Saturday, April 17, 2021

Burning Subtitles into Video Using Adobe Premier Pro

A subtitled video can be a great way to share you work with the community you work with and also with linguists. This blog post assumes that you have filmed a video, and that you have transcribed it in ELAN. The goal is to create burned in subtitles for your video using Adobe Premier Pro.


Open the ELAN file that you want to create subtitles for.


Click File/Export As/Subtitles Tex


Choose the tiers you want for subtitles, click OK. For example, I am working on Sasi, and have translations into both English and Setswana. So, I chose all three tiers: Sasi, Setswana and English.


The subtitle file (.srt) is now in the folder you choose. The .srt file includes the text of the subtitles and the timestamp (where it appears in the video).

The .srt format is described here:


Open Adobe Premiere Pro, click New Project.


Name your project and click OK.


In the Project window (lower left), use Media Browser to search your computer for the video you want to subtitle. 


Drag your video to the Timeline (lower right). If you have a separate audio file (.wav), drag that over to the Timeline too, and place it just under the video file.


In the Project window (lower left), find the .srt file you created from ELAN. Drag it to the timeline, and place it just above your video.


In the Program window (upper right), you should see your subtitled video.


At the top of the screen, click Window/Captions. In the lower left, you will see a Captions window appear (where the Project window was). This is where you will edit your captions


In the Captions window (lower left), you should see lines of text. If your captions do not appear in the Captions window, double click on the captions in the Timeline (lower right).


In the Captions window (lower left), right click on the first line, and choose Select All. This will make it so that your changes affect all the lines of text (not just one).


I find the default captions really small. Increase them to size 40. 

Tip: I made some changes in the Captions window that did not show up in the Program window. When I closed and opened up the project again, the changes showed up.


Now you need to synchronize your .srt file with your Audio/Video. Go to the Timeline window (lower right), select both the subtitles and the video/audio.  To do this, click above the three tiers, and drag down. All three should be selected.


Right click on Synchronize. That will bring up a little Synchronize Clips window.


In the Synchronize Clips window, click on Timecode, then click on OK.


At this point, your subtitles and audio/video should be synchronized. To test it out, go to the Program window (upper right), and click the play arrow.


Make any changes you want to the captions in the Caption window (lower left). You can change fonts, coloring, background, and even the wording and spelling of individual captions.


You are ready to burn the captions into the video and to save it. Click File/Export/Media at the top of the screen.


In Export Settings, choose H264 for the file format (if your video is .Mp4).


In Export Settings, make sure to choose Burn Captions into Video


Enter the name and location of the saved file under Output Name.


Click Export. Exporting may take a few minutes.


If you want, you can upload to YouTube, then login to YouTube, and click Create (in the upper right), then click Upload Video. Select the file you want to upload.


YouTube will lead you through several steps, including the Visibility setting: Private, Unlisted, Public. I chose Unlisted, which means that “Anyone with the video link can watch your video.” 


Click Save.


When you login to YouTube you should find your video under Your Videos (left column of Youtube display). Click on your video. You can add a description of the video there, and copy the link.

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