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Edge Anti-aliasing of Typography in Motion Graphics

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William Wilson
Edge Anti-aliasing of Typography in Motion Graphics
on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:03:55 am
Last Edited By William Wilson on Sep 26, 2015 at 4:08:36 am

I'm creating motion graphics for a 4K DCI. I noticed that the edges of certain fonts are jagged upon close-up inspection.
I created the same typography in Photoshop (Sharp,Crisp,Smooth,Strong), Indesign, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, and Avid Media Composer, all with the same results. So now I create the typography in Photoshop and apply a blur filter to create my own anti-aliasing.

The attached image shows the three methods I have tried out. The first is the original typography with the "Sharp" anti-aliasing setting in photoshop. The second is a composition of the first and the third image. The third image is with blur. The second image combines the sharp edges from the first image but replaces the jagged parts with composite parts from the third image.
(Make sure your browser is set to 100% zoom level to view the images correctly. If you are using Windows 7 with 125% Text under Display settings in combination with Firefox you are probably seeing the image incorrectly. Download the image for correct view or set "layout.css.devPixelsPerPx" from "-1" to "1" under "about:config".)

Which one do you prefer? What is your method for optimal typography without jagged edges?

I noticed that on my laptop the jagged edges are barely visible, but on a big screen they are. If you work on a big screen, can you confirm that you also see the jagged edges?

I normally prefer to do typography in vector based programs (preferably Indesign) , but since I'm working in a 12bit/16bit workflow, Indesign and Illustrator are useless.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Edge Anti-aliasing of Typography in Motion Graphics
on Sep 28, 2015 at 2:49:18 pm

I don't notice your mentioning "continuously rasterize" in your question - this is the key to my keeping my type sharp as a tack at any magnification in AE. I generally create my type either natively in AE, in Illustrator, or in Photoshop, depending on the project, and what is client-supplied.

Here's a short article to give you some ideas:

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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