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White text on grey b/g starts to fade out on certain devices

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Phill Buckland
White text on grey b/g starts to fade out on certain devices
on Sep 15, 2017 at 5:02:40 pm

Hi guys,

We're having some problems with some video content and I've exhausted my efforts in trying to fix the problem and so am resorting to the hive mind on here.

We've created a series of animations in After Effects that feature large white text on a light grey (#D2D2D2) background.

The text looks absolutely fine both in After Effects and when rendered out but certain mobile phones are displaying a very weird issue when playing the video in landscape mode.

Basically some of the white text (which animates via the Typewriter preset but has no other animation applied) starts to mysteriously fade away on certain mobile devices. This happens when nothing else is happening on screen and the second something else happens (like an icon appearing) the text snaps back to full opacity.

Its looks like the opacity is being animated but it clearly isn't.

This bug isn't limited to manufacturers (the video looks fine on an iPhone 6 but not on a iPhone SE) and affects some Android phones also.

We've tested all sorts of codecs/export settings and even uploaded the video to YouTube to see if it was file-related but the problem still occurs - certain phones show the white text fading away slowly, others dont.

Best guess is that it's something to do with the phone not handling the subtle difference in colour tones but doesn't make sense that its fine on one model of the same phone and not the other.

Has anyone else experienced something like this?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: White text on grey b/g starts to fade out on certain devices
on Sep 16, 2017 at 8:48:18 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Sep 16, 2017 at 9:13:38 pm

You can't control the settings on every playback device. You can only control what you make.
It sounds like you have to make some choices in your grayscale selection. Or maybe a nice soft drop shadow.
If your delicate artistic sensibilities won't let you do that, then live with the problem.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Phill Buckland
Re: White text on grey b/g starts to fade out on certain devices
on Sep 17, 2017 at 8:59:09 pm

Hah, well its less delicate artistic sensibilities and more strict brand guidelines that are dictating the colour choices.

Design choice aside, is this something you've ever come across before?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: White text on grey b/g starts to fade out on certain devices
on Sep 17, 2017 at 11:28:03 pm

Sorry, I have not. In my shop, readability has always trumped art designers. Sorry to hear that you must endure that.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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