Z Depth: Adjusting Subtitle Depth

The Z Depth by Sony Creative Software is a one of kind editing application that has been designed and engineered specifically to meet the needs of stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray productions. The Z Depth software bundle is designed to allow the production guys to create great looking subtitles and interactive menus in 3D Blu-Ray movie space by editing and recording the needed offset metadata file.

By combining the functionality with the Sony Vegas Pro 9 audio/video editing software, you can position your subtitles accurately on the perceptual Z-axis. The following tutorial discusses the depth adjustment using the Z Depth.

Step 1: Import Subtitles

You will open the Z Depth dialog window that will be used to select a relevant and appropriate BDN Blu-ray subtitle file. The Blu-Ray subtitle file is an XML document that references specific subtitle graphics and their start and end positions in time.

Once you have successfully imported the BDN (Blu-Ray subtitle file), you will notice that the Z Depth software application automatically creates two new video tracks that correspond to the left and the right eyes of the viewer. The subtitles will be automatically imported and applied over both of these tracks.

They will automatically be scaled and offset for 3D viewing. In case of any discrepancy, you can exert individual control over each set of subtitles using an additional subtitle track.

Step 2: Adjust Subtitle Depth

You can use the Z Depth suite to adjust subtitle depth using any of the following methods:

  • Trackbar Fader: You will select from the five provided preset templates to get started and set depth based on your offset range. Zero means screen depth while you can move in and out by setting to +/-50%, or +/-100%.
  • Control surface fader: You will simply hold and drag to adjust the fader. Once you do this, Z Depth suite will automatically track your movements and match it to the new offsets. Once the fader is released, the information is set into the subtitles.
  • Keyboard: You can also use the up and down keys on the keyboard to move the subtitles in or out of the screen depth level. Use the shift key combination for larger steps.

Step 3: Try Other Methods

In direct envelope manipulation, the subtitle depth settings are represented and recorded as envelopes on the Vegas Pro timeline. The various envelope elements such as the points, or handles, can be clicked and dragged to change time and/or depth. You may also add or remove these elements.

This method is especially useful when you need to insert a fixed amount of time before the subtitles, You may also proceed to cut, copy, and paste envelope data within or between multiple Vegas Pro projects.

In mouse wheel, you may use the mouse scroll wheel because it is also mapped to the depth axis. You will adjust the depth by rolling the scroll wheel towards and away from the screen. You should now be able to successfully adjust Z depth on subtitles using the Sony Z Depth Software suite.