10 tips for cheaper video localisation

Are you finding yourself having to localise more and more video content? It’s truer than ever – video is king!

Whether you’re developing a website, authoring a document or creating a video, content creation should always be executed with localisation in mind. Most general localisation tips, like having a style guide, writing in a clear and concise manner and using consistent terminology, will apply to videos too, but we’ll focus now specifically on some tips and tricks that are specific to creating localisation-friendly video content.

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Text - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Avoid using unnecessary text in your videos.

    Localising on-screen text can be costly and the same effect can often be achieved using symbols and images. Try to avoid using text as an emphasis for something that is already being said in the voice-over, as you’ll end up essentially paying twice for the same message.


Layers - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Create text in editable layers.

    Make sure the text is easy to edit. Don’t import text from Illustrator or Photoshop and don’t convert text into an image or a shape.


Styling - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Use consistent styling.

    Doing this means there’s no need to redesign each piece of text separately.


Spacing - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Leave extra space.

    English is a concise language, and translated text can expand by up to 30%, so make sure you leave enough space for text expansion. Even if the source language isn’t English, it’s always good to prepare for text expansion. 


Language 108 - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Use fonts that support other languages.

    Your internal brand guidelines may require you to use specific fonts that often don’t support other languages. In such a case, make sure you have substitution rules in place, and don’t forget to include fonts in the localisation package.


Plugin - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Use plugins and third-party effects sparingly.

    If you need to use 3rd party effects, we recommend creating an export with everything but the text in one layer, and text animations in an editable form on top.


Organise - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Keep the projects tidy.

    Make sure all compositions are linked, and that assets and compositions are organised into bins. Don’t forget, localisation will likely be done by someone who isn’t familiar with your workflow, so keep the structure simple. 


Music - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Keep your music track and SFX separate.

    If you plan to record voice-over for the video, make sure you keep the music and SFX tracks separate, so that they can be mixed with the speech.


Render - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Pre-render compositions that don’t include text.

    This can speed up the rendering time, thus saving you money. Just remember not to pre-render any composition that contains text. 


Package - 10 tips for cheaper video localisation
  1. Create a complete localisation package.

    Make sure the files you submit for translation include:

  • The video output: if some compositions are missing, your language service provider won’t be able to render the video.
  • All compositions and assets: ensure they are correctly linked in the project. Whilst you should avoid including text in assets created in other software packages such as Illustrator or Photoshop, if you do, make sure you send your partner the editable files so they can be localised.
  • Your fonts: if the fonts don’t support some of the target languages, make sure you include any substitute fonts you would like to be used.


These tips are for localising on screen text – if you would like to discuss voice-over or subtitling, use the form below to get in touch.




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Kamil Juljanski is a Solutions Architect at Capita TI. His main role is to assist the business development and project management teams and use technology to find the perfect solution for their needs.

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