New to the forum and still a novice with Final Cut. I am putting together a series of interviews for a short video. Two of seven are in Spanish & I am not a native speaker. I had the Spanish translated into English and put into SRT files. I'm wondering what the best workflow is. I don't want to lose the translations as they will help in my final edit, so I need them to stay with the interview. Should I: Burn in the translated subtitles, export. and then re-import so that I can cut into subclips for my edit? Or is there another way to do this where I can keep the translated subtitles and edit as I go? .Thanks for the help.
FCP, unfortunately, is mostly oriented towards adding captions to Projects/timelines, not to source media. What you describe might work well enough.
You might consider using the burned-in versions of your source media as proxy files. That way, you can edit with the subtitles visible, then switch to the unsubtitled versions ("original/source" media) when you're done. At the end, you could then re-add subtitles or captions to the end-product.
Another option might be to look into using something like Builder, which supports "text-based editing" (lumberjacksystem.com). It isn't free. FYI, other NLEs, such as DaVinci Resolve have recently added "text-based editing" features (which isn't much help when using FCP)...
Thank you! This is extremely helpful. I did try the method I posted, and it worked well enough. Although, because I had to cut into clips mid-sentence, some of the translation had to be adjusted. I edited it manually from the Srt file in the timeline from another project I created specifically for edits and reimported. I like your idea better though. Just using the burned in subtitles as proxy media, and then replacing with the raw footage and manually entering the subtitles. So obvious but I didn't think of that! I'll check out Lumberjack Builder. Thanks!
... I am putting together a series of interviews for a short video. Two of seven are in Spanish & I am not a native speaker....Should I: Burn in the translated subtitles, export. and then re-import so that I can cut into subclips for my edit? Or is there another way to do this where I can keep the translated subtitles and edit as I go?....
Formerly this could be laborious but recently there is a new inexpensive AI tool called MacWhisper that makes it very easy and fast.
MacWhisper can not only transcribe with high accuracy to an SRT file, but it can also translate at the same time. You can easily produce English and Spanish SRT files, import those to FCP via File>Import>Captions, and flip between them. Each one automatically becomes a separate audio role, visible in the timeline index. You switch subtitles by opening the Timeline Index (SHFT+CMD+2 toggles), then press "Roles". The English and Spanish subtitles will have a separate button to enable or disable them.
To edit without getting the subtitle "lanes" out of sync, I *think* you can just create a compound clip combining the A/V "lane" and both English and Spanish subtitle lanes, then do your timeline cuts. If you then do SHIFT+CMD+G, the compound clip will open up showing the subtitles again. In my brief tests, those seemed to be cut or moved like compound clip. You will need to test this.
I'm not highly experienced with this, so there may be an easier way or some pitfalls with the above technique. Maybe others could comment.
You'll need to do a one-time download of the various AI models. For English transcriptions, I normally use the "Medium English" model. To produce Spanish transcriptions from Spanish dialog, you select Spanish as the input language and the "Medium Multilanguage" model. To produce Spanish-to-English translated transcriptions, you select Spanish as the input language and for the model select "Medium English".
It provides various output options, but in this case, select SRT. For a given transcription pass, you can save that in multiple formats such as SRT, CSV, PDF. Some have timecoded output.
I think the most recent update to MacWhisper requires Ventura, but I'm not sure.
Re the translation quality of MacWhisper, I tried it on Spanish-to-English test material, and to my limited knowledge of Spanish, it seemed OK.
However, I tried it on German-to-English (my wife knows some German) and she said it was poor. I then did German transcription with MacWhisper, pasted the German text into ChatGPT-4 and requested English translation. She said that was a lot better but obviously, it was just text not an SRT file.
There are several MacOS subtitle and caption editing utilities on the app store, some of which claim translation ability.
Another item I recently found (but have not tested) is this utility that lets FCP import SRT captions as titles. That's in case you want the flexibility of a subtitled presentation vs the more restrictive caption display options. In theory, if the SRT output of MacWhisper was good enough quality, you could then convert it from captions to subtitles. FCP SRT Importer 2: ulti.media/fcp-srt-importer-2/
In my experience, the English transcription quality of MacWhisper using the medium or large models is very good. The question is what is the translation quality of a given source and destination language.
Thanks for the advice! I like the idea of creating a compound clip in both English and Spanish. I will try that. I should add that originally I did a basic Spanish to English translation using Google Voice to text to just get the basic feel of the interview to see if there was anything I wanted to use. I then paid a native speaker on Fivrr to manually translate and make SRT files in both English & Spanish. This was way more accurate. They did a great job.
. . .
Another item I recently found (but have not tested) is this utility that lets FCP import SRT captions as titles. That's in case you want the flexibility of a subtitled presentation vs the more restrictive caption display options. FCP SRT Importer 2: ulti.media/fcp-srt-importer-2/
This is interesting. I'm hesitant b/c I've never heard of this developer and it's not available from the App Store. Anyone have experience with them/it?
They make a bunch of useful plugins for FCP. Been around for a while. Plugins often aren’t on the App Store in many cases because they have to be in specific locations to be accessed by the application, not the Applications folder. I understand them not wanting to pay into Apple’s overpriced grift.
Thanks, Tom. This one is actually an app. I can see them distributing on their own site, but I'm surprised to find there's almost nothing about the app online considering the shortage of other options. On a quick search, I only found one video and that's from the developer. Someone asked for help. The developer said they don't read comments on YT much! 😂