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Great Titles with the DV Codec

Great Titles with the DV Codec
A Creative COW "Basics of Video" Tutorial



Philip Hodgetts
philip@intelligentassistance
Intelligent Assistance, Los Angeles, California USA

© 2003 Philip Hodgetts and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
In this article, Philip Hodgetts gives us a few hints on how to make great titles with the DV Codec. In most cases, if you're using the DV Codec, you'll find that your titles at best will be good. If you want great quality, then you will need to follow most of these guideliness that Philip discusses but NOT compress to the DV Codec.

OK, realistically, they are going to be good titles. If you want great quality then you will need to follow most of these guidelines but NOT compress to the DV codec. The DV codec is not optimized for text. It was designed for real-world images where images blend together smoothly rather without hard lines. In this example see how the edges blend together cross 2 or more pixels.

Font choice

    San Serif

  • No small filigrees
  • Bold lines
  • No thin outlines
  • Horizontal lines at least 2 pixels to avoid Interlace flicker
  • 20 scan lines minimum
    • Except political and other fine print where the requirements of the job precule high quality

Examples of Good Fonts

Examples of Bad Fonts

Color & brightness

Legal Color

  • The Default for the Text Generators is not legal video

  • Work with legal color and keep all color channels within the legal limits of 16 to 235 in any R, G or B channel
    • Good NTSC white is 90%; if on a black background, it should be kept to 80% white
    • Reduce saturation in bright or dark colors
    • Compose color on video monitor, not computer
    • Gamma difference between computer and video monitor will make the video look correct on the video monitor.
    • Keep contrast down
    • White text on black = very bad

  • Add Noise to the background if going on black - use a Noise generator at 1-2% (exaggerated in this example)

Work with the scopes

  • The Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope are most important to keep titles within the legal limits.

Color

  • NTSC Color is about 3.5 million of 16.7 million 24 bit colors.

    Rules of Thumb

    • If it looks good on the computer, it is probably not within broadcast legal

Rise Times and Codecs

    Text can be overly sharp

    DV Codec does not like sharp, contrasty edges.

    Whatever you do ultimately it will be compressed to the output codec.

    Pre-rendering to uncompressed will not help and might make it worse.

    All the electronic factors that make the signal ring.

    White = 80%; Black = 6-10%

    Reduce opacity to 90%

Use a Keyline

    Prevents color bleed

    Provides an interim color

Blur

    Add at least one pixel of mid-tone between black and white

    Gaussian Blur filter at .3


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