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CLOCK 4 min read

Demystifying SRT Files: A guide for clients

Accessibility

I like to keep my clients well-informed and comfortable with every aspect of the animation process. One of the critical components in delivering a polished, accessible, and international-friendly project is the use of .SRT files. Today, I’m diving deep to explain what .SRT files are, why they’re crucial in animation and video production, and how I utilise them to enhance your projects.

What is an .SRT File?

.SRT stands for SubRip Text, a simple and widely accepted format used for embedding subtitles into videos. An .SRT file is a plain-text file that contains information on how and when subtitles should appear on the screen when a video is played. It includes the sequence number, timecode, subtitle text, and optional formatting.

Breaking Down the .SRT File Format

A typical .SRT file consists of several blocks of text, where each block represents a single subtitle. Here’s a breakdown of its components:

  • Sequence Number: A numeric identifier for each subtitle.
  • Timecode: Indicates when the subtitle should appear and disappear on the screen. The format used is hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds –> hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds.
  • Subtitle Text: This is the text that will be displayed as a subtitle. This can be one or multiple lines and may include basic formatting.
  • Blank Line: A blank line indicates the end of a subtitle block and the beginning of a new one.

Here’s an example of a short snippet of an .SRT file:

An example of an SRT file

Why Use .SRT Files in Animation?

  • Accessibility: Providing subtitles makes your content accessible to a wider audience, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Multilingual Support: .SRT files make it easy to offer subtitles in multiple languages, catering to a global audience.
  • Flexibility: Subtitles can be easily turned on or off, giving viewers control over their viewing experience.
  • SEO Benefits: Search engines can index subtitles, potentially boosting the online visibility of your content.
  • Ease of Editing: Because .SRT files are plain text, they can be edited with any text editor, making updates and corrections straightforward.

How I utilise .SRT Files

In my animation process, I use .SRT files to ensure that video content is inclusive and accessible. Once an animation has been completed I upload it to Veed, which autogenerates subtitles via AI, just like YouTube and other video platforms do.

From there I human-check the subtitles and make edits where the AI has misheard any words. I then review the timeline to ensure that the subtitles are the optimal length at any one time.

The benefit to you? When you upload your video to each platform along with your .SRT file, you avoid the pain-staking work of editing the auto-generated captions or subtitles!

What to do with your .SRT file once I hand it over to you!

The usual animation project deliverables include the video file (usually an .mp4) and an .SRT file. When it’s time to post your video to a platform that supports .SRT files (such as Vimeo, Youtube, Twitter/X etc), simply upload the file with/after your video.

For example, on Twitter / X – you are given the option to upload an .SRT file when you upload a video:

A screen shot of Twitter / X showing a modal allowing you to upload an .SRT file

.SRT files play a vital role in making video content accessible, inclusive, and international-friendly. At Love & Logic, I am committed to leveraging this simple yet powerful tool to enhance your animation projects, ensuring that they reach and resonate with audiences worldwide.

Together, we can create content that is not only visually stunning but also accessible to everyone.

Any questions about .SRT files or any other aspect of the animation process? Drop me a line.