Saturday, June 18, 2011

GSoC11 - Text Strip Requirements Poll #2

My recent commit of an experimental feature for the sequencer, Simple Title Cards, has generated some interesting debate over this kind of basic functionality for the sequencer. From some responses so far, it sounds like a specific "title card" strip might be too specialised to have, but rather, we should have a more general "text" strip.

This begs the questions:
  1. What would you use such text strips for?
  2. How much control do you want over how the text is displayed for the uses you've specified?
    • a) Text placement... in just a few common places, or freely placed anywhere 
    • b) Font size/styling issues - what's needed here?
    • c) Text shadows/glow effects? Useful or not?
  3. Anything else?

My current thoughts on this are as follows

Guiding principle: make it quick and easy to add some basic text to a video clip - either as a dedicated title, or perhaps as overlays (i.e. subtitles)

From this...
  • We probably really don't want to have a full-blown word processor type thing here (especially not for display very large blobs of text, unless that's what everyone wants to do!). If you're after that level of control, you probably already have a favourite tool for this already. Some basic "whole block of text has same font + colour" is probably as advanced as we'll go.
  • If you want 3d or "animated" text (with fancy effects), again, this is out of the scope of this tool. For that, Blender's scene+3d-text tools are far better suited to this. If you're doing this sort of stuff, I assume you're already one of the motion-graphics types who specialise in making fancy logos for people, so this feature wouldn't matter to you anyway (you probably also have a favourite 2d-editor tool for this stuff).
  • In terms of backgrounds, we just want to keep this simple plain coloured or perhaps able to be made transparent so that you can overlay the text over stuff.



  1. That´s very interesting, simple titles, obviously we don´t need a full blown subtitler like Aegisub (opensourced), which is used to subtitle anime via substation alpha commands, but it would be very handy to be able to control IN and OUT times, timed fade-ins and outs, and be able to use any font on the system.

  2. ...continued (sorry about that)

    I´d better stick to subtitle with Aegisub,
    instead of Blender, no effects like blurs or dropshadows. Free text placement, maybe bold and italics, no more than that.
    My two cents.

  3. I'd like to be able to alphaover some subs like I do in my reel and be able to size them and translate them :) Nothing too complex


  4. Yeah that's a slippery-slope. First its just basic text, but then why not have centre, left, and right alignment? And then why not add font support? Spell-check?
    Sorry, I'm not totally behind this feature - someone is always going to ask for another word-processor feature, which will likely annoy you.

  5. Alpha over would be handy. But...
    If the scope of the tool doesn't allow for fancy effects - I'm not sure I would ever make use of it.
    You could do something like this in post quickly enough.
    I'd leave it I guess, to avoid more feature requests.

  6. I don't think that text size and justification is really wordprocessing, just basic layout options.

    The processing limitations would relate to text content (typo correction etc.), I don't see a need for that sort of thing.

    But most often I need to 1/ select font 2/ resize font 3/ place text 4/ key or not key.

    I can make drop shadows or glows if i want later.

    Sorry for anon post couldn't get it to recognise me.