This page serves as an overview of how I process subtitle scripts for my releases. It includes different input sources such as Fansub Scripts and/or R1, merging two sources, etc… and gives an estimated time frame for creating a releaseable script, which can greatly vary from 10min to 6hours.
It also briefly explains how I mix different source scripts, if necessary, to achieve the (arguably) best audiovisual watching experience – but it’s a long-ass text.
The basic concept is:
->fix timings and also fix/apply typesetting if necessary
->check typesetting and go over the script one more
->mux and done
However, this can also include working with unstyled scripts sourced from DVDs/Blurays, which may greatly add to the work that is required to complete a script. The calculations are somewhat precise but all in all, it’s a case by case thing. Here you go.
A good average for a TV->BD processing (after encoding) is an estimated time of 15-20min per episode, taking in account that the TV scripts are decent and I can just shift and check all lines for bleeds instead of typesetting for hours. This has worked for Kobato, Railgun, 11 Eyes, Ano Hana, Kamimemo, KanColle, Vanadis, Musaigen and numerous other series that feature decent sub groups (UTW, Commie, FFF, UW, Yuurisan, you name it) and is the easiest task. I did Kobato in just three days like that. See the picture below.
Then we have cases where the scripts suck and require retiming from scratch (+20min), typesetting (+5min up to hours) or adding an OPED if missing (+10min up to an hour with simple karaoke). Some cases require me to recheck the script against a different release from another group, some have me look up google for new fonts (as if 2000 aren’t enough), so let’s say that’s +10min.
To make this a little worse, series that have insane Typesetting in the TV scripts and won’t scale well from e.g. 720p to 1080 (like Sakura Trick or Urara) require me to manually align each-and-every-single-fucking-sign to the target resolution, which takes at least an hour per episode. Sometimes I go lazymode and use a few find-replaces (static signs). If recreating certain typesetting means working hours on a single sign, I sometimes do a quicker workaround or may delete the whole sign if it’s an irrelevant one. I’d say I need between one and three or four hours to polish auch a worst-case script.
Now, we’re ready for the fun that I call script
fuckery magics and that should generally not be attempted oneself. Say there’s no TV fansub script because reasons, so we resort to a R1 set of DVD scripts. Case #1 lets us find those scripts someplace online and gives us .srt scripts that need to be treated like a very terrible, terrible TV script. Case #2 fucks us up a little by making us resort to other places (adc/rutracker) in order to download the R1 DVDs, then demux the subs and OCR them before working on them. Generally, tpp helps in such cases, but it’s still a bitch to work with OCR’d overlapping dialogue. This can take hours or months if the DVDs are offline and has only happened once so far.
Getting Joshikousei‘s ac3 audio required me to download the DVDs and demux/sync the streams.
Seriously, fuck that shit.
But yeah, normally R1 scripts provide (at least) the necessary sign translations for the typesetting and despite some of them being crap, various older series can only be worked on by using R1 subs. If I can’t obtain any fansub scripts somehow, you’ll likely see me using R1.
Let’s now also say that the Typesetting is available, just not really available by being hardcoded in a TV release version, so we get to manually look for all signs in that version and turn them into softsubs which can take minutes to weeks (Whee!). Or we use the R1-way.
So yeah, sometimes this results in one fansub translation script, an R1 script which contains the signs and a third script which contains the OP/ED from yet another fansub release. Often, I also take two fansub scripts, one for the Dialog (muh consistency) and one for Signs/TS/OPED/whatever (R1+FroZen+UTW / Frostii+Shin-gx / UTW+Doki+loligeddon / Hiryuu+Mori / m.3.3.w+FFF, …).
One to six hours work time per episode can be estimated for such cases (Lucky Star eg.).
But that’s cool. We still have a TV translation or an R1 script to work on, right?
Level 3, the Hellhound of the Apocalyptic Dimensional Gate as I call it, has just no script at all. This essentially means you have to rewrite every script from scratch. But there’s still OCRing! Sure there is and I’ve successfully used it with parts of Lucky Star, Tsuyokiss and a lot of testing on One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e, but I’m about as fast doing that manually so I went for typing. Demonbane also had an OVA that I OCRd since there was no script at all to work on, just an xvid video from aeons ago. Back in the days, when HS was still new, groups had typists in their staff to literally retype the complete scripts… funky stuff. The required time to create such a script is about an hour to 90 minutes (given timing takes ~20-25min at a length of 350 lines dialogue) which is then the same level as a R1 script – nude.
Tsuyokiss is the only case I’ve had to deal with a series like this and it also had me put up a whole team around it to rework the scripts completely. I’d say the average work time for a script of TsuKiss was maybe six hours – or eight – including typing, timing, typesetting, TLCing, two-pass editing and QCing, but making it into a release was more a matter of days or weeks per episode. So that’s that.
Over the years I’ve encountered so many different scenarios that increase the workload required to put out a script and even more keeping them consistent that I’m left with 3250 scripts ranging from No Game No Life ep04 (4150 lines, 28MB), NNBR ep01 (17519 lines, 8MB) and other oddities like Sakura Trick (where generally every episode has 10000+ lines and intense TSing).
About 40-50% are source scripts, so that’s about 1600 scripts for all of my releases since I started in 2010 (not calculating deleted scripts). Yup that was a long-ass text.
Putting a total average over the above; I need about 30-60 minutes for most episodes.
The last case happens only if I decide to fully redo a project and can be assumed by adding the initial worktime of a possible [15min to 6h] to another [15min to 6h], depending on how much my initial work sucks. Clannad is currently at revision 4, with revision 5 planned but not estimated yet. Redoing Chaos;Head took 3 minutes per script according to my files, Kannazuki no Miko about one hour per episode, Murder Princess about 45-60min each and Nyan Koi at least two hours per episode iirc.
Nyan Koi was especially annoying because my initial release of 2011 was shit and so I had to fix a ton of stuff before even getting to the script-fuckery-part that would eventually use Frostii’s Dialog and gg for the OPED and signs, but almost zero typesetting at that point.
I remember stuff like manually fixing gradients with clipping and all that autistic bullshit. Assuming that I worked for about 30-60 minutes -on the old scripts- and 1-2h per v2 script estimates a workload of 12*(0,5+1) hours up to 12*(1+2)hours, so 18h to 36h for the whole series and 90min to 3h per episode for both v1 & v2. Compared to Chaos;HeaD, which took ~12*3,5min (45min), that’s only 1/24th of Nyan Koi given finishing NK (completely) took me 18hrs. This should give you a nice overview about the amounts of time I waste but like I said, I can’t pinpoint.