Video Captions: Typically, people used to consume the majority of the content through text mediums like newspapers, pamphlets, etc. When the internet emerged into the scene, it was also text-driven content there in the form of forums, chats, blogs, etc. There were some other forms like audio and video, too, but not in the mainstream. However, in the recent times of dominance of social media surge, video form of content has emerged as the number consumption source to its users. One of the prime reasons is the accessibility to internet and smartphone, over-exposure of social media, and surge of video-based platforms like Vine, YouTube, etc.
However, it is not all roses when it comes to creating video content because in the plethora of constant uploads around, making a video is one thing and making a commendable video that performs well, is a different game altogether. One strategy that works for multiple creators to gain massive traction is to include subtitles or captions in your videos. Although there is a whole lot of work to add captions or subtitles, and there would be a temptation to upload without such a rigorous task. But posting with captions and subtitles or video captions can make your videos better as people can get an enhanced idea about your video while scrolling on Facebook with autoplay on silent mode. People tend to skip the videos on their feeds, which don’t provide meaning without sound as around 85% of the Facebook users scroll their social media feed with noises off.
Additionally, anyone can watch the whole video without audio, which is preferred by many users at work or any other quiet environment. And, people with hearing disabilities can become your audience through captions. Since it has a critical phenomenon, including captions in a video has become more accessible through various platforms like you can add video captions using designrr,etc.
One thing before we get to the how-to side of it, it is essential to differentiate between subtitles and captions. Both of them usually used interchangeably, but their functionality and procedure of addition are dissimilar. Theoretically, subtitles include only the dialogues and recitations of the video. They are primarily used to translate the content into other foreign languages than the original on to the screen. Whereas captions also include the dialogues and recitations among the characters of the movie or drama, but they also include every other sound or audio effects happening on the scene. It includes loud music playing in the scene, music playing in the background, audio effects like the sound of a punch or kick, glasses shattering, car horns, lion roars, etc. meaning a viewer will get an understanding of anything and everything happening in the scene. Now, let’s get into the how-to of adding captions to your videos.
The majority of the video editors have the capacity and capability of adding, recording, or merely importing captions from external sources. We’ll make sure that we cover the basics, which can apply to every video editor with slight user interface changes.
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Step 1: Script
If you pre-work before production and shooting had proper scripting phase where it was all written, and characters had followed the sequence and flow of the script, then half of the battle is already won. It will save you a massive amount of time. Now, you would only need to copy and paste your script in your video through the captioning feature of your video editor. All you need to focus now is on the length, reading speed, and alignment of the captions with videos. If you already have the script, please skip the next step.
Step 2: Transcription
If your video didn’t have the script, there is always an option available for transcribing your video captions later in the editing phase. You can manually copy it by listening to it with a lot of plays and pauses. There are many professional experts available on the internet as freelancers who can provide such services too. However, there are many other ways to do it also. Some of them are:
1. Speech to Text Features:
A lot of video editors (like Camtasia for Windows) have a “speech to text” feature for your video. It automatically predicts and generates captions as per the audio input it gets. However, the quality and accuracy of it depend on multiple factors like the sound quality of the video, noise, and distortion levels in the video, the accent of the characters for dialogues, etc. Overall, it’s a nice feature but needs your effort in rechecking them.
2. YouTube’s Automatically Generated Transcription:
One more straightforward way to do it is to upload your video on YouTube, which also has a similar feature of automatically generate captions based on its predictions. You can then download its transcription and then use it to add it through your video editor. Again, since it’s auto-generated, it requires accuracy check and alignment from your end.
Step 3: Adding and Adjusting Caption Track on the Timeline
The next step is to put your caption track on the timeline to adjust for the alignment and any other sound editing you need to on it. Here, you will get the ease and benefit in case of having a script already, as you only need to match the start and end of the script dialogues along with matching their runtime. If there is no script, then the process remains the same but quite lengthy and challenging. Rather than pasting the adequate parts of the scripts, you need to type out the conforming dialogues or narrations of that particular scene. It will require clear accuracy, precision, and focus as you have to write only what you listen to in that specific scene.
Step 4: Review, Inspect, and Critique:
Once done with adjusting, it’s time to review your work again and again as it is about to reach its ultimate customers who consume it and build their understanding through it. It involves inspecting that there is no overlapping or misalignment in the audio or video. Plus, you need to be a bit critical on the quality as their many options available to enhance the quality of sound and related effects, which can elevate the ambiance and experience of the content altogether.
Step 5: Finish the Process and Upload or Share:
After two or more reviews, for once, when you are happy, satisfied, and ready to deliver, hit the export button and send it to your recipient or upload on social media for the world to consume.
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No matter what process you follow or which video editor you use to add captions, the main focus must be intact on the preference and simplicity for the end-user.