Overlapping and Consecutive Subtitles without Flicker

Overlapping subtitles occur when a second subtitle appears while the first subtitle is still on the screen. This happens when there are multiple people talking at the same time or when a person speaks while a sign is on the screen. After loading the script into MaestroSBT, overlapping subtitles are split into consecutive subpictures with the text appearing at the appropriate times. When muxing the resulting script and bitmaps with Muxman, the consecutive subtitles will flicker or blink. This guide will show you how to avoid this flicker.

Example of two people speaking at the same time

Example of Two People Speaking at the Same Time

# Start End Style Actor Text
151 0:06:29.28 0:06:32.28 Default Mei so the more members you get, the amount of money you can collect can reach infinity-
152 0:06:31.62 0:06:34.31 Overlap Mika I-Isn’t that illegal?
Example of a sign with one person speaking

Example of a Sign with One Person Speaking

# Start End Style Actor Text
136 0:05:54.27 0:05:56.23 Signs Sign {\pos(369,128)}Student\NCouncil Office
137 0:05:54.86 0:05:56.23 Default Manabi I’ve got it!

Software used






The steps are relatively simple and can take a long time if the script has lots of overlapping text. Mistakes are likely to occur along the process. First, edit the script in Aegisub and export with the ssa file type. Process it in MaestroSBT with desired options (Timing, Styles, etc.) but set the rendering to the File Format Script of .sst (Scenarist) and Bitmaps to Windows BMP 4 bits (compressed) so that you can edit the subpictures with Photoshop if necessary. We use the sst file type since Muxman accepts this format for subtitles.

Now open the sst file in Notepad and find the subtitles that are consecutive.

Anytime the END time of a subtitle (Subtitle A) is the same as the START time of the next subtitle (Subtitle B), change the END time of the first subtitle (Subtitle A) to a “-“.

This will cause that subtitle to be infinite which stays on the screen until the next subtitle appears. This makes it possible to get around the one frame gap between consecutive subtitles. This will prevent the flicker from occurring. Here is an example to make this clearer.

Original END Time

Original END Time

Modified END Time

Modified END Time

In this example, 0001 has an END time of 00:00:05:00 and 0002 has a START time of 00:00:05:00. Since they are the same, we need to change the END time of 0001 to a “-“. The same thing applies to 0005, 0006, and 0007. 0005 has an END time of 00:00:15:00 and 0006 has the START time of 00:00:15:00. We need to change the END time of 0005 to a “-“. Also 0006 and 0007 have 00:00:16:00 as the END time and START time, respectively. Change the END time of 0006 to a “-“.

Do this for the rest of the consecutive subtitles. Save the file in a new name just in case you make a mistake. Mux the newly edited sst file together with the video and audio in Muxman and keep the original menus with VobBlanker. Enjoy your flicker-free subtitles.


7 thoughts on “Overlapping and Consecutive Subtitles without Flicker

  1. do you think this process can be automated?
    since it already 2 years? maestrosbt didn’t update

    even a request asking it to give a option to “INF” overlap timing will be ignored….

    could w like write a simple script to get this process going auto check and replace “-” like in PHP or others coding lang?

  2. I don’t know an automatic way to change the end times unless you switch to another authoring program. However, I can change them quickly with Microsoft Office Excel 2007. If you want to see that method, I’ll write up a guide.

  3. i doing kamichu r2 vol.1 subtitle omg the overlapping is really alot….

    that makes me thinks that why not having a simple script or application checking START = END; IF END = START SET “-” = END
    doesn’t matter which row because since END shouldn’t match START; if match there must be something wrong… right?

    i try go seek php forum for help… see if they can guide abit how to check numbers on 2 div…. and replace particular div

  4. Hello radkongo, i have done the script, it only takes 1 sec to execute and fix SST for muxman with STP_DSP, if you interested contact me at my website

    ~ cya.

    a Anime DVD fan to fan msg.

  5. I’ve been doing some work on a series that has a fair amount of signs and the flikering is distracting.
    With that in mind, I would be interested in the quicker Excel method guide radkongo or some info from Anime on his quick method.
    Thanks if possible.

  6. Pingback: Easy Method to Stop the Flickering in Consecutive Subtitles « Quite Useful to a Few

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s