Friday, 7 February 2014

aegisub, .ass and .srt (subtitle)

Subtitling is something not very easy to do and there are quite a few numbers of subtitle file format that are used and the widely used formats are SRT and SUB. AEGISUB is a state of the art subtitle authoring tools (I think so) for their supports of live preview, audio wave display and some other features. However, aegisub by default uses a .ass subtitle file format and this file format are not widely used but supported by several conventional codecs.

The reason .ass formats are preferred is due to the styling support of some vector drawing, skewing the text, karaoke highlighting, position, some animation and other things that is featured inside this aegisub tool. If you want to save the work in other format than .ass, file>export subtitle>export. However, the styles from aegisub aren't included into the other format you saved as in you have set a subtitle color in the default .ass format, but if you export them into .srt, those aren't included even the coloring styles. Of course, .srt not as advanced as .ass, but .srt are widely supported than .ass are. .srt also supports very minimal styles as discussed in here; bold, italic, underline, color and possibly position (I heard only certain renderer/codec only but better don't bother about this).

I am not sure of .ass to .srt converter of retaining the color styles at least but if there are any, I would like to try it out and test them. Styling a .srt files is quite simple, you just have to use html tag format like in the link above and below as quick reference:
  • ... - Itallic
  • ... - Bold
  • ... - Underlined
  • .... - font color, html color values (hexadecimal)
Here are some of the tips when creating a subtitle in aegisub and you want to export them as .srt file. Below is for someone who knows the basics of using aegisub only or if you're first timer, try here to get used to it first.
  1. The dialogue box, put some unique tag on each line you want to style like color or those three font styles. For example
    1. - for the first color
    2. - for the second color
    3. and so on...
  2. At the end of the dialogues, put the closing tags like
or to lessen your workload later.
  • Save, then export to .srt file (File>Export Subtitle>Export) no need to tick anything.
  • Open the .srt using notepad++, find and replace all those unique tag into a proper tags for example

    1. Find and replace all to
    2. Repeat this process for those unique tags as well
    If aegisub able to retain the basic styles for .srt when exporting, it would be a very good tool, twice the time better than current. Here is what I could suggest in retaining the style format.
    • Enable the option of "Use HTML (.srt) format tag"
    • Use Primary Style Color for the HTML's since .ass also supports HTML tags from .srt.
    • An automation to convert basic subtitle HTML format to .ass official tag and back to .srt HTML format and remove any format that is not supported in .srt
    Do comment below for any suggestion regarding this info or your findings :-)

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