Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Subtitles

I'm working on the next FM episodes and I'll have them as soon as I can, although in the meantime I want to get some feedback on subtitles. Subtitles are going to be a big section of the new website, so I'm trying to standardize what method will be used. I have two options right now. One will have subtitles color-coded to the speaker. I thought this might make it easier for people to distinguish who is talking, since Mike and Dave use identical models for the characters. The other option I've heard of is to make the subtitles all the same color, but use a hyphen to distinguish when two characters are talking in the same time frame. Below are snapshots of each method:

Color coded:


Hyphenated


Let me know what you think in the comments and I may put up a poll. I'm especially interested in international viewers who will benefit from future translations. If you don't care about the subtitles, then just ignore this. Thanks everyone.

EDIT:
Alright, due to feedback from translators and viewers, I've made my decision. My plans are to make plain white outlined text using hyphenated versions for the hard-encoded Youtube copies, and make both hyphenated and color-coded subtitle files (for ones that get done this way) available for download.

97 comments:

Jack said...

Dude i think that it should be colored and Hyphenated...by the way love what your doing man keep it up

Q said...

color subtitles

Ondra said...

I'd go for color-coding. I don't find the colors that intrusive and it becomes much more obvious who is talking at a given moment.

Anonymous said...

Why not do both? Color code, but add a hyphen for each character?

Daxter304 said...

I think the colored idea is probably the best idea, it makes it easier to figure out who is talking. If there is just Hyphens then it still could be anyone talking.

Anonymous said...

Both would be the best.

Rottenrob said...

The color-coding is the better choose i think ;)

Robert said...

Dude i think the color-coding is better =)

David said...

Hyphenated subtitles, I think the colored ones would draw too much atention away from the action

Anonymous said...

Color-coding.

Anonymous said...

Hyphenated.I can distinguish who is talking by the voice sound.But you can put both subtitles.

More CP Episodes Pleaseeee!

Spike1015 said...

I say both, it's unmistakable then.

Gregory said...

Color.

Anonymous said...

I'd think using both would work well.

Ross Scott said...

Both is going to be a pain for anyone making these or translating. In addition to downloading the subtitles, I plan to add hard-encoded copies on Youtube and I want one standardized version.

Lino Walker said...

I think that using coloured subtitles are be the best choice.

Yakuza said...

I think the Hyphenated looks more "professional", so I'll choose this one...The color one is good too, but still...

Anonymous said...

i would also say coloured subs are better.

As long as colours aren't too vivid.
You would want the colours to be distinguishable but at the same time not stand out too much :)

Jens said...

Colouring is probably the best, although it might get hard to read some of the text to some background (but then again that yellow text is a bit too bright for most source areas anyway), but for some reason it really feels like Mike should be the one with red text...

fire.esper said...

Color-code is pretty much the best way to do this - if anything, that's how Portal does it.

GODJonez said...

I think the color coded subtitles are nicer if you are to hard-encode them in. But for downloadable versions I would of course prefer soft subtitles that one can toggle on and off (and possibly adjust font etc. depending on media player), and for that the hyphenated version would be naturally superior.

Anonymous said...

Novarg: Personally, i think that colored version of the subtitles is better. At least for me.

But actually i have absolutely no problems watching CP. I'am from Russia. Some peole thing that russians can't speak or understand english speech anyhow even though it's not true. Anyway, since episode 1 of CP i had no problems figuring out who is MIke and who's Dave when they were talking. None of my friends either. I mean, imo it's not such a bit problem with that for most people i THINK. But anyway, that could be a good addition to a great series.

ps. Big fan. Love the series. Keep up the great work, cheers.

Christoffre said...

I have never had any problems to read subtitles on TV when they are Hyphenated. Color coded looks a bit blurry.

P.S
If you use hyphenated. Dont make the letters yellow. The best option is black edge with white filling.

Christoffre said...

Hyphenated is best. And dont use yellow letters. Use white WITH black edge.

Yakuza said...

PS: with the Hyphenated susbtitles it remember me a movie too...

Yakuza (again...) said...

Can u also put ur videos in HD on Youtube pls?

Anonymous said...

I think colored is best option for subtitles here because you can clearly read what they are saying there.

Anonymous said...

Color would be better... Color AND hypenated would be incredibly stupid..

It's better for foreigners to understand, also gives it some more "professionalism" on the video.

Though if you put subs to FM, they should be hypenated, since it's only Freeman talking all the time except for the few dialogues he has with the scientists and security officers.

Anonymous said...

Color coded works much better in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

the colored subtitles look the best, but it may be easier the other way as you wont need to change the colors all the time

UsodStallion said...

Hey Ross!

I personally liked the COLOR-COATED better.

Color makes it more fun- the dashes seem to put an "academic" spin on it.

I'm not sure how you would say like, 'this color is mike' and 'this color is dave,' maybe it will be obvious enough because of the animation itself, but it should be interesting.

Cool! Progress always makes me happy XD. We're still here with ya Ross!

Argentino said...

Esta buena la idea che. Hay algunos que por hay se les escapan algunas palabras porque hablan un poco rapido, pero por mi lo pueden dejar como está. La serie me hace cagar de risa y espero el FM 10.

By the way, i would choose colour subtitles.

Dan Mayer said...

Yeah, both would be best. Color-coding by itself is good, too.

Also, love your work. Looking forward to the next FM episode.

Jon Paul said...

I think using the color-coding be the best. I also love your vids they are awesome I really like Freeman's Mind awesome! Can't wait for the new eps. Keep up good work

Ross Scott said...

Well it sounds like people like the color-coded ones. If there's really discord about this however, I'll include instructions how to remove the color tags from the subs when I post them on the new site.

mr-hobo said...

Color Coded!!!!

MasterTom said...

awesomeness!!
Colors seem more clear to me as well...

Can't wait for the next update!

Hayden said...

I saw color coded. It seem more effective to me.

Killroy said...

I like the colored ones. Personally it would make it easier to tell whose talking in overlapped dialogue like this.

Anonymous said...

Coulor coded is definately better. It makes it easier to understand who is speaking, especially if you use new charecters who are not regulars. Plus its easier to distiguish the speaker if you are hearing impaired.

O.o Corey o.O said...

I really think color is the way to go, because then in futre episodes, it will be much easier distinguish between those talking, and you could even have an "anon" color, for people who are just sub characters, like the vort in aliens.

kuangeleven said...

Doesn't really matter, just bring em on!

We are been waiting for the webstite.

Miki said...

Colored Subtitles!

&rew said...

I think both methods. Each method has a visual clue as to who is speaking, but adding both makes it even more clearer.

Wimpoman said...

Looks like the public have decided... 78% for colour coded! lol

Great work Ross. ;)

camazots said...

Color coding the text might be a little distracting. Then again any text at all is distracting, try watching one of your favorite movies (in english) and then turn on the english subtitles. It drastically draws attention away from the actual action. Color coding might just make things worse. Then again it might be easy to confuse people with just the hyphen, which is much worse. It's your call. Although color coding looks nice.

Anonymous said...

The color subtitles are easier to read and follow. Keep up the incredible work! FM and CP are awesome!

Anonymous said...

colored, plz

btw. german

Anonymous said...

colours!!!

Patofilio said...

color it looks better by the way i know spanish, im mexican so it really isnt a problem

Anonymous said...

go with color

Preston said...

I think using hyphens is too old-styled and boring. Plus, after viewers know which color goes to each character, their peripheral vision automatically tells the brain who is talking, without even having to look at the color.

Anonymous said...

Color coded

Gamechamp said...

Color subtitles definitely look best.

Anonymous said...

I'd go for the colored subtitles. It's easier to distinguish who's talking.

Otto said...

I... I really can't decide. Both are great, but probably don't work together.

Anonymous said...

BOTH!

figdbl said...

Hyphen looks more professional and more appealing to the eye. Just use something plain white with black border.

I think it's all in the timing of how they come up. When I think of the first episode and hearing "whop" over and over again I see it being funnier with just seeing "-whoop" pop up over the dialogue as opposed to seeing a big red whoop pop up above blue dialogue. Too distracting, makes me look away from the scene.

Bit said...

I think hyphens would work out best. As someone already said, colored text tends to draw the eye a little bit too much.

A1-13 said...

I'm not too sure.

With Hyphenated It looks professional because that is how the subtitles always are on the foreign films I've seen on TV and DVDs. However people might have trouble distinguishing who is speaking, they're just bobbing heads mostly, especially if they are off-camera.

Color is more reminiscent of the subtitles in Half-Life 2 (and some other games), where each character has it's own color and background characters have grey. However, if you wish to keep the identity of a character secret, like villain or murderer (gasp, it's you!) talking off-screen, but then you can always use grey for them.

Colors can be a bit more distracting than just hyphenated yellow, and it could take a while for viewers to match color to faces.

I think I am leaning towards color just a tiny bit more ...

Anonymous said...

colored for sure. always easiest to read and distinguish when I'm watching something like Anime for example.

Jandals said...

Why do you need subtitles? Are they going to be speaking in a different language or something?

Ed said...

I think color coded one is better. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to see new web site and subtitle updates! Keep up the good work Ross!

Dante the Jedi said...

Colour coding I think would be the best.

Graphil said...

Colour coding looks nicer however what about any viewers who are colour blind?

Anonymous said...

Color-coded all the way man, leaving them just hyphenated may eventually lead to someone looking away and then trying to figure out who's saying what.

Anonymous said...

I think the colored subs look better and are more clear.

Yakuza said...

And how is the Tunnel CP episode and ur website going???
And also did u almost finished those 2 FM episodes?

RC-1290'Dreadnought' said...

I'm used to the notation without color so I don't know how distracting the colors might be. But the colors might make it easier to see who's talking.

someonero said...

Color coded. Way easier for me to make color subs, heheh. ^^

Unclever title said...

The color coded subtitles do seem more visually appealing, but then again I'm not going to be using these subtitles so my opinion here really doesn't matter.

If the translators want Hyphenated then go with hyphenated, the voices are distinct enough to differentiate further. Plus there's always the context to go by.

Rubber Ducky said...

Actually, I prefer the hyphenated. Color coded subtitles have an unprofessional/cartoon-ish feel to them. Commonly (on TV and movies), there is a hyphen and whenever a character is off-screen they show their name ('Dave: Whoop!')

Anonymous said...

AK-47


Hello Ross.

Me again


DO you need a person to make Russian subtitles?

VCWatanabe said...

Seeing how i work for Dattebayo LLC, my choice would be the hyphenated version. It's more professional, and sometimes easier to follow since most people get irritated by the different colors over time.

Anonymous said...

I'd say color-coded too. It's easier to interpret who's talking, and I'm sure translators could still translate the dialogue and keep the color coding somehow... And I'm seriously looking forward to your next videos, FM and CP are my favorite series, TV included.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, use the color-coded. Hyphenated, no color is nowhere NEAR as clear as color-coded. Don't take short-cuts, go for the quality. *salute*

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to go with using both. I put hours of thought into this, and it's the best way.

Anonymous said...

OH YES! Thank you. Now I can translate your movies into other language much easier.

Anonymous said...

Color coding is really the only sensible way to go in the Civil Protection episodes, but you could easily get away with the hyphenated subtitles in Freeman's Mind, mostly because there -normally- aren't that many people speaking other than Freeman, and that could be in Italics.

Jecalux90 said...

Hey Ross! I'm so happy you didn't forgot of my suggestion! Thank you very much, you're great!:)

Jimmy said...

I'll go with colour. I hope you get the new episode out before I leave for boot camp. It would be nice to Go to Parris Isle with CP episodes running through my mind.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, you should do colour with English and hyphenated with other languages.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jack, Do both at the same time.

Anonymous said...

super

Albob said...

I'd go for color (and hyphenated, why not)
Is that gonna be that hard to translate if you use color? I guess the translators can put their text just in place.

Anonymous said...

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APRIL FOOLS IS COMING.


Beware..BEWARE>>>BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!

Votekick said...

The hyphenated isn't really going to work.

Mike says one thing then Dave says something, if Dave Pauses then says something else, people reading the subtitles wont instantly pickup on whats happening, or simply wonder what Mike's on about.

Colour coded makes more sense, because then if theres a pause, the audience don't have to guess who is talking, they will know from the beginning...
I hope

Anonymous said...

do color coding

Anonymous said...

Colored, definitely.

By the way, I think subtitles are a great idea in general, since I can hardly understand anything in the films (English is not my native language and I'm better at reading it than listening to it).

Anonymous said...

I prefer it just hyphenated, it looks cleaner and the yellow really works with the game's picture

Anonymous said...

Well if I remember correctly when you put the subtitles on half life 2 they do the characters with different couler for each character so It would be good to do that to keep in with the spirit of hte game but who knows it's been ages since I saw the sub titles on the game maybe they also ahve it hyphnated

{NG}g42 said...

When do we think we will see the next FM soon or a few days?

Stygian Emperor said...

I'd say colors, but make them paler.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ross.

Um, I just wanted to comment of the subtitles. Firstly, I'm a film student, and I've gone over this argument before.

While there's no real major differences between the two, hyphenated is probably the best option here. Colour is great, and easy to tell the voices apart, but it can be very distracting.
Hyphenated is more bland, but is easier to read and a lot easier on the eyes. There's reasons TV use only white or yellow subtext and not pretty colours.

Well, yeah. That's just what I've heard. But I guess it comes to preference.

Anyway, I enjoy Freeman's Mind and Civil Protection a heap, and obsessively keep checking for updates. You glorious bastard you!

Rafael said...

Thanks A LOT for the subtitles man...

You got fans all over the world (im from Brasil) and, sometimes, its kind of hard, to the ones who are not used to hear people talking in english (like me, many people know english here but no one talks using it) to identify what they are talking, especially when they are screaming

With english subtitles everything gets pretty easy

a HUGE thanks, and congratulations for the nice work!

uhlmann_michael said...

color coding!!!!!

Mariano said...

yeah Ross i think the coloured subtitles are the best option for you and it makes easier to know who's talking, thanks for doing this for the ppl from other countries that cant get every word. Keep up the great work you're doing.