8 Replies Latest reply on May 20, 2011 5:45 PM by shooternz

    TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions

    mdubuque Level 1



      I have some yellow text on black that I would like to make more broadcast friendly. 


      One thing I will be doing is adding an outer stroke to my lettering.


      Should I choose a color that is halfway between my shade of yellow and black for my "stroke" color?  In other words, if the yellow and black form a line segment, should my outer stroke be assigned the color of the midpoint of that line segment?


      Also, per the screen shot below:


      Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 9.17.11 PM.png


      Should I use a "linear gradient" option here for the most gradual color shift?


      Finally, does the number associated with "size" equal the actual width of the stroke, expressed in pixels? 


      In other words, is this screen shot set up for an outer stroke 10 pixels in width?




      Matt Dubuque, Twitter Time

        • 1. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
          shooternz Level 6

          Why do you think the stroke makes whatever you are doing more broadcast friendly?


          Strokes and fills are a visual creative decision and I am not sure why or how they help in this regard apart from making text pop out from conflicted color /tone  BGs.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
            Level 4

            I'm guessing some of your scrolling and animated text is ugly looking re: color of text against your black video. One thing you might try is making the black video not so black... by doing your text in photoshop using NOT solid black as your background...basically not using the black video.  ( maybe make a background color image only and lay that under your text layer made in titler ?? )


            you'd have to match that background color used in photoshop for all your text probably ( to make it look like multiple streams of text animated against a common background )


            A lot of solid colors against black dont look good to me personally...in fact Guttenberg back in the 16th century gave some "rules" regarding text and colors which is worth reading ( most art students do this as part of their caligraphy courses ).  The easiest thing to read is black text on white background ( like this thread and most books etc ).

            That said, primary colors ( solid ) and even secondary colors, sometimes look pretty horrible on black.  You can mute the colors which helps IMO ( make them more like soft pastel color instead of truly primary and secondary color.. but even that is a trial and error thing...as Shooternz suggested....


            Sooo, maybe make the background NOT black....and see if that helps... or experiment with less intense colors for the text.


            In the sample below I simply stroked the text with a "grey" sort of color...( which basically eliminates the effect of the yellow against the very dark ( almost black ) background )... eliminates the "popping" of the color ...which hurts the eyes or at least looks harsh.


            as for whether the 10 represents pixels... I have no idea...as I never use that stuff but I'd guess it does...plus you can try it and see if it is by exporting a frame , put in photoshop and use the rulers ( set to pixels ) to see what the 10 did ??  It's either 10% of the size of the text or 10 pixels I imagine .. ???



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
              mdubuque Level 1

              Thank you!


              I'm adding outer strokes to assist in in downrezzing my project from HD to SD, per this excellent link provided by Bill Hunt:




              Near the bottom of that link, it refers to "keylining" which can assist in this process.  Apparently "outer strokes" are Adobe's terminology for keylining.


              Also, thanks Robodog for the various thoughts and I will check out the Gutenberg cite.....




              PS: Also, I am doing various other things cited in the link to make the result of my downrezzing of titles more acceptable, including reducing my opacity, changing to a non-serif font, etc.


              Overally, the sequence I am working with consists of six different colored streams of scrolling text, all moving in different directions.  It looks very nice and memorable in HD, but after downrezzing all this scrolling text to SD, it clearly needs some help...


              here is a screen shot that gives an idea of what I am working with:


              Screen shot 2011-05-14 at 9.09.19 AM.png

              • 4. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
                mdubuque Level 1

                One difficulty and challenge I do face here is that I am trying to have my message material convey one of my themes that text based data systems such as email, message boards, Facebook, Twitter and the like, face extreme limitations in their ability to convey subtlety, irony, nuance, etc.


                So I am tending towards a higher contrast format for this segment, to convey that central subtextual theme.


                But that is causing technical challenges.


                The horns of a dilemma.

                Ride the charging bull into the sunset!   YEE HAH!



                • 5. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  This might be worth looking at too.


                  • 6. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
                    shooternz Level 6

                    Stroking that  tiny serif text may cause more problems than it solves.

                    • 7. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
                      davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                      I'd have to agree with Shooter about stroking the serif text... I do a lot of graphic design, especially web-based graphic design, and stroking serif text is usually a no-no unless we're working with a huge font size. If you'll switch to a sans-serif you can get away with a lot more.


                      You may also want to check out some soft outer glow options, too, as those can help it stand out from the background without being as harsh as strokes. As they've recommended, Photoshop will probably be your best bet for these titles, as will going slightly "off" black--perhaps this color (sorry, hex code here, not RGB, but you can get the equivalent in PS--#999999 will give you a not-quite-black that's often nice for what you need).


                      And yes, the number does refer to pixel width of the stroke.

                      • 8. Re: TITLES: Outer Stroke Questions
                        mdubuque Level 1

                        Thanks Ann, I've reviewed those creative cow title tutorials.  Nice supplement!


                        Gentlemen, you sound like you are probably correct.  I was just going to try just about everything on that real nice link that Bill provided.  It's an excellent place to start.


                        Last week I submitted the film to a major film festival at the last minute and when I downconverted it, it was BARELY within the range of what I might call "acceptable" SD quality.  I checked with the film festival and they said send it in and follow it up with a version that more clearly reflects my vision.


                        The MAIN thing wrong with the PREVIOUS version of the film is that those streaming horizontal text feeds were in serif font.  Whoa, that did NOT really work.  I did some quick fixes to get it out the door in time but obviously needed to regroup and do much better.


                        ONLY THEN did I realize what a fool I had been for using serif text.


                        So I switched to non-serif and it made a substantial improvement.  Now I'm trying to improve it still further, with some success.


                        Looks like you are both probably correct about strokes on small text, especially small streaming text.


                        I think the big picture going forward is that I am going to start hunting for film festivals that can handle blu-ray and HD submittals.  Also, since it's only a 10 minute film, i might take a look at converting it to 2K digital format.


                        But I don't know much about that and that could be a dumb idea.


                        Lots to learn, but I'm sure glad I chose an Adobe platform, not the least because of the support here.


                        I don't know if you are aware of this, but on the INFERIOR Apple message boards you CANNOT post images and screen shots, so everyone is guessing and talking in the dark walking around blindfolded trying to help each other with problems they cannot see. 

                        Man, is that 20th century or WHAT?


                        Cheers mates!