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Thread: READ THIS: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

  1. #1
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    READ THIS: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    Just because I've seen a few more questions and more uncertainty about this floating around, I figured I'd repost a list of fansubbing jobs and job descriptions/requirements.

    for similar guides, see also infusion's fansub guide and timecop's digisub guide.


    [ -Translation- ]
    Description: Translating Japanese audio into English text (or Engrish text, either way)
    Required Skills: Relative fluency in Japanese and English, and understanding of basic mechanics of both languages. Proficiency with dictionaries in both languages and a lot of free time helps too.
    Time Requirements: If you're really incredibly good or really incredibly bad, less than an hour per episode. If you're anything else, 1-4 hours or more, depending on your skill and the complexity of the episode.
    Required software: A media player for watching raws. Notepad or Wordpad to write down what's being said.
    Notes: Without this, fansubbing doesn't exist in any form. Takes several years of experience with the language to be on par with most fansub translators.

    [ -Editing- ]
    Description: Taking the text given by the translator and making it flow smoothly, have correct and appropriate grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Basically conversion of Engrish to English.
    Required Skills: Very good aptitude with the English Language. Ability to understand basic Japanese is a plus sometimes too. Ability to understand character moods and expressions and convey them appropriately. Ability to communicate with the translator is also a plus.
    Time requirements: Expect a minimum 1 hour per episode, often much, much more. Depends on what the translator gives you.
    Required software: Same as a translator. Maybe directvobsub depending on what order you do stuff in.
    Notes: Most people who speak the English language butcher it horribly. If you constantly find yourself struggling to stop yourself from correcting the terrible grammar of the people around you, you're probably not cut out to be an editor. This is probably one of the hardest jobs to teach people how to do well.

    [ -Timing- ]
    Description: Synching the subtitles to the words they match with, following some basic best-practices rules.
    Required skills: Ability to hear natural break points in sentences, ability to learn how to use software. Generally good hearing is a must. Helpful to know some very basic rudiments of Japanese to help sanity check your lines of stuff (since you're probably operating without time indices to begin with).
    Required software: Substation Alpha, possibly Notepad, Possibly Subresync, possibly Media Player, possibly directvobsub, possibly Virtualdub (depending on the encoder and whether they give you a timing wav or just the raw). Familiarity with all of the above software is a plus. Guides for substation alpha can be found at http://pepper.idge.net/digisub.html ).
    Time requirements: If you're good, an hour per episode is appropriate. If you're terrible, a bit less. If you're really picky or overly paranoid (or just new to it), a good deal more. Depends on number of lines in episode too though.
    Notes: Timing is probably the easiest job to teach, there are definite clear rules to it and things that are definitely right and wrong. It's also somewhat boring to do on a regular basis, and requires a fair amount of free time and devotion to learn, especially to become good at.

    [ -Typesetting- ]
    Description: Applying styles to lines of text as appropriate, making signs and onscreen text, applying karaoke styles as appropriate too.
    Required skills: Extensive knowledge of the SSA and ASS-textsub specs and interfaces, understanding of timing issues and guidelines, general understanding of readability and stylistic concepts. Familiarity with virtualdub and basic encoding stuff. Possibly familiarity with a programming language or several, depending how fancy you want to be.
    Required software: Vobsub/Textsub, Virtualdub, Notepad, possibly Substation Alpha, possibly SubResync.
    Time requirements: With a template and experience, you can typeset an episode in an hour or less. If you're terrible, much much less. If you're making new styles or effects, potentially much much more.
    Notes: Basic typesetting and advanced typesetting are very different in the scope of their work. But both of them require you to spend the time reading through the ASS-spec doc that comes with textsub, and both benefit from experimentation with those specs and how they render.

    [ -Encoding- ]
    Description: Applying filters to clean up video, applying filters to add subtitles from the script, and setting the bitrate of the episode and altering codec settings to get the best final product possible.
    Required skills: a critical (trained) eye able to pick out video artifacts. A good grasp of basic encoding concepts. Competence with virtualdub, textsub, avisynth, various codecs.
    Required software: virtualdub, textsub, avisynth, various codecs, various filters.
    Time requirements: depending on the typesetter's effects, the speed of your computer, the quality of the raws you're working with, your choices of filters, and a few other factors, anywhere from 45 minutes to 12 hours per episode.
    Notes: If you ever meet a good encoder, you can safely presume they have spent a large amount of time encoding test clips, and an equally large amount of time reading forums at www.doom9.org. Becoming a good encoder involves a LOT of effort and time and a lot more understanding than you would think. Becoming a bad or just lower mediocre encoder is easy though.

    [ -Quality Control- ]
    Description: Checking finished scripts for errors before encode, and/or checking finished products before release and after encode. Basically watching the episode and finding what's wrong.
    Required skills: Sharp eyes, sharp grammatical skills, understanding of timing rules and concepts, understanding of typesetting rules and limitations, understanding of encoding concepts.
    Required software: Media player, notepad, directvobsub
    Time requirements: Usually less than an hour per episode. Good qc usually involves watching the episode twice, and rereading every line a few times.
    Notes: This can be the most demanding job in the whole process, or it can be a cakewalk, depending how seriously you take it. A truly good quality checker has the potential to be a good editor, a good timer and a good encoder, and possibly to be a translator too. This is also an extremely difficult job to teach -- people who are good at it tend to be good at it naturally, where people who are bad at it have a hard time trying to meet the most basic expectations. If you're finding yourself able to watch the first Naruto releases out in any given week and not really care, you're probably not suited to be a quality checker.


    [ -Raw Capture- ]
    Description: Recording original japanese broadcasts, encoding them, giving them to the community.
    Required skills: Encoder skillset
    Required software: Encoder software
    Time Requirements: a couple hours per episode, depending on encode settings and filters.
    Notes: Most of this is done by people living in Japan who aren't part of fansub groups. Usually they just release stuff on japanese p2p and in-group raw providers find their captures.

    [ -Raw Hunting- ]
    Description: Searching Japanese p2p for raws provided by non-group raw cappers, and sending them to a common point to distribute to the people who need to work on those raws.
    Required skills: Ability to search for given strings, or craft new strings. A good broadband connection is also a must.
    Required software: Usually winny or winmx, and japanese language support.
    Time Requirements: a couple hours, depending on the environment of the p2p networks on any given day.
    Notes: Some people are really good at this, others are really bad. I don't know why some people are better than others at this job, really.

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus NM's Avatar
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    Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    Complich, thanks for this guide man! What I meant in that other thread is that I didn't know about the software needed to actually do this part of fansubbing. I've looked at guides and all they talk about is what the typesetter, editor, raw capturer, etc. does. Thanks again!
    This fantastic Sousuke sig was made by the one and only Lucifus! Thanks man!

  3. #3

    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    wow makes me wanna start my own group

  4. #4
    Missing Nin joker-kun's Avatar
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    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    Complich, just to help ya out, alotta fansubs do their translations and editing in substationalpha, that way when the timer goes to time it he doesn't have to change the format. SSA is simple though, you just write in the line then press enter for every new line, atleast for translating and editing.

    [21:48] * DO furiously masturbates to #gotwoot
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  5. #5
    Gaara_otd
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    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    so, does everybody use sub station alpha? i thought that was XombieSub caz ive herad its more powerful.

  6. #6
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    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    most traditional groups use substation, yes ....

    I haven't used XombieSub myself, so I can't say whether it's better or worse overall. SubStation Alpha is kinda dated though ... it was mainly coded for interacting with hardware genlocks and doing tapesubbing. Its UI could also use some work, and it doesn't support much of the newer advanced effect stuff. If XombieSub does, and provides a similar interface, then it'd also be a viable alternative I'd say.

  7. #7
    Ciber's Minion Mut's Avatar
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    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    i saw the strangest thing while i was watching ep 91 of naruto.

    [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif[/img]
    www.rolleyes.net/

    Financial aspect of my life is revealed.

  8. #8
    Gaara_otd
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    Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    huh. whats this? is that Orochimaru over there?
    BTW, xombiesub really does. it supports the advanced effects of ASS(advanced sub station). also, the interface is quite simillar. it can also load an audio or video track, its much better for timing and using effects.

  9. #9

    RE: Fansubbing Job Descriptions

    Mut@ta's name is on the picture... that's what... no Oruchimaru...

  10. #10
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    I think this thread needed to be stickied, so it is.

  11. #11
    Drifter dragonrage's Avatar
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    wow... thanks for the guide... its really helps. Now i know exactly what goes on in fansubbing and i appreciate it alot more..... no wonder they get so pissed when people ask stupid questions.
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