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Font Tracking Error

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Don Smith
Font Tracking Error
on Jun 29, 2018 at 3:30:59 pm

I have a font that displays on AE correctly when All Caps is checked, but not in Motion. The kerning between the letters (OK, that's redundant), goes to garbage. Not so when All Caps is unchecked. Then the kerning is fine. In AE on the same computer, that font displays perfectly with All Caps chosen. Believe me, I've tried all variables available in the Format tab of Motion when that text is chose; All Caps, All Caps Size, Monospace, Tracking.. all possible combinations. Any clue? Thank you.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jun 29, 2018 at 7:20:56 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Jun 29, 2018 at 8:03:46 pm

Do you have to use All Caps here?

Why not simply select your Text in the Text panel, right-click and select Transformations/Make Upper Case.

All Caps is never a great solution in Motion - it messes up even with a bog standard font like Helvetica.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Don Smith
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jun 29, 2018 at 9:59:41 pm

Thank you Simon. It means a lot that someone with your high level of expertise has responded.

I have to use all caps because that's the way corporate designed the AE comp to make the text graphic for Premier users and I'm trying to convert it for use as a text graphic for Final Cut.

I'm away from my computer but can't wait to get back after the weekend to try your suggestion.

Thank you.

NewsVideo.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jun 30, 2018 at 11:13:10 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Jun 30, 2018 at 4:33:53 pm

It's also worth mentioning that the smaller you make the All Caps Size value (the default is 80%) , the greater the issues you will have with problematic character spacing.

Conversely, in most cases, if you set the All Caps Size to 100%, you shouldn't run into too many problems, although this entirely defeats the point of All Caps in the first place which is that it's meant to return lower case characters at a smaller size than upper case characters.



In this example, the top line is true upper case for reference, the second line is All Caps with All Caps Size at 100%. The third line is where the problem shows up: I've set the All Caps Size to 50% and doubled the point size to compensate while also bringing in the tracking so it matches the reference. As you can see the spacing is so badly off that we lose the "i" altogether.

Out of interest what is the font that is causing you difficulties?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Don Smith
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jul 3, 2018 at 11:59:04 am

Thank you, again, Simon. Your input is most valuable.

The font is Helvetica Neue LT Std / 75 Bold
This is the font chosen by corporate when they created the AE comp to give an animated title to Premiere users.

That same font used in the AE comp, on the same computer (mine), looks perfect. I was the driving force to get everyone in my shop to switch to FCPX when it was introduced but other editors here now are trying to effect a conversion to Premiere by saying it's as fast as Final Cut Pro X. Of course it isn't, but the editors here never asked for instruction from me beyond getting started and so they went further with their learning on their own by using the point-and-click method and all of them are now using FCPX the way that they are familiar with; track-based editing. Thus, they think Premiere is as fast as X.

I'm tasked with making the AE comp into a Motion text object and it would be embarrassing, a defeat actually, that Motion can't handle the same font as AE on the same computer.

That brings me to trying your suggestion. The short version is I can't get it to work as an editable text object in Final Cut. I can get the default text in Motion to look right, but once on the X timeline and edited, it turns to garbage.

I've tried every combination I can think of to include checking or not checking the All Caps box and then trying the transformations of All Upper Case and then Capitalization and playing with the All Caps Size slider.

The default text should be all caps, but the first letter of each word is higher then the letters of the rest of the word. I can get it to fill out that way in the X timeline but the kerning goes to garbage.

Rats.

NewsVideo.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jul 3, 2018 at 12:49:11 pm

Thanks for confirming the font. I just tried it with that and as expected it exhibits the same issues as any other font in Motion/FCP X when used with All Caps. Which is to say that the further you reduce the All Caps Size from 100% the worse the character spacing becomes.

Here's a test that shows this happening, with the top line set to 100% and each subsequent line reducing by 10% so that the bottom line is 30% ... which obviously looks terrible. Even 80% (the default) has issues - only 100% is problem-free.



What All Caps Size are you using? Does your version look worse than these tests?

I fear there is no workaround for this - the only thing you can do is to fix the character spacing in FCP X once you have typed in your text using the kerning function. And that's a long way from ideal.

I'll make sure to file a bug report and would suggest you do too. This has been a long-standing issue and I simply avoid All Caps for that reason.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Don Smith
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jul 3, 2018 at 7:18:13 pm

You went to a lot of trouble for all of to see the effect this Motion bug has.

Yes, that's my result as well.

Thank you. I'm efforting a change to allow normal upper/lower display.

NewsVideo.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Font Tracking Error
on Jul 3, 2018 at 8:44:07 pm

[Don Smith] "You went to a lot of trouble for all of to see the effect this Motion bug has."

Sorry I couldn't come up with a solution for you ☹

I'm a big supporter of Motion but there are areas like this where it's really weak and that of course feeds through to what it can deliver for FCP X.

Very occasionally Apple do respond to bug reports so it's definitely worth logging one for this.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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