Creating Captions in Final Cut Pro 10.4.1
The Final Cut Pro 10.4.1 update includes robust closed captioning support. Closed captioning your videos has become more important than ever, it makes your videos accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing communities. It ensures regulatory compliance for government and education markets. It enables comprehension in noisy public locations and scrolling social media feeds, and allows for delivery in multiple languages to broaden your audience. Unlike subtitles Closed Captions are designed to be turned off and on by the viewer. They can also include significant audio cues beyond dialogue. With Final Cut Pro's new Closed Captioning features, you no longer need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on captioning software or to depend on inaccurate and incomplete online captioning solutions. You can now quickly convert transcriptions to captions, edit and change caption styles, and deliver compliant closed captions for broadcast or video sharing services. Let's look at how easy it is to create Closed Captions with Final Cut Pro X. Here we have a short project that includes dialogue, music, and sound effects. I've sent it to an online transcription service, which there are many to choose from, that usually charge about a dollar a minute and often turnaround the same day. That provided me with the CEA-608 compliant Scenarist SCC file. Final Cut Pro supports both the CEA-608, format that is backwards compatible with older TV sets, as well as the iTunes timed text or ITT format. I'll choose File -> Import -> Captions. And select the file. The CEA-608 role will be auto-assigned. And you choose the language here. I want the insertion time to be relative to the timeline, so I'll click import. The captions appear at the top of the timeline, and the language and format are indicated at the start of the project.
In the timeline index we can choose to turn the captions off and on, or hide them
If I scrub through the project, we can see the captions which include not only dialogue but other audio cues as well. If non-dialogue audio cues aren't as critical, or you want to add them manually, another transcription option is an automated service like SpeedScriber. The SpeedScriber app provides extremely fast and accurate transcription. This project involves two speakers. I'll select the sound effects and music, and disable them with the V key. And then export. Alternatively, you could export a multitrack QuickTime movie, and enable just the role for dialogue. I'll drop that movie on to SpeedScriber. Make sure it's set to English, and two speakers. And click transcribe. The file is uploaded, and begins processing immediately, usually faster than real time. I'll double-click it. And we can see, play, [Welcome to our 400th episode, of MacBreak Studio.] And edit the transcription. I'll make a few adjustments And now, I'll choose File -> Export -> iTunes Timed Text. iTunes timed text is Apple's implementation of a more modern and flexible time to text format that allows for more languages with support for more characters and diacritics. Back in Final Cut Pro, I'll import the caption file into the project. It appears at the top of the timeline. This time identified as an .ITT file, and we can play the project to see the captions. Captions in Final Cut Pro X are easy to edit. I'll select this caption. The caption inspector automatically opens. I'll press the / key to play the selection. [I'm Annaressa.] [I'm Annaressa] If i need to change the text, I can edit it in the inspector.
Then use these arrow keys to move to the next or previous caption
Alternatively, I can double-click a caption to open a window for editing the text and navigating to the next or previous caption. Clicking a caption closes this window. As I'm editing, I can easily adjust the timing of each caption by dragging the edges. It's easy to add a caption. I'll set a range for this caption by holding down the R key and dragging across the dialogue I want to caption. [and for my first ballet lesson I remember] Then from the Edit menu, I'll choose Captions -> Add Caption. Note the other commands and the very handy keyboard shortcuts here. And I'll add text for this caption. [and for my first ballet lesson I remember] Sometimes you'll want to split a caption to better match the video, or for separate speakers. The split will be made at the point of the carriage return that creates the second line. With a caption selected, from the Edit menu, choose Captions -> Split Captions, or we use the keyboard shortcut The Playhead location does not matter as the caption is always split in the middle. Simply drag the handles to adjust the timing of each caption. To join two captions together select them both, then from the trim menu select join captions, or you can right-click on the selected captions and choose join captions. Captions have display and position options in the inspector. Note that iTT captions have different options than CEA-608 captions. If you make a change, you can click the display arrow and save your changes as a new default style. You can then apply that style to any selected captions. Captions are easy to search.
In the timeline index select Captions, and enter your search term
All captions containing that term are displayed. Select one to navigate to it Final Cut Pro will warn you of any validation errors in your captions such as overlapping captions, number of lines, and invalid characters or formatting. In the timeline we see a couple of red captions.
In the timeline index, under captions I can click view errors to see just the problem captions and navigate to them
The captions inspector indicates the nature of the validation error. Here we have an overlap error. So I'll command click to select the to read captions. Then right-click and choose, resolve overlaps. Then I'll trim the resulting captions. And here we have too many lines of text, because I accidentally added a carriage return after the second line. So I'll delete that.
You can attach captions to audio, so that they move with the audio
Here I want to move the doorbell sound, but the doorbell caption is attached to this video clip
So if I move the doorbell audio the caption doesn't move with it, I'll undo that
All you need to do is select the caption that you want to move, hold down the option and command keys, and click on the audio clip you want it to connect to
Now when I move that audio clip, the caption moves with it.
You can do this with multiple captions as well
In this case I want all these captions to connect just to the audio of this clip here. I'll select this clip. From the clip menu, choose to detach the audio. Select these captions, and then Command-Option-Click on the audio. Now those captions are attached to the audio and travel with it.
You can add captions in as many languages as you need and since each language is assigned a separate sub role they're easy to manage when sharing
For this project I want to add Spanish captions. In the timeline index, under Roles, I'll click Edit roles to open the role editor. Then I'll select the Captions Tab. By default, only the iTT captions role is included. You can add the CEA-608 role by clicking here, or it will be added automatically if you import a CEA-608 captions file. If I expand the iTT role, we can see the English sub-role. I'll click on language. Select Spanish -> Latin America and click apply. Note that this new language sub-role is available for all projects in the library. In other words Caption roles are library wide. Now in my project, when I press Option-C to add a caption. I can assign it to the Spanish language sub-role. and it is added as a new row in the timeline. Alternatively, let's delete that caption. I can select all my English captions, Right-click. And choose duplicate captions to new language, and select a language. If I select a language that doesn't already exist in the role editor, It is automatically added. I'll select Spanish -> Mexico. All my captions get duplicated, And if I go back to the role editor, there is the new sub role. I'll close that.
In the timeline index I can switch between languages, or hide languages by clicking here
Note that selecting or hiding languages in the timeline index only affects display in Final Cut Pro and does not change what is exported. That is accomplished through the share options I can now navigate to each caption and replace the contents with a Spanish translation. Of course, I could instead import a transcript in that language. Once your video is captioned, there are several different ways you can share it. Let's look at four common ones.
First, you may want to share just the captions themselves
For example to send to another editor to add to their project. From the File menu, choose Export Captions. If you have multiple language sub roles you can choose which ones to include in this dialogue. iTT formatted options will produce a .iTT file. CEA-608 captions will produce a Scenarist .SCC file. Either file format can be imported into the same Final Cut Pro project on another machine. Second, if you want to distribute your movie on the iTunes Music Store. You can send your project, captions and additional languages to compressor in a single step, by choosing File -> Send iTMS package to Compressor. The iTunes package will take CEA-608 captions and assign them as captions, and the iTT captions will be signed as subtitles in as many languages as you want. You can select what metadata gets included for each language sub role in this dialogue. I'll select hearing-impaired for English, and translation for Spanish, and I'll click send. In Compressor, you can still change the caption properties by selecting each role and making the change here in subtitle properties. And you can edit, position, and format your captions by selecting each caption and using the Subtitle Text and Formatting sections. Back in Final Cut Pro, if you aren't creating an iTunes music store package, you can use the send to compressor command. Choose a single caption sub-role, but you'll still have access to all the editing and formatting capabilities. Third, you may be exporting a Master File directly from Final Cut Pro. I'll choose Master File from the share menu, confirm my settings as "Video and Audio," and "ProRes 422" - then in the Roles tab, I have the option of exporting each CEA-608 sub role as a separate sidecar file. In addition I can choose to embed the CEA-608 captions directly into the video. Note that this embed option is not available for iTT formatted captions. Finally, you may be uploading your video directly to video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo. I'll choose YouTube from the share menu. In the settings tab, you can choose which language sub-role you'd like included. By creating and editing your captions in Final Cut Pro X, you'll have far more complete and accurate captions then those that can be created by an algorithm that is attempting to separate dialogue from music and sound effects, identify brand names, and won't add any captions for important sound cues.
Tags: cc caption
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