Netflix’s Authoring Tool can be leveraged for the creation of Dialogue Lists (DL) and Pivot Language Dialogue Lists (PLDL). This article provides a general overview of how to navigate and use the Authoring tool, to complete authoring tasks.
Your individual level of access to the Authoring Tool is based on the user role you were granted in Starship. For example, if you are a Dub Script author, you will need the Dialog List Author role. For detail on the level of access needed for a specific task, please refer to the chart below.
|Starship Roles||Role Description|
|Dialog List Author||Granted to the Author of DL/PLDL/AD/Dub Script|
|Dialog List Proofreader||Granted to the proofreader of DL/PLDL/AD/Dub Script|
|Vendor||Granted to Project Managers who are not assigned to the project but need to access projects within the tool|
Scripting tasks are accessed through the Assignments Dashboard, which may be found at the following URL: https://originator.backlot.netflix.com/assigned
Type: There are a few script types:
- Dialogue List
- Pivot Language Dialogue List
- As Recorded Dub Script
- Audio Description
Role: Each role is either Origination or QC
To open a task, select the title. This will open tasik in the Authoring Tool.
From the task view, the video can be viewed and the transcription can be input and edited.
In the upper left corner of the screen, the navigation bar displays show and task information.
A.) Movie ID
B.) Show Title
C.) Proxy Versions: Lists all versions of the proxy.
In the upper right corner of the screen, several icons and buttons are present.
A.) Download: Allows the user to download a TTAL file.
B.) Upload: Allows the user to import existing scripts in either script (.csv) or TTAL (.ttal, .json, .clqtt) format.
To Upload a CSV Script
- Click on the Navigation bar. Select Upload Script (.csv) from the list. A pop-window displays.
You can either select OVERWRITE, which replaces an existing script or MERGE which keeps the current script and adds the new one.
Once you make your selection, the csv script displays in the Script tab.
Watch this video for a visual guide
C.) Reference Materials:
- Shooting Script: When a shooting script is available for the title, you will be able to download from here.
- Import Characters: Clicking ‘Import Characters’ will trigger importing all characters from shooting script to Characters tab.
To Upload Characters from a Shooting Script
- Click on the Navigation bar. Select Upload Shooting Script (pdf) from the list.
- Navigate to the folder where the script is located and click Open. The script won’t upload to the Scripts tab.
- Click on the Navigation bar. From the Reference Material list, select Import Characters then click Close. All of the characters from the Shooting Script will display in the Character panel.
- Open KNP Tool: Will connect you to KNP for the title.
D.) Edit Keyboard Shortcuts: Opens a pop-up menu, where default keyboard shortcuts can be customized.
|A green checkmark above the save button means that all changes to the script have auto-saved successfully.|
|If there is no checkmark, changes have not been saved yet. Changes will be saved automatically.|
|A red circle above the save button means there are changes that cannot be saved. This likely indicates the internet connection has been lost. When this symbol is present, stop work and check the internet connection to avoid losing work.|
Save Error Troubleshoot:
If an error appears during saving, click on the Show Details button before reloading the page, closing the browser or logging out.
This will show a dialog which allows the user to download a copy of the current state of the project.
F.) Start/Complete: The author will need to click the Start button in order to start the task. Once the author clicks Complete, the task becomes available to the proofreader. The proofreader will also need to click the Start button to start the task on their side. The file will be submitted when the proofreader clicks Complete.
The tags in the upper left corner of the screen provide information about the task:
Edit Keyboard Shortcuts
Click the pencil icon to edit a keyboard shortcut. Once the box around the shortcut appears, press the new keys that will be assigned as a shortcut, and select the checkmark to save.
NOTE: Keyboard customizations are saved to the local browser cache. If the browser cache/cookies/history are cleared, the keyboard shortcuts will revert to default settings. Export Shortcuts function can be used to save a keyboard shortcut configuration, which can then be uploaded if settings are ever over-written.
Export and Import Shortcuts
Shortcut configurations can be downloaded and uploaded to the Scripting Tool using the icons in the upper right corner of the Keyboard Shortcuts menu. Select Export Shortcuts to download the configuration as a JSON file. Select Import Shortcuts to upload configuration to the tool.
The Export and Import Shortcut functions can be used to restore a keyboard shortcut configuration after browser cache data has been cleared.
A.) Current Timecode
D.) Seek Back
E.) Previous Frame
G.) Next Frame
H.) Seek Forward
I.) Fast Forward
K.) Language Option
L.) Settings - Set duration for D and H
N.) Full Screen
The Events Panel on the right side of the screen allows users to edit the script. To add another event, select + Add New. This will open the Edit Event Menu, where the details of the new event can be input. The new event will start at the current media time, and has a default duration of 2 seconds. New events can also be added using the Add Before and Add After shortcuts, which can be set-up in the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts menu. These will add a new event 2 seconds before or after the currently selected event.
In the Scripts tab of the Events Panel, each line of the dialogue list displays as a separate Event.
A.) In Timecode
B.) Out Timecode
C.) Line Number
Edit an Event
Double click an event to edit, or press enter while the event is selected:
|B.)||Loop: Plays the timecodes of the event on repeat.|
|E.)||Clear Formatting: Removes italics and bold from any highlighted text.|
|F.)||Split: Divides the line into two events at the location of the cursor.|
|G.)||Merge: Combines the event with the following event into one.|
|H.)||Delete: Removes the event from the script.|
|I.)||Stop Editing: Closes the edit window.|
Timecodes: In and out timecodes can be manually edited. The Duration will auto-calculate based on the timecodes entered. Please note, timecodes can also be edited in the Editor pane, or using keyboard shortcuts.
Character: Selecting the Character field opens a drop-down menu displaying all characters with an entry in the Character column.
Cues: Should be used to describe the location of the character delivering the line relative to the camera:
If the character moves in or out of view of the camera before the line is finished, or the camera pans, or there is a shot change, use:
Dialogue: Edit the transcribed dialogue.
The arrow icons in the lower right corner of the event move the edit menu to the next or previous event:
To add or edit annotations, double click an event to bring up the Edit Event Menu, and select the Toggle Annotations Editor icon. Once the Annotations Editor is open, select an Annotation Category from the drop down menu, and type the text of the annotation in the Annotation Notes field.
To adjust the voice settings of an event, select the event you would like to adjust. Next, select the Voice Editor icon below the dialogue.
Then, adjust the specific setting or settings you would like to update.
Once all Voice Settings have been updated, click RETURN (mac) or ENTER (pc). The updated word or phrase will be underlined.
To add tags to an event, select the Toggle Tag Editor from the Edit Event Menu. In the tag editor, select a color for the tag, and enter the name of the tag in the text field. The checkbox must be selected, or the tag will not be applied to the event.
When on-screen text, foreign dialogue, song lyrics, or archival footage appears on the screen that is not dubbed but is relevant to the story, enter the EVENT, then select the FN button
Then, to turn on FNs, toggle the Forced Narrative switch.
The positioning will default to the lower middle third of the screen. However, if the placement of the FN blocks pertinent information in the scene, it may be moved to the top by clicking the TOP position icon.
The playhead bar in the events panel indicates the event at the current playback position in the video player. Dragging the bar will seek the video player to the start of the event which the bar is over.
As the video plays, the events panel will remain in place, displaying the same events, but the playhead bar will continue with the progress of the video. If the bar goes above or below the currently visible events, an arrow will appear, showing where the playhead is. Clicking the arrow will scroll the events panel to the playhead bar.
Double-clicking the circle on the end of the bar will lock its position. When locked, the events panel will scroll as the video plays, so that the bar is always in view. While locked, the bar will show as blue.
A keyboard shortcut for Toggle Playhead Lock can be assigned in the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts menu.
Click the three dot menu icon at the right side of the Events Panel for additional options:
This opens a drop-down menu. All options in this menu effect the event currently selected in the Scripts column.
|Selects all events within a particular range, either between two numbered events or between two timecodes. While selected, all changes made will be applied to each event in this range.|
Opens the Conformance menu:
Change the speaker of the selected events to any character listed in the Characters tab.
Apply Text Format
Bold and/or italicize all text in the selected events, or transform all text to either upper or lower case.
Merge all selected events into one event, combining all dialogue in these events into one line.
Add or edit annotations on the selected event.
Download a copy of the script in DOCX.
Export dialogue includes event number, character name, in and out time as well as the event text.
Export XLSX in Netflix delivery format.
Export CSV in Netflix delivery format.
Export TTAL in Netflix delivery format.
To Export a script in TTAL format:
Watch this video for a visual guide
Export Dialogue List TTAL
To Export a Dialogue list in TTAL format
Watch this video for a visual guide
Deletes the currently selected event.
Removes all dialogue in the selected event. Does not remove annotations or tags.
The Characters tab lists profiles for all characters.
To add another character, select + Add New. This will open the Edit Character Menu, where the details of the new character can be input.
Edit a Character
Double click a character to edit, or press enter while the character is selected:
A.) Delete Character
B.) Stop Editing
C.) Edit Character Name
D.) Change Color: Change the color the character is tagged with in the tool.
E.) Edit Talent Name
F.) Character Screenshot
G.) Upload Image of Character
H.) Clear Image: Removes the current character screenshot
J.) Voice Settings
K.) Edit Next/Previous Character
Add Character Screenshot
- There are two different ways to upload a character screenshot:
Pause the video at a place where the character is onscreen. Select the Click to take a screenshot button to add the current image on the video player as the character’s profile picture.
- Select Browse desktop to upload a character image.
To change the character image, clear the current image by selecting the trash can icon to the upper right of the image.
NOTE: The trash can icon at the upper left corner will delete the entire character profile.
Feature Coming Soon.
Click the gear icon in the Events Panel:
This opens the Customize View pop-up menu, from this view user can customize the viewing options by toggling options.
Drop-down menu varies depending on the Asset type you are working on. It enables side-to-side comparison between two versions. When working on Pivot Language Dialogue List or Audio Description, user can turn on Dialogue Transcription & Dialogue to see the dialogue list.
At the bottom of the screen, the Editor bar displays all lines of dialogue in chronological order:
|Collapses and expands the Editor pane.|
+ Add Event
|Adds a new dialogue event to the script at the current timecode in the video player. The new event can then be edited in the Scripts column of the Events Panel. Double-clicking the editor will also create a new event.|
Add Lip Detection
|Adds a notation of the speaker’s lip movements to an event, to assist with lip sync dubbing.|
|D.)||View||Toggle on and off additional rows in the Editor pane.|
|E.)||Events||All dialogue events display at their timecodes, color coded by the character speaking the dialogue. The timecodes of an event can be edited by clicking and dragging the event bar in the Editor:|
Click and drag the scroll bar at the bottom of the Editor to scroll through the script.
The scroll bar can be expanded to display more of the script by clicking and dragging the edges of the bar.
In the upper right corner of the Editor bar, there several search functions:
A.) Timecode: Input a timecode and press “Enter,” and the Editor bar, Video Player, and Events Panel will jump to that timecode. The timecode search will auto-fill with zeros and colons as appropriate. For example, to jump to 00:01:23:10, type "12310" and press "Enter.”
B.) Find: Input a word or phrase to find the next instance of that word in the Editor Bar and Events Panel. The search will begin as soon as words are typed in the field; unlike the timecode search, it is not necessary to press “Enter.”
C.) Advanced Search Option:
- Find & Replace: You’ve requested it, we’ve made it happen! Now you can find/replace words of your choice
- Show count of current searches
- Allow search by regular expression: For more advanced searches, please refer to this cheatsheet
- Allow search to match case: Uppercase/lowercase letters in the search text exactly in events. If it is not selected, it will find text that matches ignoring the case of the letters.
- Navigate search result by next/previous button (Previously only available by keyboard shortcuts)
D.) Filter: Events can be filtered by Character or annotation types.
Side by side Proxy Comparison
Selecting another proxy from the proxy versions menu allows for a side-by-side comparison with the current proxy. This feature can be leveraged when adjusting the script to account for an offset in a new proxy version.
The test environment is produced to familiarize the users with the Authoring Tool.
The user can select a title from the drop down menu- each title has asset type and language suited to different UIs.
After selecting the test title, type in the email of the person who would like the access to and click create. Test environment can be entered either by clicking the link, or copy+pasting the address.
Open a Help Ticket
In the upper right corner of the screen, there is a question mark icon, next to the Start/Complete button.
Selecting this icon will open the help form. This form can be used to submit a Zendesk ticket for assistance with the scripting tool.