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  • Guest Blog: “No Elderly Left Behind”

    Posted on March 31st, 2017 Alex No comments

    By: Irene Herrera, director of the upcoming documentary “No Elderly Left Behind”

    As a documentary filmmaker, I need transcripts and lots of them. I am currently producing a documentary for NHK World on elderly isolation in Japan called “No Elderly Left Behind.” I travel throughout Asia and work in many languages, so I need a way to organize my transcripts and find a workflow for the fixers or translators that help me with the project. For this, InqScribe works like a charm.

    The Project

    Still from "No Elderly Left Behind."

    The number of seniors living alone is on the rise in graying Japan where 26.7% of the population is over 65 and life expectancy for women has reached a whooping average of 86.

    “No Elderly Left Behind” focuses on Yoshie Senda, a dedicated 80-year-old volunteer who is on a mission. For the past 16 years she has been working on rebuilding ties within her community as a collective effort to tackle elderly isolation in Adachi, a ward located in one of the most affected areas in northeastern Tokyo. As she tries her best to embrace her golden years, she relentlessly checks up on her peers to create a space where they can have fun and share their memories of pain and joy.

    Workflow

    I normally work together with 3-4 person crews. We transcribe in InqScribe, export to SubRip SRT, and then use the “title import” from Spherico to bring them into FCP X. I was initially editing and searching for soundbites in Premiere, but in the end settled on FCP X.

    What I love the most is being able to slow down the audio play rate so that you can type as you go. I also love the easy-to-use shortcuts, such as “Insert Timecode.” Before I discovered InqScribe, the translators and fixers I worked with had to manually input time codes and that was pretty painful.

    For transcriptions, InqScribe is my number one. I recommend it to my students whenever they need to do a lot of transcribing in my documentary class at Temple University Japan. For this, InqScribe works like a charm.

    Irene Herrera is a documentary filmmaker and professor at Temple University Japan. Learn more about Irene’s work at her website: ireneherrera.com.

    Thanks Irene! If you’re a documentary filmmaker interested in trying out InqScribe, feel free to request a 14-day trial from inqscribe.com. Otherwise, if you have any questions about InqScribe, feel free to contact us at support@inqscribe.com.

  • Guest Blog: Transcribing Spider Monkeys

    Posted on February 3rd, 2016 Alex No comments

    Did you know you can use InqScribe to transcribe just about any language? Yes, even the language of spider monkeys.

    By: Sandra E. Smith Aguilar, PhD student at the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Regional Development (CIIDIR) Campus Oaxaca, of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico.

    My research focuses on understanding the relationship between spider monkey social structure and space-use. As part of my project, I collected hundreds of hours of behavioral data which I am currently transcribing and processing. I’m specifically studying a wild group of black handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) which live in the Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh protected area in Yucatan, Mexico. To conduct my research I spent 20 months living in a nearby village, going in to study the monkeys for 4-8 hours at a time with another PhD student and village experts.

    Each day, I chose one of the 22 monkeys from the group and recorded detailed accounts of its behavior, including interactions with other individuals as well as general information on grouping and movement patterns. Members of a spider monkey group are rarely found all together. Instead, individuals constantly join and leave subgroups on an hourly basis. This means that the identity of the members of any given subgroup is quite unpredictable (except for the infants and juveniles who usually stay together with their mothers). By following particular individuals, I tried to capture information on how social interactions can influence the monkey’s movement decisions and gain insight on the general principles which shape their social organization.

    Once I finished my field work, I ended up with 539 hours of behavioral records. Besides representing an exciting sample of 174 focal follows of all group members, this also meant that a long transcription process was ahead of me.

    What do you think they're saying?

    Initially, I considered using software for animal behavior research. However, the options I looked into did not allow for as many behavioral categories and extra data as I had. Given the narrative style of my recordings and the number of details I included in each entry, I needed something that allowed me to put as much information as I needed without the painful process of looking for the correct cell in a pre-designed giant spread sheet with columns for each piece of information.  At the same time, I needed to export the transcription in a format which allowed me to easily generate, manage, and format a database for further analysis. Both of these features drew me to InqScribe.

    In general, I’ve found the program is really easy to use. I’m particularly grateful for the ability to define personalized snippets and shortcuts, as well as the variety of export options which together have saved me endless hours in front of the computer.

    Thanks Sandra! We’re happy to hear InqScribe makes it easier to conduct your research. Whether you’re researching spider monkeys in the Yucatan or transcribing a simple dialogue, consider trying out InqScribe with our free 14-day trial. If you’d like to learn more, or if you have any questions about InqScribe, feel free to contact us at support@inqscribe.com.

  • Guest Blog: Global Collaboration Made Easy for Dalit Women Fight

    Posted on June 26th, 2015 Alex No comments

    The Dalit Women Fight crew uses InqScribe to translate footage for their feature-length documentary. Read about their work, and how InqScribe helps them cross language barriers.

    By: Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Director of Dalit Women Fight

    #Dalitwomenfight!

    Dalit Women Fight is a transmedia documentary that looks at the issue behind the rape epidemic in India: caste-based sexual violence. Dalit Women Fight braids the stories of three women as they move from despair to courage during the events surrounding the global Dalit Women’s Self-Respect Movement, a transnational campaign calling for an end to caste-based sexual violence.

    Dalit is a term that refers to South Asia’s Untouchable people, and the Dalit women at the heart of this film are leading India’s largest historical challenge to India’s rape and caste culture through the Dalit Women’s Self­-Respect March. The strategies used by the Dalit movement mirror the U.S. Freedom Rides, mashed-up with the Take Back the Night marches. The goal of our documentary is to educate others about the Dalit Women Fight Movement and to challenge the current systems of violence.

    InqScribe: Where Everything Comes Together

    We use InqScribe to translate footage from all over the world. In India alone we have over 12 languages, often from very inaccessible rural areas where the dialects are difficult to translate. InqScribe allows us to upload footage and tap into local leaders working remotely, who can then create vital transcripts that are used for editing and titling. Our volunteers translate Hindi, Bhojupuri, Marathi and Urdu reels of footage, working remotely in locations spanning from Haryana to Los Angeles. We recruit many different sets of eyes and ears looking to be involved in the production process. Without InqScribe, our process would be so much more tedious as there would be no single platform that can handle all the tasks that InqScribe lets us centralize.

    #Dalitwomenfight! from Thenmozhi on Vimeo.

    In the past, we used several programs, playing video with QuickTime or Windows Media Player and transcribing with Microsoft Word or Notepad. It was such a problem, due to the lack of time stamps, sound control boards and other necessary controls. InqScribe is a single tool. Dozens of our volunteers are able to accurately utilize it with little to no difficulty. Our workflow has expanded greatly, and we have been able to produce vital footage within our time-sensitive schedule. With InqScribe, we’re able to make the most of our translation production time and increase the translation quality by hiring qualified translators who can easily be given access to the tool.

    Our favorite feature is the timecode shortcut and the options for multiple export formats. Since our project is multi-layered and requires extensive editing and reviews, we are able to adequately connect translators with footage. InqScribe has been extremely easy to use for our multi-lingual translators who have little experience with translation software, and we are always impressed by the high quality production.


    Dalit Women FightAbout the Author

    Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit American transmedia artist/activist and the Director of the full-length documentary Dalit Women Fight.

    Thanks Sharmin! Learn more about Dalit Human Rights and caste-based violence at ncdhr.org.in/aidmam. For any questions or comments about InqScribe, shoot us an email at support@inqscribe.com.

  • Creating a Transcript with InqScribe and Dragon NaturallySpeaking

    Posted on September 12th, 2014 Alex No comments

    When we’re asked about speech recognition software, it’s often from new users hoping to automate their transcription process. Although InqScribe doesn’t include any speech recognition technology, you can easily use InqScribe in conjunction with other speech-to-text software.

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the most popular speech recognition product on the market. “Dragon” has been around for over 17 years, with version 13.0 recently released for PC by Nuance Communications. For Mac users, there’s also an OS X edition called Dragon Dictate. In this article however, we’ll be looking at Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Home Edition.

    As you might guess, Dragon essentially converts your voice into text, also allowing for command triggers such as “Open My Documents” and “Delete Line.” Although true transcription automation isn’t quite there yet, you can use Dragon effectively with your own voice.

    Automatic Transcription

    Wouldn’t it be great if a program could listen to audio and create an exact text of the recording? Well, in reality it’s a little more complicated. Before digging into Dragon, it’s worth laying out some of the difficulties of automatic transcription:

    1. Computers have a hard time distinguishing a single voice from the noise and general messiness of most recordings. There are often ambient sounds or background chatter in even the most pure recordings.
    2. It’s difficult for speech recognition programs to remain accurate moving from speaker-to-speaker. Everyone’s voice sounds a little different, so programs like Dragon work best by training with and focusing on one voice.
    3. Even in ideal conditions, speech recognition isn’t perfect. It’s never going to be 100% accurate because it mishears you or maybe it just doesn’t understand a colloquial word. A lot of what we “hear” from language comes from context and nuances in our speech and body language. Speech recognition technology just isn’t advanced enough to pick up on such complex information.

    So, if you’re still interested in trying out automation, the Pro and Legal Editions of Dragon 12 support speech-to-text conversation from audio recordings (click here for a PDF comparison of these editions). This feature is intended to work only with your own, trained voice due to the limitations explained above. However, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out the voice recognition on multiple speakers.

    One possible transcription method is to run an initial pass with Dragon, and then use InqScribe to follow along and edit its mistakes. I’ll note that we haven’t tested this method, and I imagine the results will vary widely from recording to recording. Check out this video on how to transcribe from an audio recording with Dragon 12 Pro.

    Parroting a transcript

    The most reliable method recommended by InqScribe users is to “parrot” your audio source. This entails listening to your media file and repeating everything you’d like to transcribe out loud into Dragon. Parroting is not automatic, but to some it’s a welcome alternative to the keyboard gymnastics of traditional transcription. Here are the steps:

    1. Launch Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    2. Open up a new InqScribe document
    3. Load your audio or video file by navigating to Select Media Source>Select File
    4. Press play (feel free to adjust the play speed to suite your pace)
    5. Listen to and repeat out load everything you’d like Dragon to write into your InqScribe transcript
    6. Once your finished transcribing, make sure to review the text for errors

    I found myself using voice recognition to get down the general text of the transcript while controlling media playback and timecodes using InqScribe’s keyboard shortcuts and my mouse. This frees your hands to focus on media manipulation. It’s also nice to have the precision of keyboard shortcuts for inserting timecodes.

    Dragon Transcript Capture

    InqScribe and Dragon in action

    How well does parroting work?

    As a speech recognition software, Dragon does a pretty good job of understanding your voice. It will even improve the more you use it. There is a bit of a learning curve, which mostly comes from training yourself to be effective with voice commands and corrections.

    You’ll have to learn to regularly check Dragon for mistakes because, as hard as it tries, it’s never going to be 100% accurate. Honestly, many of the errors I encountered felt like my own fault- from stuttering or not clearly annunciating  my words. As any transcriptionist knows, language is a messy thing. This means you’ll have to watch Dragon’s work for errors, which can disrupt your workflow. Even after your dictation, you’ll want to budget some time to make sure homophones like “example” don’t wind up as “egg sample.”

    Factoring in these corrections, I found parroting with Dragon to be slower than manually typing the transcript. This will certainly depend on your typing speed and how proficient you are with Dragon’s voice interface.

    Be aware that prolonged sessions will leave your voice tired. This might seem obvious, but you’ll get physically fatigued much faster than by typing normally. For this reason, I don’t think I would recommend Dragon to knock out wordy transcripts. I know my voice tires easily, so if you’re used to talking all day, it might be less of an issue for you (hello teachers).

    Overall, I’m not sure that I would recommend Dragon to someone who has no issue manually typing a transcript. It just doesn’t offer a clear advantage. If, however, you’re plagued by slow typing, mental blocks, physical impairments, or just love the sound of your own voice, then Dragon can be a great tool. Just be willing to make it through a high learning curve before you can really start plowing through transcripts.

  • Guest Blog: Using InqScribe to Record the Wabanaki Experience

    Posted on July 17th, 2014 Alex No comments

    Many nonprofits use InqScribe to help transcribe interviews and spread their message. In this guest blog, Rachel George explains how she came across InqScribe through her work with the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC.

    By: Rachel George, Research Coordinator

    Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC ChildrenThe Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission is charged with clarifying the experiences of Wabanaki Native American children and families involved with state child welfare. Historically there has been an incredibly high rate of removal of native children who were placed into non-native homes, resulting in continued intergenerational trauma and loss of culture. The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act implemented new placement priorities recognizing the ties that native children have to their tribes, as well as the tribe’s interest in their children. This made it harder for native children to be placed in non-Native homes, yet the State of Maine continued to have high rates of removal.

    The TRC is investigating these removals by hearing the experiences of native children and families, and also from state officials, case workers, service providers and adoptive and foster families. From these investigations we’ve gathered a number of video and audio recordings from private statements, interviews, and focus groups. With the help of a few volunteers, we are currently working on transcribing an increasing pool of interviews and statements which are all approximately an hour long.

    Prior to coming across InqScribe, we were simply running the video through QuickTime and having a word document open simultaneously. I am sure I don’t need to tell you that this was a lot less effective than using InqScribe. Having the video and text in a single window streamlined our process. Since we’re working with long videos and multiple transcribers, it’s great to have a program that helps us stay organized and consistent. And, unlike some other transcribing software, InqScribe allows us to transcribe video as well as audio recordings.

    Overall, InqScribe has been a really valuable resource for us and has sped up the process of transcribing statements and interviews. It’s a system I am very happy to support and was very keen to push to my staff and colleagues.


    Research Coordinator Rachel GeorgeAbout the Author

    Rachel is a young indigenous scholar from Vancouver, British Columbia. As a member of the Ahousaht First Nation, she has grown into an advocate for indigenous rights. She has a genuine and enthusiastic commitment to strengthening the voices of indigenous peoples, and seeking methods of redress that are complementary to indigenous needs and rights.

    Thanks Rachel! Interested in learning more? Check out the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC website and read Rachel’s generous endorsement of InqScribe.

  • Guest blog: A Filmmaker Uses InqScribe for Translations and Subtitles

    Posted on May 22nd, 2014 christina No comments

    InqScribe is popular among filmmakers for a variety of reasons. In our latest guest blog, Scott Squire shares his workflow to translate and create subtitles for his documentary.

    by Scott Squire, Independent Producer & InqScribe user

    Our movie, The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a feature documentary about women’s empowerment, the complexities of globalization and the crisis of mental health support in Nepal. We shot our movie over seven years on six different cameras, with varying degrees of asset management rigor. We ended up with nearly 200 hours of footage to be logged and/or translated and subtitled. This project taught us the value of having solid workflows—from managing footage in the field through the process of translation. We cannot stress the importance of having a process (that works with every camera!) before you shoot a single frame.

    Our translators at work

    Our workflow includes the use of InqScribe and Final Cut Pro to produce translations and final subtitles for our movie. Critical to our process is having a clear folder/file structure that essentially depicts our workflow. I will refer to the folder/filenames used on our project, but obviously these would change based on your own project details.

    Folder structure to organize our workflow

    Set up

    We make sure that the top-level directory is accessible from all of our workstations. Our workflow begins with our editor placing callouts for the media that needs translating in the folder called In1. Fiona Highlighted Documents. Sometimes these are snippets from a clip, sometimes a whole reel. She reads our transcripts and highlights them, and then sends us scans of the highlighted pages as PDFs. (Unfortunately, on this project, we didn’t have InqScribe at the start, which means our original transcripts were in a variety of formats.)

    Review the translation and verify timecode in InqScribe

    We assemble all of the relevant translated files and then create an InqScribe document for each clip. Our workflow involves moving the InqScribe transcripts through a series of reviews by native speakers who verify the accuracy of the translation and the placement of timecodes. Timecode references should be at least at 10-second intervals (we recommend every 4-5 seconds). Be careful with InqScribe’s sensitive timecode selection so that you don’t timecodes out of order. And be sure to have opening AND closing timecodes in InqScribe or else your subtitles will run too long.

    Export XML file from InqScribe to Final Cut Pro

    Once the translation is complete and the timecodes are reviewed, we use InqScribe to export an XML file to be used in Final Cut Pro. It’s good to keep your XML template easy to access because you’ll be using it a lot. We keep ours at the top-level folder of our shared directory: /Master Wrapping Subtitle Template v1.3 (use this one).xml.

    Instructions for creating a custom FCP 7 XML export template can be found in InqScribe’s Knowledge Base.

    Very important is the naming of files. InqScribe will show the default name as “export.xml.” Click the “Choose” button to select a destination to save the file. Navigate to /Out2. Subtitle XMLs for Final Cut Pro > Interview XMLs from InqScribe. The name of the XML needs to match the file it came from. The best way to do this is to navigate to the original InqScribe file, select and copy the name (all but the “.inqscr” extension) and paste this into the pane of the export dialog. Double check your naming and destination—this is a big pain if you get it wrong. CONSISTENCY and ACCURACY in naming and filing are CRITICAL.

    If you’re lucky, when you click “Export,” the export window will just close and your shiny new XML file will turn up in the proper place. If InqScribe alerts you to a non-consecutive timecode you will need to go back and correct where needed. The error will only tell you approximately where to start fixing first. Cancel out and go back to check all of the timecodes where the error message is indicated.

    Import XML files to Final Cut Pro (FCP)

    In Final Cut Pro, you will create a project (Subtitle_Master_Project) and import the first InqScribe XML file in the scene you just created. When you import the InqScribe XML, it will come into FCP as a sequence with the generic name that matches your text generator template (Master Wrapping Subtitle Template…). You must change this back to the name of the original file. As before, navigate back to the file and copy and paste the name in the FCP browser to replace the template name.

    Drag the newly imported sequence into the timeline. It will contain only a subtitle track. Next, import the associated master footage or locate the clip and drag it into the FCP browser window. When the media clip has been imported, be sure it’s in the right folder inside the browser. Drag the clip into the timeline so that you have both footage (video and audio) AND a subtitle track above the video. These should be the same length, but there may be gaps in the transcription file. If the closing timecode was correctly input in the InqScribe file, the endpoint will match the end point of the media.

    If you’ve done your job in InqScribe, the clip lengths should all match up and you’ll have a subtitled sequence! You can now export the sequence from Final Cut Pro as a XML to send to your editor.


    About the author

    Scott Squire is a filmmaker who, along with his wife Amy Benson, is the producer of The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

  • Create Subtitles with InqScribe and Final Cut Pro 7

    Posted on March 6th, 2014 christina No comments

    InqScribe’s integration with Final Cut Pro has made it a popular tool among filmmakers, particularly when their projects require generating subtitles.

    Sometimes we come across interesting blog posts from users about how they put InqScribe to use. Here’s one from Jessey Dearing of Talking Eyes Media about how he uses InqScribe along with Final Cut Pro 7 for subtitling. Take a look at his step-by-step guide for how to integrate these applications to quickly and easily produce subtitles for  film projects.

    Using InqScribe with Final Cut Pro

    Do you have an interesting story about how you’re using InqScribe? Please contact us at support-at-inqscribe.com if you’d like to share a story about a workflow or a project that uses Inqscribe.

  • InqScribe Tips: Format Transcripts as Tables

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 christina No comments

    We often get inquiries from our users about how to format text as tables in InqScribe. Because InqScribe’s transcript window is “plain text,” it does not support tables. However, we can suggest these methods for converting InqScribe transcripts into table format.

    Many of our users use the Tab key to delineate columns and the Return key to delineate rows. You can export your transcript as “Tab-delimited text” from within InqScribe and then open in a program that supports tables, such as Word or Excel.

    Word

    1. Export the transcript as Tab-delimited Text…

    File > Export > Tab Delimited Text...

    Click export

    2. Open the exported text file. Select the text, and then copy and paste into a blank Word document.

    Open the text file

    Copy the text

    Paste into Word

    3. Choose Table>Convert>Convert text to table to convert the text to a table.

    Table > Convert > Convert to Table

    Click OK

    Text formatted as a table

    To further format your table (e.g., change the color of the cells or borders) choose Format>Borders and Shading…

    You can also export your transcript as HTML, which creates an HTML-based table format. You can open the HTML file directly in Word and repeat the steps above to create a table with borders.

    Excel

    1. Open the exported text file. Select the text, and then copy and paste into a blank spreadsheet.

    Copy the text

    Paste into a blank spreadsheet

    Text in Excel


    Your tips and ideas

    Do you have another way of formatting transcripts created in InqScribe? Need additional features? Let us know via our customer feedback pages.

  • InqScribe and Final Cut Pro 7: Subtitling Workflow for Filmmakers

    Posted on November 15th, 2013 chad No comments

    We occasionally feature guest bloggers who can offer insights into different workflows. For the beginning documentary filmmaker, managing Final Cut Pro (FCP) workflows in a foreign language in combination with InqScribe can be daunting at first. This is why we asked Chad Braham, an experienced InqScribe and FCP user to describe his workflow in detail. While you may find that your specific workflow needs to be slightly different, we hope that this offers some insight into one approach, or gives you some ideas about how you can set up your own.


    Hi, my name is Chad Braham. I’m a media producer, filmmaker, and a big fan of InqScribe. So when Inquirium invited me to write about how I create subtitled sequences using FCP 7 and InqScribe, I jumped at the chance.

    This tutorial is written for the beginner filmmaker and focuses on timecode syncing and template editing. This tutorial will teach you how to:

    • set up a workflow for adding subtitles to all of the clips in an FCP project;
    • assemble a custom InqScribe Export Template in FCP for subtitle slide creation;
    • and produce subtitled sequences in FCP that you can use to put together your film.

    This workflow is particularly useful when working with foreign languages. The addition of subtitles makes it possible for an editor not familiar with the language to put together a film. This process can be applied to projects using full-resolution/online versions of clips, or low-resolution/offline versions (ProRes Proxy).

    Step 1:
    Create a new bin and sequence

    A. In FCP, create a new bin in your project to keep copies of the clips to be translated and subtitled: File > New > Bin. Name the bin “For Translation.”

    InqScribe subtitles

    B. Create a new sequence in the “For Translation” bin:

    1. Choose a clip that needs to be translated from your project.
    2. Select the “For Translation” bin and then choose File > New > Sequence.

    Example: We named our clip “Interview Clinic Director 03” and named the sequence “Clinic Director 03.”

    C. Overwrite-Edit the clip to be translated on to V1 and A1/A2 at the very start of the new sequence in the timeline.

    InqScribe subtitling

    Tip: You can also export a clip directly from FCP without putting it in a sequence to be prepped, which will produce the same result: A sequence that includes the clip on V1 and the subtitle on V2. Creating the sequence now and prepping the clips is a best practice.

    Step 2:
    Prep the sequence for export

    A. Insert the “Timecode Reader” filter on the sequence by selecting the timeline window with the appropriate sequence and choosing Effects > Video Filters > Video > Timecode Reader.

    B. Tweak the filter’s parameters and copy it to your “For Translation” bin for use on other translations:

    1. Double-click the clip in video track 1 (V1) in the “Timeline” to load the clip into the “Viewer” window.
    2. Choose the “Filters” tab in the viewer window for filter settings. We chose these “Timecode Reader” settings: “Size” = 12, “Center” = 0 – 468.5.
    3. Apply the filter by dragging it from the viewer into your “For Translation” bin.

    InqScribe subtitling

    Tip: Having timecode “burnt” onto the video file can be very useful. It can serve as a reference to crosscheck when importing subtitles and when collaborating or sharing low-res (raw) clips from a project. The presence of timecode on a clip reminds people (including opinionated clients) that the clip is for reference only and not ready for general public distribution.

    C. Do a rough mix of the audio in the sequence to ensure that the translator can hear the audio clearly. We isolated the mic on track A1 for the interviewee and kept the interviewer’s mic on track A2, only at the open and close of the clip so we had context for the interview content.

    Step 3:
    Export the sequence into a low-resolution clip for transcription

    A. Set In-and-Out points at the start and end of the clip in the sequence. The accuracy of the In-and-Out points is vital to having your subtitles sync to this clip later on:

    1. Click on the clip in the video track (V1) in the sequence.
    2. With the clip selected, choose Mark > Mark Selection.

    InqScribe subtitling

    B. Export the sequence by selecting File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion:

    1. When the “Save” dialog appears, choose “Options” from the lower-left corner of the box to open the “Movie Settings” dialog.
    2. Settings will largely be dependent on the native format of the video you are editing in FCP. In our example, the native format is 1080p 23.98fps – audio at 48khz. To downsize from this widescreen aspect ratio we used these settings:

    – Video Settings –
    Compression Type: Photo – JPEG
    Depth: Color
    Frame Rate: “Current” fps
    Quality: Medium
    Video Size > Dimensions: Custom 320×180

    – Sound Settings –
    Format: Linear PCM
    Channels: Mono
    Rate 48.000 kHz
    Render Quality: Normal
    Linear PCM Settings – Sample Size: 16 bits (Little Endian)

    Deselect “Prepare for Internet streaming”

    Tip: There are modern video compression types such as H.264. As beautiful and compact as the newer compression codecs are, they are also processor intensive during playback. On some computers, especially older ones, this can adversely affect the performance of InqScribe, causing the video to skip or the audio to drop out. We found the Photo – JPEG compression to be more reliable, even on older PCs.

    Step 4:
    Create subtitle template and organize bins and sequencesInqScribe subtitling

    A. Create a sub-bin inside of your “For Translation” bin and name it “Subtitle Templates:”

    1. Select the “For Translation” bin and control-click on the title and choose, “New Bin” from the drop-down menu.
    2. Select the new bin and name it “Subtitle Templates.”

    B. Create a new sequence in the “Subtitle Templates” bin:

    1. Select the “Subtitle Templates” bin and control-click on the title and choose “New Sequence” from the drop-down menu.
    2. Open the “Subtitle Templates” bin and rename this new sequence using the same name as the InqScribe subtitlingformat of your project. In our example: “1920x1080_23.98fps_Template01.”

    C. Add a single Text Generator and adjust the text generator font, settings, etc.:

    1. In the “Browser” window, click on the “Effects” tab.
    2. Open the “Video Generator” folder by clicking on the disclosure triangle.
    3. Open the “Text” tab by clicking on the disclosure triangle.
    4. Double-click the “Outline Text” generator.
    5. Choose the “Controls” tab from the “Viewer” window to set the characteristics.

    Here are some recommended settings:

    Font: Arial Narrow
    Style: Plain
    Alignment: Center
    Size: 23
    Tracking: 3
    Leading: 0
    Aspect: 1
    Line Width: 50
    Line Softness: 38
    Center: 0, 326 (You may need to adjust the center Y point depending on the size of your movie)
    Text Color: White
    Line Color: Black

    D. Overwrite-Edit the Outline Text video generator from the “Browser” window into the very beginning of the sequence timeline.

    InqScribe subtitling

    Step 5:
    Save the sequence


    InqScribe can export certain types of XML files that FCP 7 can display as subtitled text on top of your original video clip. But first, you need to define a template of the text for InqScribe in a format that matches your project. Refer to InqScribe’s detailed support document on creating a FCP 7 subtitle template when troubleshooting any template issues.


    Step 6:
    Export the subtitle template sequence as an XML template for use in InqScribe

    A. Choose the subtitle template sequence located in the “Subtitle Templates” bin (“1920x1080_23.98fps_Template01,” in our example). Control-click on the title and choose “Export > XML…” from the drop-down menu.

    InqScribe subtitling

    B. Select “Apple XML Interchange Format, version 1” in the export dialog box.

    C. Click “OK.”

    D. If prompted, Save the project.

    E. You’ll then be prompted to save the XML file. For this example, lets call it “ClinicDirector_InqScribeTemplate.xml.”

    Step 7:
    Send the file to the transcriptionist

    In most cases, transcription work is performed by someone other than the filmmaker. The beauty of InqScribe is that it is so easy to use even people who have never subtitled or transcribed before can get the job done efficiently. By marking timecodes for each short phrase, the translator creates the subtitles in InqScribe as well.

    It is best to keep the instructions to the translator as simple as possible; you want him/her to focus on translating, not the technical issues. In the next step, the filmmaker will open the translator’s InqScribe file (.inqscr) and make any necessary adjustments. For our workflow, the exchange between translator and filmmaker looks like this:

    A. The filmmaker sends the timecode burn-in reference movie and notes to the translator (in our example, the timecode burn-in reference video file that was exported in Step 3):

    1. Use a service like Google Drive or Dropbox instead of email to send the video files.
    2. If possible, send notes to the translator to provide some background on each clip, such as who the person is in relation to your film, an overview of the questions asked, the setting, etc.

    B. The translator launches InqScribe, imports the timecode burn-in reference video, and sets the frame rate of the video (see details below).

    C. The translator transcribes the video making sure to put timecode stamps after each short phrase. You want to break up the transcription into many pieces for the purpose of subtitles.

    D. After the translator is finished transcribing the video clip, only the .inqscr translated file needs to be sent back to the filmmaker (this file is usually small enough to be attached to an email). Having the source .insqscr file allows you to make last minute tweaks and troubleshoot any exchange issues that may arise.

    Step 8:
    Export FCP XML from InqScribe

    This step picks up after the initial transcription is complete, and assumes that the translator has delivered the completed transcript with plenty of timecode stamps to break up the text into small phrases for subtitles. The filmmaker will repeat many of the steps in InqScribe that the translator has done, just to ensure that everything is in order for the FCP XML export:

    A. Launch InqScribe and open the transcript.

    B. Be sure the frame rate matches your project:

    1. Select the “Transcript Setting” button on the top right of the InqScribe interface.
    2. Select the correct frame rate from the transcript settings dialog.

    C. Set the Media start time to match the timecode window burn on your video clip:

    InqScribe subtitling

    1. Open the Media Source dialog: Media> Select Media Source.
    2. In the dialog box, choose “Start at Custom Time:” from the “Timecode” drop-down, and type in the timecode that is burnt on the opening frame of your video file. This setting will ensure that any new timecode marks you put in will match your timecode.

    D. Match the timecode in the transcript to the video timecode. For example, if your transcript timecodes start 0:00:00.00, but the time stamp starts at 0:01:12.00, then you want to adjust the transcript’s timecodes to match your clip’s time.

    InqScribe subtitles

    1. Open the “Transcript Settings” dialog: Transcript > Adjust Timecodes.
    2. Choose the “Add” option from the drop-down menu and enter the start time from your video clip’s timecode burn-in window into the timecode field. If your transcript timecode doesn’t starts at 0:00, then enter the difference between the transcript timecode and the clip’s timecode.

    NOTE: Unfortunately, FCP can run into problems if the timecode is greater than 12 hours (eg. 12:09:22:15). If the timecode is greater than 12 hours, apply steps C and D AFTER the transcript is exported as an FCP XML.

    Tip: Before exporting an XML file, it’s often a good idea to make sure that the timecodes provided by the translator are not out of sequence (this actually happens fairly often) by exporting as HTML first.

    E. Export the FCP 7 XML:

    1. In InqScribe, select File > Export > Final Cut Pro XML to open the export dialog.
    2. Click the “Load From File…” button in the export dialog to choose the template file that was exported from FCP (“ClinicDirector_InqScribeTemplate.xml,” in our example).
    3. In the “Target” field, rename the file so you can easily find it (“ClinicDirector_InqScribeExport.xml”). Click the “Export” button.

    InqScribe subtitling

    Tip: Before leaving InqScribe, it’s a good idea to also export a tab-delimited version of the transcript with the proper timecode that is burnt into the timecode window. This can be matched against camera recorded timecode for referencing clips in the future. Again, if your timecode was greater than 12 hours, go back and set the timecode following steps C and D before exporting the tab-delimited version.

    Step 9:
    Import the Subtitles XML from InqScribe into FCP 7

    A. Open your FCP project.
    B. Create a new sub bin in the “For Translation” bin of your project and title it “Subtitles Temp.”

    1. In the “Browser” window, open the “For Translation” bin.
    2. In the “For Translation” bin control-click on an empty area in the far left column and choose “New Bin” from the drop-down menu.

    InqScribe subtitling

    3. Title this bin “Subtitles Temp.”

    C. Import the subtitles XML exported from InqScribe (created in Step 6):

    1. Choose File > Import > XML… and select the exported XML (“ClinicDirector_InqScribeExport.xml,” in our example).
    2. Leave the default settings and click “OK.”

    NOTE: In FCP, the XML file exported from InqScribe is renamed automatically to the original template name with the word “InqScribe” at the end and placed in the main project window. For example: “1920x1080_23.98fps_Template01_InqScribe.”

    D. Rename this file to what it was when exported from InqScribe by selecting the filename in the FCP project and replacing with: “ClinicDirector_InqScribeExport.”
    E. Drag the clip into your “Subtitles Temp” sub bin located in your “For Translation” bin.

    Step 10:
    Sync the original video clip to your subtitles

    A. Open the subtitle sequence you placed in the “Subtitles Temp” bin by double-clicking the title (“ClinicDirector_InqScribeExport,” in our example) and prep the subtitles to be copied and pasted onto your video clip sequence:

    1. With the subtitle sequence open, make sure the first frame of the subtitle is extended all the way to the very beginning of the sequence (this will ensure that the sequence stays in sync when copied).

    InqScribe subtitling

    2. Create a new video layer by control-clicking on the far left-hand column in the “Timeline” window above the “V1” label in this sequence and choose “Add Track” from the drop-down menu.

    InqScribe subtitling
    3. Select all of the subtitle slides by choosing Edit > Select All and click -drag them to video track 2 (V2). Be sure that all of the titles are selected and that the selection is kept in sync to the opening of the sequence (there should be no gap between the opening of the sequence and the start of the first subtitle).
    4. With all of the titles still selected, choose Edit > Copy.

    B. Place the selected subtitle slides on top of the video clip sequence:

    1. Open the video sequence to be subtitled from the “For Translation” bin in Step 1. In our example, the sequence “Interview Clinic Director 03” is located in the “For Translation” bin.
    2. Create a second video track on the video sequence by control-clicking on the far left-hand column in the “Timeline” window, above the track “V1” label and choose “Add Track” from the drop-down menu.
    3. Move the timeline play head to the beginning of the sequence in the “Timeline” window by selecting the “Timeline” window and choosing Mark > Go to > Beginning.
    4. With the play head at the beginning of the sequence (to keep in sync) paste the subtitles by choosing Edit >Paste. The subtitles should insert on video track 2 (V2) above the video on (V1).

    C. With the “Timecode Reader” filter still active on the original video clip in video track 1 of your sequence (V1), you can cross-reference the timecode with the timecode marks in your original InqScribe transcription to make sure that everything matches.

    InqScribe subtitling

    D. Once you have everything lined up in the sequence, you can hide the “Timecode Reader” filter:

    1. Double click the clip in video track 1 (V1) in the “Timeline” window to load the clip in the “Viewer” window.
    2. Choose the “Filters” tab in the viewer window and uncheck the box next to “Timecode Reader.”

    E. For each additional clip/interview that you need subtitled, you can repeat most of the steps above, re-using the XML template created in Step 3.

    Once your subtitled sequence is completed in FCP, you can play through the sequence, tweak the subtitles and drop markers to designate “Subclips” that you want to highlight within the clip to organize the content. When ready, you can mark In and Out points from segments of this sequence and edit them into your main edit sequence as you begin to build your film.

    As stated earlier, this tutorial is based on an on-line/full-resolution workflow. If you plan on using an off-line workflow (such as logging and capturing offline RT first and then converting to a higher ProRes later) the workflow is the same, except you will need to conform the sequence to the full resolution media. The beauty of this FCP/InqScribe workflow is that it relies on FCP’s text generator, which will rebuild the subtitles to match the resolution of whatever FCP sequence you copy and paste them into (no re-exporting from InqScribe/FCP required).

    Read more about:
    • The process of using the “Media Tool” in FCP7 to conform ProRes Proxy media to Full-res media in your project. (PDF)

    FCP7 Offline/Online workflows.

    For additional support on using InqScribe and Final Cut Pro, review the FCP section of the InqScribe online user guide and the FCP section of the InqScribe Knowledge Base.

    A final word about subtitles

    Good subtitle work is subtle and done in a way that doesn’t distract from the emotion of the story. Here are a few tips to turn you into a subtitling master in FCP:

    • When possible, stack the text into two lines on the screen, but no more than two lines at a time. Subtitles are quicker to read in chunks rather than one long string.
    • When two people speak during one title, the second speaker’s text goes on the second line with a “-” before the text:

    Hey Chad, do you like these subtitles?
    -Yes, of course I do, Ben. Thanks for asking!

    • Look for times when you can reasonably break one really full subtitle slide into several smaller, less full screens.
    • Keep in mind that the average viewer will only be able to read 11 characters per second. This can help you determine how long a subtitle should be onscreen and how much text should be on each subtitle slide.
    • In FCP, consider adding 3-5 frame spacing between each subtitle slide to increase readability.

    The timing and cadence of subtitles is an art in and of itself and goes hand-in-hand with the video edit. Because of this, the final touches on your subtitles will most likely be done back in FCP as your film editing and post-production process unfolds. As other elements are added (SFX, music, etc.), you may need to finesse the duration of one title, break another into shorter ones, or stack lines on top of each other. That’s really the beauty of this system: Once the titles are in FCP you can edit the text and duration without any loss in quality to the text or the video.


    I certainly hope this tutorial has been helpful. As always, there are many different workflows and methods to get the job done. Regardless of method, I hope this tutorial has impressed upon you the importance of taking the time to be organized during each step of any workflow. As beginning filmmakers, you will be required to wear multiple hats (director, editor, producer, etc.) and staying organized is the only way to efficiently balance all of these tasks, especially as your projects get bigger.

    About the author
    Chad Braham is a media producer with over 13 years of professional broadcast and multimedia experience. He freelances as a videographer, video editor, and audio producer on projects ranging from :30 TV spots to documentary films. When not spending his days and nights in a dark editing bay, Chad (for some reason) enjoys following the Chicago Cubs.

  • Using InqScribe With Dropbox to Share Media With Others

    Posted on June 12th, 2012 matt No comments

    InqScribe users often work collaboratively.  Since InqScribe transcripts are very small files, it’s easy to share them with colleagues — say, as an email attachment.

    But media files are usually huge, and unless you have access to a shared server, sharing the media files that go with your transcript can be difficult.

    Enter InqScribe’s Media URL feature. This feature allows InqScribe to play an InqScribe-compatible media file hosted on a website using a publicly sharable URL.

    Here’s one example of how to do this using the popular Dropbox service:

    1. Sign up for a free Dropbox account
    2. Drop an InqScribe-compatible video in a Dropbox Public folder. (Generally, anything that plays in QuickTime or Windows Media Player will play in InqScribe.)
    3. Locate your media file in the Dropbox Public folder (bear in mind it must be the public folder in order for InqScribe to locate it), and right click the icon. In the contextual menu, select the Dropbox: Copy Public URL option.
      Dropbox Sharable Link
    4. Launch InqScribe
    5. Click the “Select Media Source…” button above the video pane, then choose “Source Type: Media-based URL.”
    6. Paste the public Dropbox URL from your clipboard. Click ok and the video should load.

    Now, when you email your InqScribe transcript to a colleague, the URL will go with it. When they open the transcript, InqScribe will automatically find and load the media file via that URL.

    Eventually we hope to support sharing of private media files via Dropbox or services just like it. Since InqScribe can load media via a URL, any file hosting service that supports a discrete URL for the media file should work. (Unfortunately, this rules out YouTube video which sits inside of a Flash player. InqScribe doesn’t support Flash video.)

    Got other ideas for sharing video? Need additional features? Let us know via our customer feedback pages.

    You can find other tips like this one on our support site.