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why vector text not look good?

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Dave Groenierwhy vector text not look good?
by on Aug 13, 2007 at 6:41:21 pm

After seeing the demonstration at NAB I got me a brand new Intel Mac with FCP Studio 2 and RED 4.1. I love using RED's vector text on my Avid systems with edges so sharp they could cut paper. But on the FCP system they look downright crappy, like Atari 2600 crappy. The edges are so jagged they look crosshatched. When I convert the text from Line Art to a 3D Plane they look slightly better (huh?), but what's the point if I can't animate in Z space.

So what gives? I'm new to Macs and FCP. Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere? or do I need different fonts maybe? Thnks.

Aquire in DVCAM, capture and sequence set to 10-bit Uncompressed Anamorphic.


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peter mcauleyRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 13, 2007 at 6:51:27 pm

Hi Dave,

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying working with that set-up - it's certainly a fast one, that's for sure. I'd like to assist you with the problem that you are having with text in RED within FCP. In that regard, I have a couple of questions for you ...



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Dave GroenierRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 13, 2007 at 9:00:12 pm

Peter,

Thanks for the quick response. I did a test from the standalone engine by exporting a simple text animation as a Quicktime w/alpha and keyed it over a clip in FC, it showed similar problems. I think it may be a FC or Kona problem as it only shows up on the video output after FC renders it.

Everything looks fine on my computer displays but when it gets to the video monitor...whoa! I use a Sony MEU-WX1 LCD as a production monitor and also have a Trinitron CRT out by my decks. I thought the LCD might have been part of the problem but it shows up just as bad on the CRT.

I read something about fonts a long time ago that I thought might be it. Something about screen fonts verses printer fonts...unfortunately I don't remember it all and that's probably a reach anyway. Another thought was maybe the anamorphic mode might be throwing it off. Can you shed any more light for me? Thanks again.


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peter mcauleyRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 14, 2007 at 12:55:45 pm

Hi Dave,

Based upon what you have mentioned thus far, all indicators lead me to believe that this may indeed be related to a font issue and not an application issue. Here are a few things to try:



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Dave GroenierRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 14, 2007 at 2:25:06 pm

Peter,

OK, In the meantime I have been playing with it and now I am seeing the goofy edges in my composite window too. I have seen it now using Impact and Helvetica fonts. It really shows up when I rotate the Z axis to about 12 or 15 degrees.

Still, it looks much worse when I go to final cut. In fact I just finished a 3D extruded logo fly-in and its edges crawl all over the place when I get it to a monitor.

Plus why is it that if I create an animation in 16:9 in RED, export as a quicktime animation using the project aspect ratio, and import into FCP, it comes in 4:3 and needing to be rendered? Shouldn't it just play natively?

And yes I have high quality, 100%, full res selected.


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peter mcauleyRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 14, 2007 at 4:29:57 pm

Hi Dave,

Regarding the issue that you describe where you import a 16:9 movie from RED into FCP but it needs to be re-rendered, this may be a setting within FCP that wants to re-interpret the imported clip with a different codec. We can look into that for you and see if the problem is unique to RED. We'll also investigate the 19:9 - 4:3 issue that you also describe here. Perhaps this is also controlled by an import setting within FCP - we won't know until we give it a shot here.

Do you have the Better Quality Field Rendering option enabled in RED? It's located in the Project Settings window under the Edit pull down menu.

Cheers,

Peter.



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peter mcauleyRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 14, 2007 at 4:54:38 pm

Hi Dave,

The Sequence settings in FCP determine the PAR so you'll need to set it to HD to see the 16:9 aspect ratio. I just did that and it looks fine. Also, I rendered out from AE using Animation compressor and they too require a re-render after import into FCP (on the G5 machine that I am using) so I am of the assumption that this is a codec issue. Perhaps someone else that may be reading this might be able to shed some light on the issue.

Cheers,

Peter.



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Dave GroenierRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 14, 2007 at 6:05:09 pm

Thanks again Peter, I just thought maybe that had something to do with the jaggies I am getting, because it's stretching the file after it brings it in. I'll post this on the FC forum too to see if anyone has any ideas. I'm just too unfamiliar with it and Macs in general to make guesses.


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countdownRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Sep 20, 2007 at 5:38:02 pm

With regard to needing to be rendered and not playing natively in FCP:
Your RED file was rendered in the Animation codec.
Your timeline is in the 10bit Uncompressed codec.
Generally, different codecs require rendering, but I just started using FCP 6 and don't know if it can actually play in the timeline in realtime the animation codec in the same timeline it's playing the 10bit uncompressed. The animation codec has an alpha. 10bit Uncompressed has no provisions for an alpha channel.


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Bill PortuneRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Aug 20, 2007 at 4:07:05 pm

This has been an annoying on-going problem for me since moving to Boris with FCP. The "jaggy edges" are most noticeable when using italics. EVERY time I use text I have to use a blur filter to help smooth the edges. When I need high quality text I use Motion...


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AjmetzRe: why vector text not look good?
by on Sep 2, 2007 at 10:17:08 pm

Media 100i 7.5 user, Boris FX 6.1, OS9, Mac G4 dual 450Mhz Gigabit Ethernet.
No problems normally with jaggies on static text.
When animating a scrolling credit roll however, I experienced flickering due to using a narrow/thin font. I improved this situation, by going into Boris' preferences and selecting 1:2:1 Deflicker...that made it less bad, but it was still flickering a bit, so I increased the text edge width so it was less thin, and that improved things again.

I recently had a problem with jaggies on an imported PICT file when zoomed and rotated. It looked fine in Boris, but after rendering, it flickered horribly. By ticking the "render fields as frames" text box in Boris' preferences, it rendered without any jaggies, but I found the underlaying interlaced video was now flickering instead. So it seemed to be a choice between flickering video, or flickering PICT file edge, which wasn't too nice...but the zoom and rotate was only a few frames, so it moves quick enough to not be noticed so much.

I'm using old technology, so don't know if any of this is applicable to your modern setup.
But I'd advise experimenting with such tick boxes in your Boris preferences, and of course, check your host editing programme's render settings too, to ensure everything is being rendered to a decent quality afterwards. Boris also gives options for adding an edge to text, which you can then soften, or likewise have a soft shadow to the text, which can help reduce jaggies at the edge.


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