Using SRT subtitles with DCP style formatting in Resolve 18

There are two common ways to use subtitles within Resolve:

  • Exporting the subtitles as an SRT file with timecodes 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.

Converting SMPTE MXF or XML SMPTE or INTEROP XML subtitles to SRT

I use Subtitle Edit to convert MXF or XML subtitles from a DCP to SRT

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 change the subtitle formatting to DCP-style subtitle formatting

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 color is usually white.
  • The default XML font size is 42 with drop shadow in SMPTE 2014.
  • Some DCPs use border/outline.
  • DCPs use bottom anchoring and center alignment.
  • Some film festivals recommend a font size of 38-42, and the subtitles must be at least 8 percent from the bottom edge.

More info of font size:

The DCP style font size can be 42-50 depending on how you measure it:

A 2048×858 DCP with burned in 42 XML subtitles scaled down to 1920×1080 will have the same size as Arial size 42 in a 1920×1080 Resolve project.

Arial with a font size of 50 in a 1920×1080 project will have the same size as a:

  • a DCP with burned in subtitles with XML size 38 in Flat project (1998×1080)
  • a DCP with burned in subtitles with XML size 42 in a Scope project (2048×858).

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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