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Old October 20th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #1
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Red Text Looks Bad In FCP DV Timeline

I am using a Boris Text 3D Generator in FCP (5.1.2).

The timeline is DV-PAL 16:9.

White text looks fine - very clear.

Red (R: 255 G: 0 B: 0) text looks horrible! The edges of the characters are not clean at all.

I presume this has something to do with the restricted colour space of DV.

Any way around it?
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Old October 20th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #2
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Vivid red is a bad color for text in any system even print. Try a thin border of white or black and see if that helps.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #3
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I just tried adding a thin black border, but it didn't help.

I also tried changing the colours and got some interesting results.

White looks fantastic, as does yellow and brown.
Magenta really stuffs up. It goes half magenta half cyan. Wierd!
Blue looks just as bad as red as does green.

I'll try importing a photoshop file instead of using the generator and see if that helps, but I don't think it will...

I guess red text just ain't gonna work for DV!

Pitty, as the logo I need to use is red!
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Old October 20th, 2006, 11:22 PM   #4
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Nup! Importing Photoshop artwork looks EXACTLY the same...
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Old October 21st, 2006, 10:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
Nup! Importing Photoshop artwork looks EXACTLY the same...
Chris,

There is good news. Adam Wilt has already done the work of which colors work best. You can find it on the bottom of this page http://www.adamwilt.com/Tidbits.html and yes... red is the worst. It doesn't compress cleanly. Red always looks horrible on my Dish Network satellite receiver.

-gb-
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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:00 AM   #6
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Saturated colors are a bad choice for any text. Light blue works as well as light green. The only time I've been successful with vivid red text was to put a white border around it, unfortunately it seems that is only appropiate for used car commercials.

Due to the physical properties of the red wavelengths, it's a tough color for all video equiptment. I have have no idea how PAL reacts to red but in NTSC it's a nightmare. In early color TV, vivid red would always streak to the right by the time it got to the home television. Red caused a substantial loss of detail in the red area. It's much, much better now but care should still be maintained.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #7
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In my Pal FCP nle saturated red text is really unuseful. Blue is a little better. Green is the same as blue. Yellow is good. This text color problem is a major issue in my work. I hope somebody will solve it in the near future.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:45 AM   #8
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Due to the DV compression (4:2:0 PAL) red colour has only 1/4th of the resolution of luma and if there is no green or blue, it will look really ugly.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 04:45 AM   #9
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FCP should have a "broadcast colors" filter or effect somewhere, which adjusts "illegal" colors to fit within the color space of video. Clean red is a no-no...
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Old January 8th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #10
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Bart,
I'm working with 1080i and 720p files from P2 and 1080i HDV files.
Red text is bad everywhere, as is on DV clips. I've also tried to superimpose red text on a HD clip in Motion 3. The text seems perfect on the Motion viewer but when I export it to FCP it looks bad.

Thanks Petri.
I will try to find this filter or effect you are talking about.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #11
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1a- Some of the problems is in how the chroma subsampling is done.
You could avoid part of this by setting your project to use the Animation codec (or another 4:4:4 codec like photoJPEG; photoJPEG may have audio sync issues, so use 2-pops if audio sync is important).

1b- Other chroma problems are possible. Check your final output on the right type of player and see if it looks good. e.g. if your final delivery medium is a DVD, burn the DVD and watch it on your TV (or preferably a broadcast monitor).

2- Chroma subsampling artifacts tend to look worse on a LCD.

I3- f you look really closely at the problem, there are some problems with chroma subsampling when working with 4:2:0 interlaced material. And some chroma problems can get worse during editing, because the NLEs tend not to handle it correctly (can happen when mixing formats... in this case if mixing in 4:1:1 NTSC DV). It's not that convenient to fix those chroma problems, but usually they're aren't a problem because they're not noticeable and so I wouldn't bother trying to do it correctly.

The following page describes the 4:2:0 interlaced chroma problem:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...ug-4-2001.html
scroll down to the section on "4:2:0 Interlaced: Fundamentally Broken"

*Most people don't notice it, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. And it's up to the MPEG-2 decoder + de-interlacer to fix it... so you can't really fix it on your end anyways. That's assuming your target format is DVD. If your target format is broadcast, I don't think QC will reject 4:2:0 footage unless you have fully saturated colors and therefore the chroma problems are noticeable (usually they aren't, so don't worry).
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #12
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Thank you Glenn for the precious informations about this -not so easy to solve- problem.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #13
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Every visual medium has a set of color parameters that should be understood in some way to create usable results. Compared to video, print, paint, photography and film all have a greater latitude in respects to how you can use and combine colors. HD is better but still inferior to 35mm film. Even so as an example, bright reds next to vivid blues are terrible for text in any medium. Why? It's the way our eyes work. Those frequencies of light don't play well together on our retinas and we loose visual detail wherever those colors interact.

Experiments in text color should always be checked on the intended delivery medium (DVD, HD, SD, Web File), especially by someone who is unfamiliar with the text.
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