More Captioning Functions

The new captioning tools introduced in Final Cut Pro X 10.4.1 are really simple. The previous blog post covered the basics of CEA-608 captioning. In this post I’ll cover the more advanced functions. Don’t be fooled, the term “advanced” here is relative, cause it’s all super easy and fast, as FCPX just is all around.

More 608 Captioning In FCPX

Now that you understand the bare bone basics from the
previous post, I’m simply going to list the functions and briefly describe what they do, and how you can make them happen via menus, commands, etc. The rest you can figure out easily. And if you have issues, drop me a line.

*And be sure to check the end of this blog post for a really neat unpublished trick for exporting a .scc file without touching the Share menu!

Add Caption
Places new, blank caption clip at the playhead location. New Caption Clips created manually like this are 2 seconds in duration by default. To add a new clip, use one of the following:

Edit > Captions > Add Caption

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 1.09.55 PM

Import Captions
This will import a .scc file and apply it to your currently active Timeline. Be careful to have frame rates matched, or you’ll get a warning about it. This can potentially throw the timing of your Caption Clips off. To apply a .scc file to an active Timeline, use the following:

File > Import > Captions

Edit Caption
To edit the content of a Caption Clip, select it and use one of the following:

Edit > Captions > Edit Caption
Or simply double-click the Caption Clip

To close the Caption Edit box in the Timeline, simply hit the Esc or Return key, or click on something other than the Caption Clip.

Split Captions
This function will cut a Caption Clip into two or more segments. 608 captions can only have four lines of text. Thus each new segment, after the split, will contain one line of text from the original. The position of your playhead does not effect this function at all.

To split (blade cut) a Caption Clip into two or more clips, select it and use one of the following:
Edit > Captions > Edit Caption
Right-click, from pop-up menu chose “Split Clips”.

Join Captions
This function will join multiple Caption Clips into one clip segment. Be careful you don’t end up with too many lines of text.

To join multiple Caption Clips into one clip, select then all and use the following:
Right-click, from pop-up menu chose “Join Clips”

Resolve Overlaps
608 captions can not overlap at all. FCPX will turn overlapping clips red. To do a quick repair, select ALL of the red overlapping clips, and use one of the following:

Edit > Captions > Resolve Overlaps
Right-click, from pop-up menu chose “Resolve Overlaps”

Extract Captions
If you import a clip that already has 608 captions embedded into it, you can pull those captions out to use and edit in your Project timeline. Once done you’ll have Caption Clips all lined up neatly in your Timeline. Each caption becomes its own individual clip, as originally formatted. Simply place that already captioned clip in your Project timeline, select it there, then use:

Edit > Captions > Extract Captions

Duplicate Captions to New Language
You can add captions for other languages with an easy start. This fiction first creates a new Caption Lane, then applies the language sub-role you specify, and then duplicates all of your existing captions to it. It will not translate text to the new language for you! But you can easily go one by one and re-type each Caption Clip’s content into the new language manually, or cut/paste from another document. These languages are all dependent on the 608 standards, so you can’t make up a language that isn’t in the 608 standards already.

To duplicate to a new language Lane, use the following:
Edit > Captions > Duplicate Captions to New Language

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 1.10.04 PM

Captions In The Timeline Index
When captions exist in a timeline, the “Captions” tab of the Timeline Index appears. If there are no captions, you won’t see it. It lists each caption with its text content, plus the start and end timecode of each. Click one, the playhead jumps to it. Anything with validation issues will be in red, obviously. At the top right of the Index you’ll see your total number of Caption Clips, plus the total duration of time they take up altogether.

Clicking the “View Errors” button at the bottom will list only those in red. This button will then read “View All” to go back to viewing the entire list of Caption Clips.

Caption Clips in the Timeline Index can be deleted, but not edited, moved, or altered in any other way.

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 1.11.35 PM

Captioning Keyboard Shortcuts
By default there are only three shortcuts for captioning (add, edit, split). But you can change these, and add custom shortcuts to the other captioning functions via the Command Editor.

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 1.12.07 PM

Bypass Share To Export A Caption File
The “Export Captions” command can have a custom keyboard shortcut (see above) that bypasses the Share function. I assigned it Control-Command-C, since as you can see from the previous screen capture that there are two entries for “Add Clip”, and from my testing, they’re both the same function, so I stole one. LOL! The result of this function is that an .scc file is written to your drive immediately, and you never touch the Share menu. No media is exported with this, only the 608 .scc file.

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 1.12.42 PM

So there you have it, all the captioning information you need to fly through your work. If you need more information, first check the captioning section of the user manual (click here). After that, if you still have issues, feel free to drop me a line.