expressive, just a simple san serif font that I can find on my PC (or for free).

I also saw some article from a site (in the UK maybe) going absolutely "Font Nazi" about how you shouldn't use Arial because it's a "Windows Font" and how it will make you a laughing stock of the fansubbing world. Exaggeration?


PS Bonus question. Would it be too busy to have english translated lines at the bottom and green romanji one line above it? You know, for the folks who wanna sing along at home. That's also one reason I'm concerned about font size as well (subbing a live concert......gonna do both hard and softsub versions, plus hopefully a Maestro'd script for the DVD owners.........was gonna do the eng/romanji for the hardsub and multiple versions for the soft/dvd)
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Old 2008-02-11, 19:55   Link #2
False Dawn
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It's not an exaggeration at all. You will definitely be mocked for using Arial, purely for it being the default font (meaning that you show how "new" you are by using it). Not that it makes a great deal of difference - font choice is largely down to styler preference. As long as it's readable and aesthetically pleasing, that should be enough really.

20pt is too small in my opinion. When I'm working in Aegisub, I usually go for something like 32pt to 36pt (but with different fonts - Arial, in general, is a large font). Most releases I've worked on have used fonts which are around 30pt or higher.

Best idea is to scroll through the fonts you have and pick one you like the best.

Bonus answer: do you mean karaoke - something that appears pretty regularly in OPs and EDs of fansubbing releases?
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Old 2008-02-11, 20:48   Link #3
Ichihara Asako
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Softsub, so the end user can adjust it to suit their needs, then you can do it how you like with little regard for anybody else!

20 is rather small. But all of this depends on the size of the video and such, really. 20 point on 720 video will be tiny, especially when upscaled to a 1080 screen.

Fonts don't matter to me, really. I don't mind Arial myself. Better than some 'scripty' type fonts some people have used in the past. Subs should first and foremost be readable. Then you can get to the aesthetics. Basic white Arial with a black border/shadow works fine in most cases, IMO. I do, however, tend to dislike yellow text. Something of a 'standard' on DVDs (or DVD players?) which is pretty crap. >.<

But anyway. Softsub. It's the only way to be safe!
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Old 2008-02-11, 21:16   Link #4
DryFire
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Comic sans is where it's at my friend.
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Old 2008-02-11, 22:23   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFire View Post
Comic sans is where it's at my friend.
Arial will get you laughed at by leechers.

Comic sans will get you laughed at by other fansubbers.

(P.S. I'm secretly a fan of comic sans, but in general it seems to be #2 under Arial in most commonly used).
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Old 2008-02-11, 22:48   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
P.S. I'm secretly a fan of comic sans
Same here.

Erm, yeah, moving on...

For color choices, you also want to try and get something that'll work with the series. For a really girly anime, I'd suggest doing like a deep purple for your outline, or a shounen type thing, go with a blue or green.

Black, at least in my experience, is the most annoying font because it'll disappear on the dark backgrounds, and become useless. Other colors will still slightly be there, making the subs easier to see.
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Old 2008-02-11, 23:34   Link #7
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Font size in points depends on the script resolution, or to be more precise on PlayResY (X is not considered), it's meaningless to recommend a font size without knowing the script resolution. It also depends on the typeface; some faces need to be bigger than others to be of the same perceived size. For 640x480, 30 points is probably a bit on the small side.

As for what typeface you should choose... that's up to you. Arial is very readable and that's all that really matters. There's room for a lot of variation here though, feel free to experiment.

Consider either disabling the shadow or setting it to black with alpha 128.

Colors can be really difficult. Black/white always works but is kind of boring. High contrast is a must, so don't go with white fill and a light border color, it'll be unreadable. Most shows have some kind of "theme" color, or at least a color scheme/palette that gets used a lot; feel free to take advantage of that to get a border color that feels like it fits the show.
(Kyoto Animation in particular is very good at using color schemes to give various impressions; Kanon 2006 is a good example with its cold blue/white palette for outdoor scenes giving a "cold" feeling, contrasted against the warm oranges and browns of the home scenes. This is a tangent though and more suited to a thread about animation direction.)

I wrote about some of this for the Aegisub manual, too: http://aegisub.cellosoft.com/docs/Typesetting
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read

Last edited by TheFluff; 2008-02-11 at 23:45.
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Old 2008-02-12, 09:34   Link #8
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I like color coding in fonts. The first time I noticed it was in Junni Kokki, where the texts from off-screen speakers were in a different color than those for people on screen. But the best use of color coding I've seen was Shintani's subs of Hidamari Sketch. The four lead girls have different hair colors, and Shintani matched those colors in their fonts. Very cute.
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Old 2008-02-12, 09:49   Link #9
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by False Dawn View Post

Best idea is to scroll through the fonts you have and pick one you like the best.

Bonus answer: do you mean karaoke - something that appears pretty regularly in OPs and EDs of fansubbing releases?
I just want a font that doesn't make you go "Hey, that's a nice font!" I want the viewer to forget they're reading subtitles, which is why I prefer it to be plain and not distracting.

I'm not going the karaoke route because this is the first thing I've ever timed and I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm just happy I was able to sub a 2 hour concert in a couple of all-nighters.

What I want is like what they do with commercial anime, where they sub 1 ep with the english lyrics and the 2nd with the romanji version...except both at the same time in my case. Only a few songs have Japanese in them (Hello is almost all Japanese) so I thought it would be nice for the hardsub version to have it in both, but with the romanji in green so as to differentiate it and so it's more easily ignored (less distracting to people who don't care)

I also tend to go "font blind" after looking at a few fonts. They all start to look the same and I'm racked with indecisiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichihara Asako View Post
I don't mind Arial myself. Better than some 'scripty' type fonts some people have used in the past. Subs should first and foremost be readable. Then you can get to the aesthetics. Basic white Arial with a black border/shadow works fine in most cases, IMO. I do, however, tend to dislike yellow text. Something of a 'standard' on DVDs (or DVD players?) which is pretty crap. >.<

But anyway. Softsub. It's the only way to be safe!
Agreed on the scripty fonts. I find fonts like this distracting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es-Szbv9ifk
(Coincidentally, this concert is the very thing I'm subbing....I know it's in English mostly, but I want to play it for my friends and have them appreciate it, rather than wonder what the hell he's saying)

I decided against yellow as well cos it's a really dark video and there's no yellow in it. White, again, seems less distracting.

As for hard/soft subbing, as I stated, I intend to do both. I want a hard version for people w/ slow machines, that are lazy/don't know how to use soft, and to be able to watch on my MP3 player and Xbox 360.

EDIT: I also want to get my .ass files out the for people to "steal" so they can sub the concert in Esperanto or whatever they want......heck, Japanese even....if there's anyone there who doesn't already understand him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFire View Post
Comic sans is where it's at my friend.
I though you were joking. Until below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koroku View Post
Same here.

Erm, yeah, moving on...

For color choices, you also want to try and get something that'll work with the series. For a really girly anime, I'd suggest doing like a deep purple for your outline, or a shounen type thing, go with a blue or green.

Black, at least in my experience, is the most annoying font because it'll disappear on the dark backgrounds, and become useless. Other colors will still slightly be there, making the subs easier to see.
It's not anime (don't kill me). I'm starting off small. Definitely not using black, as the video as almost always black at the bottom of the screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
Font size in points depends on the script resolution, or to be more precise on PlayResY (X is not considered), it's meaningless to recommend a font size without knowing the script resolution. It also depends on the typeface; some faces need to be bigger than others to be of the same perceived size. For 640x480, 30 points is probably a bit on the small side.
What?

No, what?

LOL you lost me, good sir (or madam). The video is in widescreen so the subs are going to be right in the image which is why I don't want to block out too much by making it too big (especially if I'm going to be doing two lines for the Japanese songs) I'm afraid I'm not clear on what you mean by script resolution. Also, in my case it'll be watched on both a 36" SDTV and a 19" HD so I'm going for a size you can see across the room but that isn't distracting (I'm redundant, I know).

Thanks for everyone's input and more is welcome!

(wait til I get to asking questions about encoding.....I did a quick rough encode without using anything but the VOBsub script and the video ballooned from 800 megs to 93 gigs......my PC is defragging at home as we speak.........again, don't kill me.........I'll be pitching a tent at doom9)

Last edited by Billkwando; 2008-02-12 at 10:19. Reason: speelling.......and an afterthought
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Old 2008-02-12, 10:19   Link #10
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I prefer arial to comic sans.
-with correct color setting, that is
(arial is not really bad when used with correct color...)

i myself prefer calibri... :P
something like this


edit:
Quote:
I just want a font that doesn't make you go "Hey, that's a nice font!" I want the viewer to forget they're reading subtitles, which is why I prefer it to be plain and not distracting.
nice statement btw :P
I remember someone said something like that for karaoke too... (yes, let's just use simple \k for karaoke effects!)
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Old 2008-02-12, 10:42   Link #11
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edogawaconan View Post
I prefer arial to comic sans.
-with correct color setting, that is
(arial is not really bad when used with correct color...)

i myself prefer calibri... :P
something like this


edit:

nice statement btw :P
I remember someone said something like that for karaoke too... (yes, let's just use simple \k for karaoke effects!)
Thanks.

I like your font suggestion too. I wonder if it would look good bold? Or if it even should be bold.

I hope I have that font on my PC. Gotta try it.
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Old 2008-02-12, 11:10   Link #12
TheFluff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
But the best use of color coding I've seen was Shintani's subs of Hidamari Sketch. The four lead girls have different hair colors, and Shintani matched those colors in their fonts. Very cute.
This is pretty common and while it may be cute, it's also very annoying since it's a) a pain in the ass to do, b) highly distracting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
LOL you lost me, good sir (or madam). The video is in widescreen so the subs are going to be right in the image which is why I don't want to block out too much by making it too big (especially if I'm going to be doing two lines for the Japanese songs) I'm afraid I'm not clear on what you mean by script resolution. Also, in my case it'll be watched on both a 36" SDTV and a 19" HD so I'm going for a size you can see across the room but that isn't distracting (I'm redundant, I know).
Script resolution defines the virtual resolution of the subtitle script and hence affects all font sizes (it should be noted that VSFilter always renders at 72 DPI, so that one typographic point is equivalent with one script pixel), margins, coordinates (for vector drawings, \pos, \move etc.) and, if scaled border and shadow is enabled, also the thickness of text borders and shadows. For further details see: http://aegisub.cellosoft.com/docs/Properties

When I say 30 points is a bit on the low side for ???x480, I mean it. Example:
30 points on 852x480 (16:9)
Looks a bit tiny doesn't it? Try watching it on a TV or even on your computer screen sitting back a meter or two. It'll be unreadable, I guarantee it.
Try something like this instead (36 points) and it'll be better. You can go even higher for better readability on big screens and large viewing distances. In this example the subtitles take up about 70 lines, or roughly 15% of the total vertical space, which isn't too intrusive.

(The typeface in the above screenshot is AvantGarde Book BT, bold weight.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
(wait til I get to asking questions about encoding.....I did a quick rough encode without using anything but the VOBsub script and the video ballooned from 800 megs to 93 gigs......my PC is defragging at home as we speak.........again, don't kill me.........I'll be pitching a tent at doom9)
You forgot to set any video compression, which means you're getting uncompressed RGB data (24 bits per pixel, which means that at 704x480 one frame takes almost a megabyte of space). Don't do that.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read

Last edited by TheFluff; 2008-02-12 at 16:10.
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Old 2008-02-12, 11:13   Link #13
DryFire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
I though you were joking. Until below.

I was... I'd say calibri is def. better than comic sans, but I'm not really the typesetting type.
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Old 2008-02-12, 11:31   Link #14
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
This is pretty common and while it may be cute, it's also very annoying since it's a) a pain in the ass to do, b) highly distracting.


Script resolution defines the virtual resolution of the subtitle script and hence affects all font sizes (it should be noted that VSFilter always renders at 72 DPI, so that one typographic point is equal to one script pixel), margins, coordinates (for vector drawings, \pos, \move etc.) and, if scaled border and shadow is enabled, also the thickness of text borders and shadows. For further details see: http://aegisub.cellosoft.com/docs/Properties

When I say 30 points is a bit on the low side for ???x480, I mean it. Example:
30 points on 852x480 (16:9)
Looks a bit tiny doesn't it? Try watching it on a TV or even on your computer screen sitting back a meter or two. It'll be unreadable, I guarantee it.
Try something like this instead (36 points) and it'll be better. You can go even higher for better readability on big screens and large viewing distances. In this example the subtitles take up about 70 lines, or roughly 15% of the total vertical space, which isn't too intrusive.

(The typeface in the above screenshot is AvantGarde Book BT, bold weight.)
Thanks for the tips and advice, as always. When you said script resolution I honestly didn't know if you meant "written script" or "script that you run". LOL

I'd never messed with that feature before and just dove in to prevent myself from getting distracted or procrastinating the project into non-existence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
You forgot to set any video compression, which means you're getting uncompressed RGB data (24 bits per pixel, which means that at 704x480 one frame takes almost a megabyte of space). Don't do that.
I won't anymore, thanks.

I was wondering my WMP was choking while I was playing the video back. I'm surprised my comp didn't explode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFire View Post
I was... I'd say calibri is def. better than comic sans, but I'm not really the typesetting type.
Yeah I do like the looks of that font. I find comic sans to be the most distracting font in existence.
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Old 2008-02-12, 11:59   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFire View Post
I was... I'd say calibri is def. better than comic sans, but I'm not really the typesetting type.
aegisub 1.10 displays warning when the user trying to set font for a style using comic sans btw
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Old 2008-02-12, 12:00   Link #16
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edogawaconan View Post
aegisub 1.10 displays warning when the user trying to set font for a style using comic sans btw

Oh I'm trying that the first chance I get! LMAO
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Old 2008-02-12, 12:27   Link #17
martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edogawaconan View Post
aegisub 1.10 displays warning when the user trying to set font for a style using comic sans btw
Discrimination I say, people!

*waves a nasty-looking club at jfs and amz*

EDIT: At FalseDawn too...
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Last edited by martino; 2008-02-12 at 13:03.
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Old 2008-02-12, 12:57   Link #18
False Dawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFire View Post
Comic sans is where it's at my friend.

*shoots DryFire*

Comic Sans needs burning.


Btw, Billkwando, if you're doing research on font choices etc, I find that a group like Eclipse releases pretty simple but pleasant fonts. As TheFluff mentioned, they did a good job with colours on Kanon 2006 (well, he didn't say it that way, but they did). Maybe just look around and see what fonts you like the look of in other people's releases and then have a look at the fonts on your computer and try to match them.



EDIT: martino needs burning too~

Last edited by False Dawn; 2008-02-12 at 13:07.
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Old 2008-02-12, 13:25   Link #19
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martino View Post
Discrimination I say, people!

*waves a nasty-looking club at jfs and amz*

EDIT: At FalseDawn too...


Fixed.



LMAO
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Old 2008-02-12, 13:34   Link #20
Billkwando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by False Dawn View Post
*shoots DryFire*

Comic Sans needs burning.


Btw, Billkwando, if you're doing research on font choices etc, I find that a group like Eclipse releases pretty simple but pleasant fonts. As TheFluff mentioned, they did a good job with colours on Kanon 2006 (well, he didn't say it that way, but they did). Maybe just look around and see what fonts you like the look of in other people's releases and then have a look at the fonts on your computer and try to match them.



EDIT: martino needs burning too~
To tell you the honest to God truth, I wouldn't even know where to look for fansub releases. I literally woke up 10 days ago (or so), and said "I'm wanna fansub Hyde".

and here I am.

I've always thought it was awesome that fansubbers exist but I've never really followed it until now because I'm a sheeple who wouldn't know which anime to pick out of the hat......kinda like I'm not sure which font to pick out of the hat.

Yeah, I admit it.

Last edited by Billkwando; 2008-02-12 at 13:36. Reason: exaggerated numerics.
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