Rasterization issues

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Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
Rasterization issues
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I just ran into pretty bad rasterization issues with [[http://www.daltonmaag.com/browse/fonts/dama/effra|Effra medium]]:

Top line is a preview from their website (14pt). Bottom line is the output from the Inkscape. I have never seen anything as ugly come out of Inkscape rasterizer and frankly I have no idea what to do about it.

Rasterizing using Windows' native rasterizer (i.e. with Windows Paint) yields slightly thinner appearance, but produces very heavy pixelation.

I sent Dalton-Maag an email, but just wanted to ask here as well for any guidance.

Any thoughts or comments ?

Thanks.

PS. By the way, this is just another argument in favor of try-then-buy licensing model. No online preview tool could've caught this issue. I bought into their rasterization of the font and now I am forced to deal with the consequences. Needless to say it's not what I had in mind.

Claus Eggers Sørensen's picture
Joined: 17 Jan 2007 - 5:49am
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Rasterizers... sigh. It's a minefield out there. My only advise is to try another application.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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I have found a way around the problem by adding thin white semi-transparent outline to the text. Ugly, but it works:

I also got a reply from D-M pointing out that it's a anti-aliasing gamma issue. Which in retrospect makes total sense, except there's no way to adjust the gamma in the software I'm using at the moment.

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
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that's why adobe exists. have you tried it in AI or PS?

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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I had to look up Inkscape - it's apparently a vector image editing package. Traditionally (eg. Corel and Illustrator) deal with text of all types with various effects, angles and nasties like text on a curve. Because of this they basically treat text like other vector graphics, slap it down, scan convert it and let the pixels fall where they may. Only in recent years, and only in vector formats like Flash has text quality been seen as important.

So what would explain this font being rendered worse than others? Perhaps, it’s a TrueType vs PostScript issue? I wonder if the results would be better if the font were first converted to PostScript or OT CFF?

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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My guess is that it has to do with the shape of the letters rather than anything else. I.e. there could be a lot of curve segments that generate 60-70% coverage of individual pixels when rasterized to a small size, and this somehow amplifies the effect of inappropriate gamma value in anti-aliasing module. Check this out: same image as in the first post above, but the second line is now gamma corrected:

Jan Schmoeger's picture
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008 - 5:39am
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Whatever happened to the ligature, Alex?

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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Its availability was bluntly ignored by the software.

Scott Thatcher's picture
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Joined: 30 Jan 2006 - 11:56am
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I don't have much in the way that can help with this question, but I thought I'd add that recently (version 0.46 on Linux) Inkscape pleasantly surprised me by clearly and seamlessly doing ligature substitutions while I typed. I was using Fontin Sans. It doesn't do them for all typefaces (even typefaces that I've verified _have_ the ligatures), but it does it for some. I'll have to do some checking now about the formats for which this feature is supported.

When I've used Inkscape to produce bitmap output, I've sometimes made very large bitmaps and shrunk them in a program like GIMP or Photoshop. I'm sure you've probably thought of that, but I thought I'd mention it, just to have something constructive to add.

st