The core workflows include:
- Caption creation
- Fixing existing captions
- Translating existing captions
Starting from Scratch
You've loaded a media asset into Imaginary Captions and you're ready to start creating captions. If you've read through the Captions document, you already know most of what you need to know on the technical side. This document covers the workflow aspect.
1. First Run
The first run is where you watch the video and quickly create captions in a fairly sloppy manner in real time. You then clean it up in a second run.
The basic approach of the first run is:
- Set in point
- Build caption
- Enter text and hit save
- (Video automatically plays)
- Set new in point (if necessary)
In prior documentation, we talked about out points. Here, there's nothing about out points! You can go ahead and set and out point and review your selection prior to building the caption, but the fastest workflow is just to build a caption when you reach the out point. You can always change it later.
If you are really good at remembering dialog (or if you have a script in front of you), you can make a first pass in a single run through the video.
Now you get to see what you have done. Start over at the beginning and hit play. Watch the video all the way through.
It's incredibly unlikely you got everything right in the first pass. But you can get a feel for where any errors and omissions might be.
3. Making Adjustments
The first pass was blunt effort to get the structure of the video right. Now you go through and make sure each individual caption is right. Here are some common adjustments:
In point/Out point Too Early/Too Late
Figure out about how off it is, and then manually enter the desired timecode into the Captions Panel. Then click the caption and press play. It will play from the start of the caption so you can see how it looks.
Text Has typos or Other Errors
Select the caption in the Captions Panel and directly edit the text.
Caption Has Too Many Words
If the caption needs to be split up because there's too much text, you can go to the video point at which you'd like to break it up and hit shift-cmd-c to split the caption at roughly that point. This will delete the old caption and create new timestamps broken at that point. It will attempt to guess at roughly where the dialog is, so you may need to adjust the start/end for the new captions.
One or More Captions Could Be Joined
Let's say you have two captions that are really short and occur right next to one another. It might be better to have them appear as a single caption. Select both in the Captions Panel and enter cmd-shift-j to join them together. The in point from the first will be the new caption's end point, and the end point from the last will be the new end point.
Fixing Existing captions
You may have existing captions that you paid someone to do or, worse, that were automatically generated through some AI source. These captions aren't what you'd like them to be and you'd like to fix them.
Or maybe you have captions in one format and just want them made available in another.
Imaginary Captions will import captions in the following formats:
- Web VTT
- AWS Transcribe JSON
- Copy and Paste from Spreadsheet
To import a caption from a file, select the video asset and the proper language in your language drop down. Then click Asset | Import Captions.
The dialog box will prompt you to select an .SRT, .VTT, or .AWS file. Note that .AWS is a made up extension. If you have a file from AWS Transcribe, you will need to rename it with a .AWS extension so Imaginary Captions can recognize it.
If your captions are entered into an Excel or Numbers or Google Spreadsheets document, you can select the cells, copy them, and then paste them into the Captions Panel. Imaginary Captions expects the cell data to match the format of the Captions Panel.
Once you've imported the captions, you can work on them as if you had entered them from scratch into Imaginary Captions. You can then export them back into their original format or in other formats.
In this first release, Imaginary Captions has some basic support for translation workflows. More robus support, including integration with translation automation tools, is the key focus for the next release.
Each project in Imaginary Captions defines a "media language" and a set of translation languages. The media language should be the primary spoken language of the project's video content. The translation languages are the languages you intend to support by providing captions for those languages.
If multi-lingual support isn't part of your workflow, you can happily ignore all of this and simply define your project's media language.
Under the current workflow, you will see each language associated with your project in the languages drop down in the Captions Panel. You then go through your video and caption each language separately.
In the future, we intend to enable you to send the captions you create for your media language out to translation software and then have you or a translator review it inside Imaginary Captions. We also intend to support collaboration with human translation vendors.