In this weeks episode, Jeff talks about the new feature of closed captions in FCP X. Learn about what files are supported, how to create them in the timeline, and exporting options available.
- [Jeff] Welcome to Final Cut Pro X Weekly, and 10.4.1 gave us Closed Captions! Let's talk about how they work. Wanna talk a little bit about the captions, how to modify them, where you can work with them in your timeline, talk about importing and exporting these captions, a bug we found, and how to handle burn-in titles. Final Cut X supports two different title formats, the CEA-608, this is classically standard definition titling, and Apple's using ITT for everything else, and ITT stands for iTunes Timed Text.
Typically, when these things go outside of a QuickTime file, they tend to be an STL or an SRT file, just a small file out there that goes out. Burned-in text is something else, and I'll talk about it at the end. So let's talk about just adding a single caption. We can see here in my timeline in Final Cut, I'm just going to go ahead here for the moment and hide my browser. You can see I've got titles already set on this. I'm just going to scrub through it a moment.
And as he speaks, we can see what he's saying. - Apparently one of the ways they remedy this is to put tubes into their ears. I would just do that the first time, be-- - [Jeff] So I'm going to go ahead here and go to this same clip, and I'm just gonna start creating some of my own captions. To find this, I've got the clip selected, I'm going to go to the edit menu, scroll towards the bottom where it's got the word captions, and you can see the option + c, add caption.
Now I can go ahead and listen to what he says and put in some information like, As we got a little. I can open up my inspector, and you can see where it's got the display information, and since these are ITT captions, they can have things like a change in text color that are impossible in 608. You can also see things like their duration and end, and we can stretch the edges of this if we want. - As we got a little bit older-- - [Jeff] I probably wanna double-click this, to add the word older.
Now let's play that back and adjust it. Command + to zoom in a little. - -er, one-- - [Jeff] Right here. And I'm ready for my next caption. Now the option + c works a lot better if you use the range tool, so I'm gonna sit back and I'm gonna set, click on this clip. I'm gonna hit the letter r for range, hit an i for inpoint, and hit play, listening to the next thing he says. - One of the things that happened regularly-- - [Jeff] I'm gonna put an outpoint. I could've also used the range tool, and just selected, and I'll hit an option + c, and now it comes directly for that period of time.
You can use the arrows to jump back and forth, and work your way through the timeline, jumping from caption to caption. You have the ability to change the placement, change the text color, the formatting. I think these are pretty straightforward. The index has been expanded to show us captions. So going here to the beginning of my timeline, using a shift + z, so I can see all, I can go here to the index, and you can see I can navigate to each individual caption. Normally, you start on clips.
I'm over here on captions, and I can jump through each caption. I can't scrub or choose these, but I can certainly select them, and they show up in the inspector, allowing me to change anything I need to change for any individual caption, including its placement, and positioning, and formatting. So the next common question is how to get captions, and you've seen me do it here by hand. Anything you upload to YouTube will automatically get captions generated eventually, and you can download those as an SRT file.
You may have to use some sort of third party website to massage it into, say, ITT text to be imported, but there's a lot of those out there, and they're pretty easy to find. Machine learning tools like SpeedScriber can actually generate this using machine learning, which is very inexpensive, and then generate these files to be imported into Final Cut. Last, services like REV.com do it for about $1 a minute with high accuracy, 'cause a human being is actually doing the work.
Let's explore importing some captions. Here inside of Final Cut, I'm just gonna take the captions in this clip. I'm gonna delete them. I'm gonna go up to the file menu, choose import captions, pick my captions here, and say, import. My captions now come in and they're lined up correctly, just like before. Notice they don't have the black background. We're gonna talk about that in a minute. Let's talk about getting captions out of Final Cut X.
We go to the file menu. We can export the individual captions themselves as an ITT file. If we want them to go out with the actual media, which you share, and you have to pick a format that supports it, and since this is a role, it automatically comes out late, as a role here. So you'll see the captions get set up there, and if you have multiple captions, you're able to import each as an individual, separate file. If you share to, say, YouTube, your captions automatically get handled with the file.
As I mentioned, there is a bug. Importing ITT files seems to be missing a background, and I'm not sure when this will be fixed, but I wanna show you the workaround. You select the captions, you modify them and assign the roles to 608 and switch back, just like this. I'm gonna go ahead and select them on my index, I'm gonna go up to modify, assign caption roles, set it to English. It's gonna mess up their formatting, and red means that they overlap incorrectly. You can't have one overlap another one. But when I assign it back here, it goes ahead and fixes that, and in doing so, now everything's got a black background, the way they're supposed to.
The last thing I wanna mention is these are not burned-in titles. These are closed captions. They are soft items, not permanently into the video. If you wanna have them permanently into the video, there are a bunch of tools out there. One of them's from Spherico. They make something called X-Title Importer. What it basically does is import FCPX XML, including your caption information, and that can export a series of titles for you. And just so you can see their website, it looks like this. And the tool itself happens to be donation-based.
It happens to be free. It's a great tool to add to your arsenal. My name's Jeff, and thanks for watching Final Cut Pro X Weekly.
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