One of the many features of Doodly is the option to add subtitles to your animation videos.

In this blog, we will go over the steps on how you can add a subtitle to your video. We will also look at the reason why adding a subtitle can be beneficial to you, as well as the other uses of the subtitle menu in Doodly.

Subtitles are lines of text at the bottom of the screen that either translate the spoken dialogue into another language or simply just a transcript of the entire video presentation. You can also use the subtitle menu to create captions for your video.

Captions are mainly used for accessibility purposes e.g., for deaf or hard of hearing people. It is used to describe not just the words spoken but it is intended to describe non-spoken events such as noise, music, and dramatic events in a video.

You can use Doodly’s subtitle option to create either translation, transcript, or caption to your video.

Why Add Subtitles To Your Video?

Creating a subtitle or caption for your video will definitely add value to your presentation and here’s why:

Accessibility

According to the World Health Organization, 1 out of 5 people worldwide has a hard time hearing. That’s about 5.5% of the world’s population. If you don’t have subtitles, you lose the opportunity to reach those millions of people with hearing deficiency. Who knows, they are in need of your products or services. Also, regardless of the type of presentation you create, you might just have a viewer that requires a subtitle.

Subtitles are absolutely necessary for the understanding of a video by a hearing-impaired or deaf viewer.

Think inclusively, we don’t want to exclude certain people through a lack of accessibility.

It Breaks The Language Barrier

Subtitles are placed in videos to reach people with different languages. It is the reason why kdrama is a hit globally. Can you imagine if we didn’t think of adding subtitles on them? We would have missed the existence of Park Seo Joon or wouldn’t have enjoyed watching Crash Landing On You on Netflix. Ah yes, Netflix.. where everything is with subtitles. It makes all movies relatable and watchable because of subtitles.

Of course, it is not limited to just movies. News, educational videos, music videos, interviews are just among the many video types that have subtitles. The same thing goes with our presentation. If we want to reach more people, especially if your goal is to bring your product or services worldwide, we need to add subtitles on them.

Parasite director Bong Joon Ho delivers his acceptance speech for Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globes

Some People Can’t Or Won’t Turn On Audio

We create videos to promote products and services or simply just send a message across. Now, if some people who received your video are in an office, or maybe in a cafeteria, or a bus or school, or any public space, chances are, they won’t watch your video with speakers on.

What about earphones? Well yes, but not everyone has earphones and some offices don’t allow earphones at work. 

There’s a study conducted saying that 85% of the time, the videos on Facebook, which is the biggest social media platform, are watched on mute. Instagram videos are played with no sound unless you click the video to enable the audio.

Regardless of what the studies say, a lot of people really prefer to have no audio on the videos being played on their social media apps. Some people want to enjoy music while browsing through videos, others just don’t want to disturb people around them. If you have a subtitle, people won’t be missing out even if your video is on mute.

It Helps People Understand Your Videos Better

People have different ways of learning. We are not all visual learners. Some learn by reading, some learn by watching and some learn when they tend to fully experience and do things on their own. If an audience of yours is not a visual learner, they won’t fully grasp your message and you might just lose a potential client there if you are promoting a product or a service. 

Some watch videos while Spotify is on, and just scroll up if they don’t like what they see. Even if you have good graphics, chances are, people won’t fully understand your video if it is muted and you don’t have subtitles.

Also, people, these days are so busy and attention spans are decreasing. We all love to multitask while we do other things. Having subtitles while listening to music, or putting on your makeup, whatever it is, makes people understand your video better.

In case you’re not one of us, most people would turn on subtitles whenever it is available even if they speak the same language as the speaker in the presentation. For some reason, it just makes the whole video experience way better.

It Makes Your Video More Engaging

Studies show that videos with subtitles on Facebook receive more interaction, more likes, more hearts, more attention from viewers. People can watch your video and understand your message even without audio.

Sometimes visuals are not enough for your video to stand out but if your video includes words that people can easily see and read, especially if your video is something that people can relate to, the chance of people scrolling up on their feed when they see your video is less. Also, people tend to finish watching videos with subtitles as compared to videos without them. It keeps people hooked to your presentation.

Subtitle In Doodly

In Doodly, subtitle settings are found within Video Settings and Scene Settings.

The subtitle menu under Video Settings allows you to enable or disable ALL the subtitles in your video. You use this option if you want to add voiceover only in your presentation but wish to have subtitles as a prompter. We will discuss how to do that as we move on.

The Subtitle menu within Scene Settings lets you enable or disable the subtitle of your SELECTED scene. This is also where you place your actual transcripts or texts. From this menu, you can modify your subtitles font color, size, background, and even modify the transparency of your subtitle’s background.

Let’s try to edit an existing subtitle.

Editing Subtitle

To edit a subtitle, we need to be on the Scene Settings.

With the example below, we changed the font and background color, increased the font size, and adjusted the opacity.

Note that we cannot adjust the font style within the subtitle menu. If there is really a need to change the font style, you can add your subtitles as text instead, the same way you add text in your scenes and just place it at the bottom of the screen.

Here is now our updated subtitle.

When  changing your subtitle settings, it is best to use dark text on top of a light color background or vice versa. It would also be nice if the color of your subtitle is a bit close to your scene’s color theme but still, everything is all up to you. 

Disabling Selected Subtitles

Sometimes there’s a need to disable certain subtitles in our video and just choose to show selected scenes with captions on. If that is the case, all you have to do is go to the scene you wish to disable the subtitle and switch the subtitle toggle to “OFF” from the Scene Settings. You don’t have to delete your subtitle, just turn it off.

Using Subtitle in Doodly as Teleprompter

Subtitle does not only work as a transcript in Doodly where we get to read what the video is saying. Even if you have no intention of displaying the subtitles to your audience, you can use them for your own internal purposes. Videos like meeting, welcoming your team or students, a greeting message, a video for family members, an online course, or you simply just need viewers to look at the chart while you explain your presentation via voiceover, Doodly’s subtitle is a perfect tool.

You don’t have to memorize your script or message, just simply input your spiel on the subtitle settings and read it. Of course, we don’t want to sound as if we’re reading so make sure you sound as natural as possible. 

It is important that you practice reading your subtitles prior to recording your voice so you know if you need to adjust the duration of each slide or not.

Here are the steps on how you can make your own teleprompter in Doodly.

1. Locate the record audio button

The record audio option is found within the timeline at the bottom of your screen.

2. Click the “+” sign

As soon as you click the “+” sign, you will see the red mic icon with the time showing as 00:00. That means it’s not recording yet.

3. Click the red mic icon

Clicking the red mic icon automatically plays your video and starts the recording so all you have to do is read your script from the subtitles.

4. Don’t worry if you made a mistake

You can always delete your recording if you made a mistake so don’t beat yourself if you made an error, just delete and record it again.

5. Disable the subtitle

As soon as you have recorded your voiceover and you’re happy with it, you can disable the subtitle from your screen. You can do this by going to Video Settings and turning OFF the subtitle menu.

Here’s a sample video where you just read the script and use the subtitle as a teleprompter:
And here’s how it look like after we removed the subtitle:

Using Subtitle Menu as a Cheat Sheet

Apart from the obvious use of the subtitle menu, you can also use it to place some notes. Say, you created a video and do not want to add subtitles on it, you can use the subtitles text field to add your notes or reminders to your audience.

As you play your video, you can either pause and discuss your notes, or provide your audience with additional info after your presentation. You can also just use it for your own personal purposes.

When you use the subtitle field to write your notes, don’t forget to toggle to “OFF” the subtitle menu.

Too Many Words In One Scene

Sometimes you have one scene that requires a long voiceover or subtitle. An example of this is when you have a scene that has a chart that you need to discuss. One or two sentences are not enough to explain it.

Here’s an example:

The above scene is one picture that talks about several facilities in a school thus the explanation ended up lengthy. While we can think of adding individual pictures per facility instead, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you are only given limited pictures just to serve as your talking points. Others have few pictures on a presentation not because they choose to, but because they are time-pressed while others really prefer few pictures to have a simple presentation.

As we can see, having too many words in one scene have a tendency to cover your picture and apart from that, it causes eyestrain, giving your audience a hard time reading and focusing on the presentation. So how do we deal with this? 

Well, what we can do is split the scene into several scenes and split the subtitle across those scenes.

If we look at our sample scene above, the subtitle consists of 5 sentences. That means, we need to have 5 scenes with only 1 sentence each. Before we go ahead and duplicate our scene above, we need to tweak its settings so when we duplicate it, the right format is carried over. That way, we don’t have to change the settings of each scene one by one.

A. What Doodly settings do we need to update?

1. Extra Time At The End

With our original scene, the extra time set at the end is 35 seconds. The reason behind that is because we want to make sure that our scene stays visible until the voiceover ends. Duplicating the original scene 4 times will make our video too long if we keep that timing so we need to change it. Let’s set that to 8 seconds for now. Note that this is not yet the final timing. We will adjust this right after we duplicated the scenes so our subtitle matches our voiceover.

2. Exit Animation

Make sure that Exit animation is set to None. We don’t want the scene to be moving when it transitions to the next scene. Remember that we have 5 scenes that are all the same so we want to make it look still and not moving when it displays the next set of subtitles.

3. Edit Asset Settings (pencil icon)

Click the pencil icon to enter the Edit Asset screen. Change the Reveal Mode to Fade and set Animation duration to 1s. Don’t forget to save.

If the ‘save and return’ button is grayed out, try moving the path size and drag it a little bit then hit Save & return after.

4. Asset Settings (gear icon)

Go to Asset Settings then make sure that Enter Animation is set to None.

The Enter animation settings have the same function as the Duration under Layers so can also just change the duration and have the same effect.

After updating the settings of our first scene, we can now duplicate it and make 4 copies.

B. Duplicating Scene

To duplicate, locate the first scene in the timeline then right-click. Repeat this 4 times.

Once you have 5 scenes in your timeline, you can now edit the subtitle of each scene by going to Scene Settings.

Scene 1 – On the subtitle field, keep the 1st sentence and delete the rest of the subtitles.

Scene 2 – Delete the 1st sentence, keep the 2nd and delete the rest of the subtitles.

Scene 3 – Delete the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th sentences and just keep the 3rd sentence.

Scene 4 – Delete sentences 1st up to 3rd as well as the last sentence. Just keep the 4th sentence.

Scene 5 – Finally for scene 5, keep the last sentence and delete the rest of the subtitles.

Here now is our finished video:

We hope you learn something from today’s blog. If you don’t have Doodly yet and want to experience this amazing feature, go on and give it a try, get Doodly now and let us know what you think. 🙂

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