Feature request: Subtitle Page

  • Author
  • Message
Offline

ruagod

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:17 am
  • Real Name: Lynn Clark

Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostTue May 25, 2021 12:04 pm

I submitted the following to Blackmagic Design at the Singapore support office as a feature request. They said they have passed it on to the development team. At their suggestion I am posting it here for comments. This version has a few additions and corrections to the version I submitted to BMD.

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been editing subtitles on several feature-length videos in Davinci Resolve 17.2. While it works, I find that it is very cumbersome and inefficient:

- the text in the subtitle Inspector caption box is too small. It makes it difficult to read and if you have to edit a subtitle, it makes it difficult to accurately place the edit cursor at the right place in the subtitle text. (This is actually a general problem with the Resolve user interface. The text elements in the UI are too small to be easily seen. I edit on a 32-inch 4K UHD monitor. I don’t know if this problem is unique to high-resolution monitors like this but in any case, the text is too small to be easily read. It would be nice if there was a way to increase the size of the UI text elements without messing up the overall layout. But, back to subtitles.)

- when you select a subtitle for editing, you have to affirmatively select the subtitle text field in the Inspector before you can enter or edit subtitle text.

- when you are finished editing a subtitle you have to affirmatively select the timeline to check/adjust the subtitle timing and duration.

- jumping back and forth between Timeline and Inspector creates too much work. It requires the editor to consciously and affirmatively switch focus between those two elements. This workflow is highly prone to accidental insertion of spaces in subtitle text when the editor edits a subtitle, then presses the spacebar to start playback to check the subtitle text and timing. If the editor forgets to switch focus back to the timeline, pressing the spacebar will insert or append a space to the subtitle text. That then cascades into the need to remove the space(s) and then affirmatively switch context back to the timeline. In short, this is an obtuse and time-consuming workflow.

- editing subtitles on a timeline in which the playhead and the subtitle clip are moving left or right is suboptimal.

I would like to suggest that Davinci Resolve needs a dedicated “Subtitles” page similar to the Cut, Edit, Fusion and Color pages. This new page would need only four elements, as follows:

1 - An Inspector for selecting subtitle font(s).

2 - A Viewer displaying the video, audio and subtitle at the location of the playhead in the Timeline.

3 - A Timeline with the following features:

- A single video track, locked so it can’t be changed. This single video track would represent the ouput resulting from one or more stacked video tracks in the Edit page timeline. There would be no need for the editor to select which Edit page video tracks to include.

- A single audio track, locked so it can’t be changed. This single audio track would represent the waveforms of selected audio tracks in the Edit page Timeline. This would allow the editor to select only the dialogue tracks, thus presenting a dialogue-only waveform uncluttered with music or other sound effects. This would greatly improve the usefulness of the waveform in placing subtitles. This dialogue selection could be done via a “d” (dialogue) button in the Edit page audio track header, similar to the “m” (mute) and “s” (solo) buttons.

- All of the subtitle tracks from the Edit Timeline. The subtitle track that has edit focus should be the same in the Edit and Subtitle pages..

- Playhead locked to the center of the timeline so that the current subtitle is always at the center of the timeline.

- A Cut-page upper timeline could be a useful part of the Subtitle page. A Subtitle page toolbar button should allow the user to show/hide it.

4 - A Subtitle Edit field located between the Viewer and the Timeline so that the editor doesn’t have to switch focus to-from the Timeline and Inspector to place and edit subtitles.

- This edit field should support a font and style/size that the editor can select to make it easy to see and edit. This font should be user-selectable separately from the general Resolve user interface font(s) and the actual subtitle font that will be displayed in the Viewer.

- It should be able to emulate widely-used editors like vi/vim and emacs. This would enable the editor to do most of the editing without having to remove the hands from the keyboard. It could enable subtitle editing without having to touch a mouse or trackpad.

For example, in vi-emulation mode here’s how I think it could work:

In Subtitle-navigation/selection mode, the Timeline has focus and the currently-selected timeline track is above the video track:

- The subtitle at the playhead is the current subtitle and is automatically selelcted for adjusting duration, moving left/right, deleting, copying, editing.
- Pressing J-K-L-spacebar would work as they normally do to control playback: reverse-stop-forward-start/stop.
- Pressing “a” would add a new subtitle after the current subtitle and make it the current subtitle at the playhead position.
- Pressing “A” would add a new subtitle after the last subtitle and make it the current subtitle at the playhead position.
- Pressing “w” would make the next subtitle on the timeline the current subtitle (in vi/vim, “w” moves the cursor to the next “word” in the file).
- Pressing “Nw” would make the Nth-following subtitle the current subtitle (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “b” would make the previous subtitle on the timeline the current subtitle (in vi/vim, “b” moves the cursor “back" to the previous “word” in the file).
- Pressing “Nb” would make the Nth-previous subtitle the current subtitle (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “yy” (or cmd-c or ctrl-c) would copy the current subtitle (in vi/vim “yy” yanks (copies) the current line of text).
- Pressing “Nyy” would copy the current and next N-1 subtitles (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “dd” (or cmd-x or ctrl-x) would copy and delete the current subtitle.
- Pressing “Ndd” would delete the current and next N-1 subtitles (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “p” (or cmd-v or ctrl-v) would insert-paste the copied subtitle(s) after the current subtitle or at the playhead position and would place the start of the pasted subtitle at the playhead position. If there were multiple subtitles pasted, the first subtitle would be placed at the playhead position.
- Pressing “P” would insert-paste the copied subtitle(s) before the playhead position and would place the start of the pasted subtitle at the playhead position. If there were multiple subtitles pasted, the first subtitle would be placed at the playhead position.
- Pressing “u” would undo the previous operation.
- Pressing “cmd-0” (cmd-zero) would make the first subtitle the current subtitle (another way to think of it: move the timeline playhead to the first subtitle).
- Pressing “cmd-$” would make the last subtitle the current subtitle (another way to think of it: move the timeline playhead to the last subtitle.)
- Pressing “0” (zero) would toggle on/off selection of the start of the current subtitle.
- Pressing “$” would toggle on/off selection of the end of the current subtitle.
- Pressing “.” (period) would move the current selection (entire subtitle, or start or end of current subtitle) right one frame.
- Pressing “N.” (N-period) would move the current selection (entire subtitle, or start or end of current subtitle) right N frames (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “,” (comma) would move the current selection (entire subtitle, or start or end of current subtitle) left one frame.
- Pressing “N,” (N-comma) would move the current selection (entire subtitle, or start or end of current subtitle) left N frames (where N is an integer number).
- Pressing “TN) (where N is an integer number) would select which subtitle track is the focus of editing. The stack of subtitle tracks should scroll up/down to place the selected track directly above the video track.
- Pressing “e” would select the current subtitle for editing and change focus to the Subtitle Edit field. (Note that this is different than vi/vim, which doesn’t have a dedicated keystroke for switching to “edit” mode. Instead, it has a plethora of keystrokes for directly editing text at the current cursor position or operating on the current line in the file.)

and so on. The idea is to make timeline navigation and subtitle selection as similar to working in vi/vim as possible. Editors who prefer using a mouse/trackpad instead would be able to do so.

In Subtitle-Edit mode, the Subtitle Edit field has focus:

- All the implemented/supported vi/vim keystrokes would work just like they do in vi/vim, with one exception listed in the next bullet point. As such, an editor who is familiar with vi/vim can immediately start editing subtitle text in a way that is natural to them.
- Pressing “:w” would save the text and pressing “:q” would exit Subtitle-Edit mode and return focus to the Timeline in Subtitle-navigation/selection mode. (As in vi/vim, pressing “:wq” would save and exit Subtitle-Edit mode. In this context, “:q” should probably also save before exiting.)

All keyboard shortcuts should be editable via the application Keyboard Shortcuts in their own Subtitle Page category.

I believe that adding a Subtitles page to Davinci Resolve would greatly improve productivity for this important operation and would move Resolve another step higher on the rungs of the best NLEs available.
macOS Catalina 10.15.7
2.8 GHz 10-core Intel i9
64GB RAM
Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB
DVR Studio 17.x (always kept up-to-date)
Offline

Magnus Allgurén

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:11 pm

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostTue May 25, 2021 1:37 pm

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed suggestion. I would absolutely love to see this happen. Resolve is currently so lacking in the subtitle/captioning department!
Offline

ruagod

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:17 am
  • Real Name: Lynn Clark

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostFri Jun 11, 2021 4:42 am

It occurred to me that the Subtitle page would need a media pool pane which would allow the editor to add subtitle files (.srt, etc.) to the Subtitle timeline without having to go to the Edit page to do so. When adding a subtitle file, Resolve should place the subtitles on the timeline based on the start time and duration of each subtitle. It should optionally allow the editor to override that placement and place the subtitles on the timeline starting at the current playhead position.
macOS Catalina 10.15.7
2.8 GHz 10-core Intel i9
64GB RAM
Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB
DVR Studio 17.x (always kept up-to-date)
Offline

Tero Ahlfors

  • Posts: 588
  • Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:02 pm

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostFri Jun 11, 2021 4:54 am

There already is a lot of different and free, fully featured, customizable applications available that are specialized in making subs. I see no reason to add this functionality in.
Offline

Rick van den Berg

  • Posts: 938
  • Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:47 am

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostFri Jun 11, 2021 8:03 pm

all fine, as long as they finally add a stroke feature to the outside of the text...
resolve 17.1
windows 10
i7 6950x
2x gtx 1080 8gb
96gb DDR4 3200
Offline

ruagod

  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:17 am
  • Real Name: Lynn Clark

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostSun Jun 13, 2021 4:09 am

Another thing that would be nice would be for the subtitle page/editor to flag cases where a subtitle crosses a scene-change, or edit point, by two or three frames (the number of frames for flagging should be user-selectable). I've noticed that it can be visually jarring when the scene changes just before or after a subtitle begins or ends.
macOS Catalina 10.15.7
2.8 GHz 10-core Intel i9
64GB RAM
Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB
DVR Studio 17.x (always kept up-to-date)
Offline
User avatar

Matt White

  • Posts: 232
  • Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:18 am
  • Location: NYC

Re: Feature request: Subtitle Page

PostMon Jun 14, 2021 2:29 pm

+1
PRODUCTION: BMPCC 6k / Pro
POST: Puget Systems: Windows 10 Pro, B550 VISION D, AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-Core Processor, 64.0 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, BM MiniMonitor 4k to FSI BM210 and LG UHD, Apogee Symphony Desktop, Cubase Pro, Resolve 17.3 Studio

Return to DaVinci Resolve Feature Requests

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests