June 20, 2019

An Affordable and Easy To Use Solution for Subtitling in Adobe After Effects

Meet the Script Fighter plug-in. 

Adding subtitles to a video can be a tedious and time-consuming experience. Not only do you have to listen and transcribe everything that you want to put on screen, but you also have to focus on format and design. To make sure the text is legible, you’ll need to have a background, stroke, or some other element to make the subtitles pop. Placement and size also need to be taken into consideration.

While Adobe Premiere Pro has its own panel for adding captions After Effects lacks such tools.

So what are your options if you’re an AE user and you want to add subtitles to your project?

Well, you could create some template graphics and then simply duplicate those layers, but you’ll still have to focus on trimming and timing everything. If, however, you’d like to change the font or size of the text, this method is not the best option. Another option is to dynamically link your After Effects project to Premiere, and then add the captions via Premiere’s tools. Both options have drawbacks.

How about one that's both cheaper and has fewer drawbacks?

The Script Fighter plugin is a cheap alternative that will allow you to quickly add subtitles in Adobe After Effects. At $14, it’s a good option if you want to avoid the headache of dynamic linking or duplicating and timing a large number of text layers.

Today we'll go over how it works.

Step 1 - Add Text

For the first step, I’ll type my text into the Script Fighter panel. The process is quite simple—a new subtitle will be created every time I add a new line of text. Leaving a line empty will create an empty caption. You have to hit enter to create a new title—if the text auto wraps this doesn’t mean the second line will be a new title.

Subtitles in Adobe After Effects

Step 2 - Design

Once I have all of my text in place, I can choose a specific font via the Character panel.

Subtitles in Adobe After Effects

Step 3 - Create the Subtitles

With the font selected, I’ll press the Create Subtitles button. This will add a new text layer to the comp. Each title is represented as a Source Text keyframe. The layer comes with a stoke layer style applied, so the text will be legible even against light-colored backgrounds.

Subtitles in Adobe After Effects

Step 4 - Place the Markers

Now it’s as simple as moving the Source Text keyframes to match the spoken word in the video.

Subtitles in Adobe After Effects

Extra Features

The panel has an Import/Export feature, allowing you to work directly with SRT and TXT files. You can also edit subtitles by selecting a Source Text keyframe and selecting the Edit button.

You can pick up SF - Subtitles plugin for $14 here.

Disclosure: Boone Loves Video is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide means for individuals to earn advertising fees by reviewing and linking to products.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

Or download Resolve for free and use their subtitling tool that's pretty solid. Buying so many plug ins when you can just use resolve seems so exhausting.

June 20, 2019 at 11:28AM

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Alex Alva
1484

Premiere already does subtitles and captions. Why switch to Resolve or After Effects for something so basic?

June 20, 2019 at 3:04PM

0
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Dan
74

So why this article at all?

June 20, 2019 at 4:00PM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1910

Premiere does more captioning than subtitling. There's a lot of subtitle features that Premiere is missing such as formatting for a track style and being able to read formatting tags. Resolve just has a way smoother srt workflow.

June 20, 2019 at 5:06PM

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Alex Alva
1484

And there the Adobe story continues: how to waste user's time and money for simples tasks.

Did you know that DaVinci Resolve has an embedded subtitle track feature inside the NLE. No switch to any FX editor needed, no additional plug ins.

Adobe is master in turning simple things into complicated tasks.
And why would you do this in AE instead of the NLE? Just crazy!

June 20, 2019 at 2:06PM, Edited June 20, 2:27PM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1910

Is there an echo in here?

June 20, 2019 at 5:06PM

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Alex Alva
1484

No, but I havn't seen your post before I posted my one.

June 21, 2019 at 10:11AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1910

Just use SubtitleEdit. It's free and powerful. One of the best I've used for subtitling. That waveform editor is perfect to check timings. Stop wasting your time doing subs where they aren't supposed to be made. And with a paid plugin, no less.

June 21, 2019 at 7:41AM

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FabioACSantos
Director
95