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Sharp Typography in FCP

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Czeslaw GryczSharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 6:29:00 pm


• I prepare lower thirds and screen captions in Photoshop. I often choose to have white typography against a colored banner. I make sure the typeface is sufficiently bold and often sans-serif to avoid fine lines.
• When I magnify and inspect the typography in Photoshop, it is clear, sharp and clean with no dots in the white area of the letters in the font.
• I've tried exporting the file as a PSD, JPEG, TIFF and PDF.
• When I import the file into FCP it invariably turns greyish, and upon magnification, I see very small pixels in the area that is supposed to be white (almost like a 10% halftone screen to use print jargon).

What can I do to avoid the degradation of type from Photoshop to FCP? Oh... I've also tried different resolutions, capturing the Photoshop image at 600 dpi, 1200 dpi, etc. It almost seems as if I need to move the "white point" of the file somehow, so that FCP recognizes what is really white.

Many thanks. (I fully recognize that this is a naive question, expressed in non-technical ways... but its a nuisance however I try to explain it.)


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Michael SacciRe: Sharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 6:59:08 pm

how are you viewing thing image in FCP, an external monitor, if not you are not seeing the true image. For at least a good "guess" on the canvas make sure it is set to 100% (and only 100%, no more no less).

Make sure the file from psd is RGB and not CYMK.

What is the timeline codec, this will have a lot to do with how the text looks. DV and HDV are killers for text.

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Jeremy Belzer-AdamsRe: Sharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 7:04:46 pm

Photoshop to FCP works perfectly for me. I tend to create a workspace the size of my project (ie 1920x1080) and then place my text accordingly. I find that .png files carry transparency to FCP very well.

I've finished several broadcast shows like this with no issues. As Michael said, you cannot judge your project from the canvas window. You need an external reference. Watching the canvas for quality will just have you pulling out your hair.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Sharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 7:03:13 pm

What KIND of alpha channel are you creating for the background: straight or premultiplied?

It sounds like it's premultiplied, and FCP defaults to using straight alpha channels.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Czeslaw GryczRe: Sharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 7:14:17 pm

I have an intuitive feel that this might be at the heart of the problem. Where do I set the characteristics of the alpha channel? I generally just say "Save alpha channel" or "Add alpha layer". I didn't know I had more options in describing it. Will check my Photoshop menus. Thanks.

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Zane BarkerRe: Sharp Typography in FCP
by on Jan 7, 2010 at 7:22:09 pm

What are your timeline settings?

If you are working with a DV timeline then any graphics you put on it are going to look bad.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!

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