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varmintx



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
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Location: Covington, KY
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:05 am Reply with quote
Was any attempt made to rectify the situation for UHD?
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Sakura Shinguji



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:45 am Reply with quote
So if the process or workaround to avoid the subtitle "refresh flicker," for lack of a better term, requires going above and beyond, then am I to assume most studios, vendors, contractors, etc., are just willing to devote the additional time and resources to making it happen? Or, as I've seen mentioned elsewhere, that it's primarily a function or option of the software package being used, and most companies or individuals doing the work just have "better" software at their disposal?

I ask because the only place I've encountered it is on some domestic Blu-ray releases, mainly ones that I believe have been worked on by MediaOCD (I promise I'm not trying to bust your chops, Justin, just making a statement).

I've encountered it on NISA discs and Ponycan USA discs. If anyone wants a particularly egregious example of the issue, and you own the Sound! Euphonium Blu-ray release, go watch the first few minutes of the first episode, especially the scene where Kumiko is walking up to the school.

I don't believe I've encountered it on Sentai or FUNimation Blu-ray discs. Nor on Bandai Entertainment discs. I don't own any Media Blasters Blu-ray discs to say for sure.

I've also never encountered it on Blu-ray discs produced in Japan, whether it's Japanese releases that include English subtitles (Bandai Visual, Aniplex, King Records, Toho), or domestic discs with work done in Japan (Aniplex of America, Sunrise via TRSI).
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Ouran High School Dropout



Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Posts: 172
Location: Somewhere in MA
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:08 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised to hear that subtitles are such a problem, and that better tools aren't available. Is writing one that much of a technical problem?

Also, I've never come across an issue on any US anime DVD or Blu; then again, I don't watch many shows subtitled. I wonder if someone has produced an online index of "problem anime discs".
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 3091
Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:24 pm Reply with quote
I think it's quite obvious why making subtitles for DVD and BD is so difficult: lack of interest.
Outside of anime watchers very few people watch stuff with subtitles. There's the hearing imparied, but they are a minority. There's not much to be gained from improving subtitles so they don't do it.
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Superfield



Joined: 13 Jun 2016
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:46 pm Reply with quote
What I find hilarious about this is that the .ass format has been used by fans for years to create highly aesthetically pleasing subs with a great amount of versatility - not to mention that VobSub allows you to convert image-subs from DVD to text-script. They have this tech gift-wrapped for them. I'd imagine that text-script subs would eat up a fraction of the RAM, and all you'd need to do is package the font files in with the subs. The only problem I could possibly see is if you really crank it up and have all sorts of frame-by-frame effects with movement and masking, but even then, I'd imagine the the multi-million dollar companies that make these formats and players would be able to figure out something as simple as this.

Actually, I'm really curious now. How on earth did Blu-ray screw up text-script subs so badly when this technology was released in 2006?
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DmonHiro



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Superfield wrote:
Actually, I'm really curious now. How on earth did Blu-ray screw up text-script subs so badly when this technology was released in 2006?

My guess would be a compatibility problem. They couldn't get it to work right on all players. Which defeats the purpose.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:09 pm Reply with quote
And I thought that Blu-ray was supposedly an improvement on the technological hodgepodge of DVD! Perhaps the physical media industry will be lucky on its third attempt...
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
And I thought that Blu-ray was supposedly an improvement on the technological hodgepodge of DVD!

Oh, it definitely is. It's much improved. But it's like if your car was previously held together with scotch tape and not it's help together with duct tape. It's technically better...
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1966
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Superfield wrote:

Actually, I'm really curious now. How on earth did Blu-ray screw up text-script subs so badly when this technology was released in 2006?

It's not really a problem with the spec (not that I've read it deeply, but I'm pretty sure the text sub part of bluray spec is pretty much like the ttxt spec in mpeg-4).
It's a problem with hardware compatibility for that part of the spec, as well as software to make it. The first bluray discs were made with graphical subs because the software for authoring those subs was just adapted from DVD software. So no discs used the text based sub capability and bluray player manufactures then didn't bother making sure their players would display them right.
Plus if the spec is like I think it is, it's filled with complicated, seldom used features whose specific implementation is left ambiguous...
It was more a matter of "no one used them, so no one bothered to make sure everything was compatible or that there as software to create and/or test them".

If there is another disc or hardware video format, it really needs to come with software to create said format in the future or whatever specs you write will be pointless.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Sakura Shinguji wrote:
I ask because the only place I've encountered [blinky subtitles] is on some domestic Blu-ray releases, mainly ones that I believe have been worked on by MediaOCD (I promise I'm not trying to bust your chops, Justin, just making a statement).


Completely fair. The issue is inherent in the blu-ray spec -- players are not required to have a sufficient amount of RAM, so the buffer for the subtitle graphics overflows quite easily. There are different work-arounds in both of the expensive authoring apps, Sony BluPrint ($50,000) and Scenarist ($35,000). The work-arounds are not the same, and require a special workflow to be set up that is not built in to any easily available subtitling software.

I, however, was using a cheaper authoring app, the $5,000 DoStudio (which was bought by Sony a few years ago). It was all I could afford. It had no work-around. There was an alternate method of muxing in the subtitles added to later versions that cropped the PNG files and that supposedly fixed the problem, but it was horribly built and the resulting discs had major compatibility problems, so that was a no-go.

I believe AnimEigo also uses DoStudio, as did some vendors from Manga Entertainment (I know Redline had the problem) and Bandai Ent. There are a few studios years ago that actually made some commercial Blu-rays with Adobe Encore (how, I don't know -- that app was garbage) and I believe those suffered from the same problem.

The good news is that recently Sony end-of-life'd DoStudio, and Scenarist offered a very heavily discounted upgrade, so I am now a Scenarist user. I just finished my first disc with it, and am learning the new subtitle workflow. I'm pretty excited; Scenarist offers quite a few other features that didn't work or were not possible in DoStudio.

samuelp wrote:
Superfield wrote:

Actually, I'm really curious now. How on earth did Blu-ray screw up text-script subs so badly when this technology was released in 2006?

It's not really a problem with the spec (not that I've read it deeply, but I'm pretty sure the text sub part of bluray spec is pretty much like the ttxt spec in mpeg-4).
It's a problem with hardware compatibility for that part of the spec, as well as software to make it. The first bluray discs were made with graphical subs because the software for authoring those subs was just adapted from DVD software. So no discs used the text based sub capability and bluray player manufactures then didn't bother making sure their players would display them right.
Plus if the spec is like I think it is, it's filled with complicated, seldom used features whose specific implementation is left ambiguous...
It was more a matter of "no one used them, so no one bothered to make sure everything was compatible or that there as software to create and/or test them".


Sort of. While BD technically does support text subs (and Scenarist can author them -- probably BluPrint too), I don't know of any disc that actually uses them. The reason is that each BD player has its own built-in OS, and that OS has no built-in fonts, and no ability to properly kern, anti-alias, or outline those fonts. So not only would you have to build the font into the authored disc (and all the royalty nightmares that would result in), but the resulting text would look pretty hideous.

samuelp wrote:
If there is another disc or hardware video format, it really needs to come with software to create said format in the future or whatever specs you write will be pointless.

Ain't that the truth. A good 25% of the features built into Blu-ray never had good development tools behind them, and another 25% are unusably broken or were just plain never built. BD-J (Java), BD Live (streaming components), text subtitles and managed copy are just a few of the components of BD that are partially or completely unusuable due to bad or non-existent support.


Last edited by jsevakis on Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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K.o.R



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Between this and the horror story that apparently is movie files for showing in cinemas, I'm frankly surprised any media gets played ever. Laughing
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I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:03 pm Reply with quote
In a small portion of my professional work I create subtitles for public domain materials (historical, gov't, etc) largely for ADA compliance and I can tell you that it's an absolute pain. Regardless of formats there really isn't any "easy" way to do it, and even more so with foreign language works you need translators, timers, proof-readers, etc etc. Back in the VHS days I could never understand why subtitled versions of anime cost more than dubbed counterparts as I always assumed hiring English VAs cost more, but when I came to understand how much equipment and manpower costs I began to understand that it made sense. It's also amazing when you consider a lot of fan sub groups have (and still) done this sort of work for free.
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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 2313
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Yet another reason why we should all watch dubs. Wink
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 2636
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(Some DVD players have a similar issue, as Right Stuf discovered when they made their epic His and Her Circumstances DVDs.)


Sounds like a backhanded compliment if ever I saw it.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2131
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:09 pm Reply with quote
I'm very surprised that you have to use bitmap fonts, I know old video games used them as the systems didn't have built in fonts. Is it a similar problem here, or is it because it is a video file.
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