Smooth text

Helicon Filter: Want new feature? Suggest it here

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Ariel
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Smooth text

Unread postby Ariel » 29.05.2007 03:07

Right now, when you insert text, specifically curved letters, in Helicon Filter, they look very pixelated. They should be smooth, as the font really is. The smoothing slider doesn't really help to make the letter the way it should, it just kind of blurs the edges, but since the pixels are so big, that doesn't really help much.

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Dan Kozub
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Unread postby Dan Kozub » 29.05.2007 11:07

On the Frames tab you only see downsized image. I think the text will look fine of the resulting image.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 29.05.2007 20:01

It doesn't look fine. It looks usable, but not as smooth and clear as it should.

Regarding the downsized images on the frames tab, it really should look higher quality and show the added edits. Otherwise, it is confusing to the user who doesn't know about this. Like I said in the past, Picasa found a way to show nice looking photos and their edits quickly, and you can too.
Last edited by Ariel on 21.02.2008 07:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan Kozub
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Unread postby Dan Kozub » 30.05.2007 08:47

Ariel, It looks like it depends on the font. I was not able to get the same effect with Arial, TNR or other standard TrueType fonts.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 30.05.2007 19:40

Maybe there is no problem with some fonts, but there is a definite problem with other fonts.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 30.05.2007 21:11

I think what other programs do to make fonts look smooth is to use something called "clear type". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_Type to see what I mean. Helicon Filter should implement this, if this is where the problem comes in.

But I'm not sure if this is or is not the problem, because the pixels look so big, I think bigger than they would normally without clear type, but I'm not sure.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 31.05.2007 05:24

You know what, it doesn't seem to matter what font: it seems to be a lack of cleartype.

lutz
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comparisons

Unread postby lutz » 04.06.2007 04:11

Helicon Filter seems to use stronger anti-aliasing in the comparison posted below. I used Arial bold 14 points and added white text in photoshop, HF (set to no smoothing), and Photoline 32. I then resampled the image to 200 % for better visibility (no JPG saves were used; resampled in Faststone). The text comes out differently in each program indeed, in HF perhaps the color is influenced by the anti-aliasing. Could it be that in the current HF version the "no smoothing" setting actually still applys quite a bit of smoothing?


Image

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 04.06.2007 06:22

When you do a large font, the need for cleartype gets less. That's why Helicon doesn't seem so bad here. Photoshop does seem bad here, but what I'm looking for is REALLY high quality sharpness, smoothness, and clarity in all fonts/sizes.

When looking at text in the picture at 100%, the text looks very sharp in Helicon. Zooming in at 200% blurs because it tries to figure how to make new pixels.

But at small sizes, there is no cleartype or even a smart pixel figuring method, so the letters cannot be made out, and pixels seem to be poorly placed.

Inkscape is an example of a program that does a fine job. I'm not sure if they use cleartype or not, but the text always looks great at all sizes.
Attachments
text test.png
Arial and Unicorn text, 100%, no smoothing, different sizes.
text test.png (86.48 KiB) Viewed 11415 times
text test big.png
Same, viewed at 200% (except it is missing one of the lines.
text test big.png (236.12 KiB) Viewed 11415 times

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 04.06.2007 06:27

Here is a zoomed-in version of the 100% version
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Snapshot 2007-06-03 21-10-10.png
Here is a zoomed-in version of the 100% version
Snapshot 2007-06-03 21-10-10.png (115.1 KiB) Viewed 11412 times

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 04.06.2007 06:28

There, with my final example shown at 200% using simple interpolation, you can really see what I mean.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 04.06.2007 06:35

Here are examples with Inkscape. The first is examples with text, the second is viewed at 200% simple interpolation. Clearly, it is something Helicon Filter can strive for, because lots of people want to sign their images with it looking nice.
Attachments
Snapshot 2007-06-03 21-18-28.png
200%
Snapshot 2007-06-03 21-18-28.png (11.78 KiB) Viewed 11410 times
inkscapetest.png
Inkscape text.
inkscapetest.png (5.98 KiB) Viewed 11410 times

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Dan Kozub
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Unread postby Dan Kozub » 04.06.2007 20:47

We will check this again. So far, I cannot reproduce the problem.

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Ariel
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Unread postby Ariel » 04.06.2007 21:30

It not so much a problem that requires reproduction as it is the way Helicon writes text. See:
Image

The small text really is a problem. It should implement cleartype or something similar. Note that this picture is viewed at 2x zoom.

But to reproduce it, just use a small font and look closley. Clearly, it is not good at small text like it really should be.

lutz
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Unread postby lutz » 04.06.2007 23:35

Hello Ariel,

I did repeat my test with Inkscape and in this case (this obviously might vary from fontsize to fontsize) the results from Helicon Filter and from Inkscape look almost identical; both markedly different from photoshop and photoline and both a little bit grey-ish. It looks like the word "test" was not in bold for Inkscape and like the font is slightly smaller in the end, but it is almost impossible to get it perfectly correct. As Inkscape is a vector app everything looks perfectly smooth and sharp in Inkscape until the output is converted to bitmap.

The results are pretty different from app to app for me; with photoshop and photoline certainly being sharper, but also with far more staircase artifacts. I do not know which solution is better for photographic purposes (something in between?). Text is problematic on low resolution bitmaps.

100%
Image
200%
Image


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