The Fansubbing Process

This guide aims to give an overview on the entire fansubbing process. It is aimed at people with no previous experince of fansubbing. New recruits are required to read this and gain a basic understanding on the entire process and workflow.

At Doki, our main means of communication is by IRC. All members are expected to go on IRC regularly. If you can idle on IRC 24/7, then please do. If you are unfamiliar with IRC, get Chatzilla (Firefox addon) or you can use the web client.

We work by ftp. The ftp address is displayed in the topic of the staff channel on IRC. If you are unfamiliar with ftp, get Filezilla Client. Every member will get their own ftp login and password. This is for security reasons and so that people can see who has uploaded what. Unfortunately, the ftp is highly restricted – the only permissions are download and upload. All necessary folders will be premade by me. This is because we had a case of vandalism in the past, so it leaves me with no choice.

We also have a forum, but we don’t use it much at the moment.

Fansubbing is split into distinctive parts/sections, usually allocated to different people. In Doki, we split the workflow as shown below. Other groups may do things differently.

  • Translate
  • Time
  • Translate Check
  • Edit
  • Typeset
  • Quality Check
  • Release/Distro

Other steps may run in parallel.

  • Karaoke Timing
  • Karaoke Coding
  • Encode
  1. The show airs in Japan. Cappers cap the show in Japan and usually upload the transport stream to Japanese p2p networks such as Perfect Dark and Share. Some .ts are also uploaded to torrents. Pre-encoded raws of the show also appear on p2p networks and torrents.
  2. The encoder downloads the transport stream (or raw if a .ts is unavailable) and encodes a workraw.
  3. The translator can either use the workraw or a a pre-encoded PD/share raw to translate to. Translators can take anywhere from ~3 to 6+ hours to translate a standard 25 minute episode. The raw script is uploaded in .txt format.
  4. The job of the timer is to time the script to the video, so that the correct subtitle appears when the corresponding speech is spoken. There will be an in-depth guide on timing later. The raw script is imported into Aegisub and timed to the workraw.
  5. On some shows, we use a TLC. Their job is to check that everything has been translated correctly.
  6. The editor’s job is to edit the timed script. The translator’s first language may not be English, so their English may not flow very well. The editor changes phrases and sentences into natural flowing English.
  7. The typesetter places all the translations of the signs on the screen. This will usually be done in Aegisub.
  8. The QC’s job is to be a grammar Nazi. Their attention to detail should be very good. They look for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and syntax mistakes. Remember, the editor is focusing on the natural flow of the English so may make mistakes occassionaly. The QC’s job is to catch and fix this.
  9. By this stage, the final encode will be complete. This will include hardsubbed karaoke (if used).
  10. Karaoke is usually done once or twice for a show. K-timing is similar to timing, but you time the syllables as they are sung. Coding the karaoke is usually done in Aegisub.
  11. The person who releases grabs the final encode and the QC’ed script and muxes them into a single file. They will watch it once to check that nothing has been missed. It is uploaded onto torrent, DDL and IRC bots for distribution.