Using SRT subtitles with italics in Resolve 18

There are two common ways to use subtitles within Resolve:

  • Exporting the subtitles as an SRT file or similar text file with timecode and subtitles.
  • Importing SRT subtitles and burning the subtitles into the video.

Exporting the subtitles as SRT

File- Export – Subtitle

SRT files can also be used in VLC player, Youtube, Vimeo, and others. But not all support italics tags.

Common errors in SRT files from Resolve

  • Resolve automatically break long lines, but the exported SRT lacks line break tags <br> in the exported SRT file. Check the SRT for long lines that miss line breaks, and add them.
  • Subtitles are shown too short. Subtitles need to be shown for at least 1 sec and not disappear to fast.

Burning in the subtitles

Sometimes when exporting a DCP or Prores/h264/h265 I burn in the subtitles. When burning in subtitles, you will keep formatting like italics.

Choosing “Burn into video” when exporting

When exporting the video in the delivery pane
I choose “Export Subtitle”
and choose Format: Burn into video

Burning in subtitles imported from SRT

When burning in subtitles imported from SRT files with italics in Resolve

  • I fix invalid italics tags in the SRT file
  • I change to DCP-style subtitle formatting

Fixing invalid italics tags

If the italics tags are on each line, the spacing between the lines will be wrong.

<i>has invalid italics tag</i>

Manually fixing italics tags

You can fix this manually. Remove the italic tag from the first line and the start of the second line. Or do it automatically in Subtitle Edit with fix common errors tool.

<i>This has 
correct italics tags</i>

Adding the SRT file to the timeline

Drag the SRT file to the Media pool

Right-click the timeline
choose timelines
set starting timecode to start at 0

Right-click the SRT file and choose
Insert selected subtitles to the timeline using timecode

or drag the SRT file to the correct time code for the first subtitle

Choosing a new subtitle style

Default Resolve subtitle settings

The default subtitle settings in Resolve are different from those used on DCPs. It uses bold or semi-bold 58 Open sans font, right alignment, and middle anchoring.

DCP subtitle style

DCPs usually have subtitles with a sans-serif font like Arial. The default XML font size is 42 with drop shadow. Some use border/outline. Some film festivals recommend a font size of 38-40, and the subtitles must be at least 8 percent from the bottom edge. DCPs use bottom anchoring and center alignment. In Resolve, this translates to a font size of around 50 when using Arial, when compared to XML size 38 in Flat (1998×1080) and XML size 42 in Scope (2048×858). A DCP with size 42 XML burned in with resolution 2048 x 858 scaled down to 1920 x 1080 will be the same as 42 in Resolve.

Change to DCP-style formatting

In the timeline in the edit pane – Select all subtitles with the mouse

In Inspector – Track
I choose:

Font: Arial Regular or Arial Nova Regular.
(or Bold to make the text easier to read)

Size: 42-50

Border/outline (Can make text easier to read, can be used with drop shadow or alone)

Stroke: Color Black. Size 1-2. Outside only

Alignment: Center
Anchor: bottom and center
Transform: Y: 80 (1920×1080 8 percent from bottom)

Drop Shadow
Offset X 2.5 Y -2.5
Blur: 4
Opacity: 92

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