In today’s world, amateurs and professional filmmakers alike, are turning to video sharing sites to share their masterpieces. Alongside the growing popularity of online video is the uptake of subtitles and closed captioning. So what has fuelled the current boost in onscreen text? Is the closed captioning boom likely to continue? What are the real benefits to filmmakers? And finally, how should we add Vimeo closed captioning to our videos?
Why Add Closed Captions to Vimeo Videos
For over a decade, video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo have cornered the amateur video market. Vimeo gives amateur and professional filmmakers the opportunity to easily store and share their videos on a global scale. There are numerous benefits to Vimeo closed captioning and subtitling of content. These include:
- Closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing viewers.
- Vimeo subtitle translation to reach global audiences.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and subtitling with keywords in mind.
- Burned in Vimeo subtitles to improve video engagement.
Alongside the growing popularity of video sharing, the introduction of 3G and 4G mobile networks have meant people across the globe consistently watch video content on-the-go. Watching videos in public environments often means viewers are turning away from sound and towards subtitles and closed captions. Videos that have closed captions embedded or displayed as default allow users to instantly engage with the content. Users can appreciate video on-the-go with the volume down, without having to rewind and turn the sound up.
How to Add Closed Captions to Vimeo
Do you want to write your own closed captions or hire a professional company to create them for you? Whatever option you choose, there’s just a few steps involved to add Vimeo closed captioning to your films.
Transcribing your Vimeo video involves typing out all text that will appear on your video. If you are creating standard English subtitles or subtitles for translation, the transcription will only need to include dialogue. In contrast, if you are creating closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing, the text will need to include audio description and speaker identifications where necessary.
Vimeo Caption Timings
Once you have text to work with for subtitling, you will have a few options for subtitling your video. At this stage, professional captioners will load the video and transcript into subtitling software. Similarly, amateur captioners may play and pause video using a standard media player. The video transcript will then need to be split into short, manageable subtitles. Following this, start and end timings will be inserted for each caption. This can be a long process for amateurs working with a plain text editor. However, professional subtitling software allows this to be done relatively quickly and easily. If you have little or no experience working with subtitles, you can choose to upload a plain transcript to Vimeo where timings will be created automatically through the site.
Closed Caption Formatting
If you want to add Vimeo closed captioning in SRT format, you can skip this stage and upload your file straight onto the Vimeo site. Unfortunately, for SRT subtitles, there are no options around styling or placement. Consequently, if you would like specific styling options for your subtitles, you can convert to a different format, such as WebVTT which is compatible with Vimeo. Using captioning software, you can work with subtitling software to format and style your subtitle size, font, colours and placements. This can also be done using coding on a text editor, but this method can prove very time consuming. Once you’re happy with the results, you can upload your WebVTT file to Vimeo, or work on the next possible stages…
Caption and Subtitle Translation
If you are considering translating your Vimeo captions for foreign viewers, you will need to send your SRT file to a suitably experienced translator. A professional closed captioning company will create a translation template (usually on Word or Excel) and use that to translate from. Subtitlers will then manipulate the text using subtitling software. This is to ensure character limits, reading speeds, line lengths, timings and placements are still present and correct. It’s possible to translate directly from a basic SRT file. However, it’s important to ensure that you use the correct language encoding and watch reading speeds and character lengths as you may run into technical problems and/or need to significantly alter timings and formatting.
Vimeo Subtitle Burning
When it comes to captions and subtitles, there is another option to loading a timed text file which viewers can turn on and off. Burning subtitles means that text will permanently display on your video. It’s great for global targeting and foreign subtitles, as well as for videos with a lot of onscreen graphics and animated text. Subtitle burning involves loading a video into editing software, overlaying subtitles and re-rendering the videos with them included as part of the image of the new video.
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