HFExpress - simple text is blurry/fuzzy, why?

pdok Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*
edited November 2021 in HitFilm

I've scoured this forum, tried quite a few of the tips related to blurry text, and had no success.

Attached 450Kb mp4 with text that is blurry. I don't understand why. I feel like this wasn't a problem the last time I dusted off HFE and did some similar clips. It updated itself a little while back, though, and I was on a previous version before.

Windows 10, beefy specs, latest video drivers, 2021.2 HFE version.

I have a 1080 composite shot, with a still photo background, no actual video clips. I'm using text layers and a plane layer with fill effect to produce a simple rectangle behind the text. I tried making it 200% size, then scaling down to 42%. No help. Tried using font size too.

Tried with Arial and several other fonts, no improvement.

I tried just keeping the text stationary, instead of parenting to the box transform, same problem. I can't even get it to export clean as a single frame png.

I went to Powerpoint, made the same text box and callout animation, dropped it in the timeline instead of the comp, and it works perfectly. Crystal clear, no fuzz on the edges.

Even the rectangle boxes have fuzz, and they aren't angled so aliasing should be minimal anyway.

Any ideas? I do like HFE so far, lots of great features, but this is a dealbreaker issue if there's no solution.

One edit note: I forgot to mention that it looks great in the Viewer. It's a little aliased when you zoom in, but a million times better than the export. Exporting as 1080p, tried all the variations, even VBR and CBR, etc. All rendering values at maximum.



Best Answer

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,555 Ambassador
    Accepted Answer

    @pdok Hmm... to my old eyes the text in the mp4 looks fine. But just a guess, maybe Default Antialiasing Mode is set too high? File-Options-Render.

    I've pretty much left all that stuff at default, especially when rendering at 1080p (as seen below). Setting the Default Antialiasing Mode to higher values can reduce sharp edges and make things softer.


  • pdok
    pdok Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*
    Ah, yes...my default was 8x MSAA, etc, right out of the box, so to speak. I raised them several notches, but actually never tried lowering them below default! I spend so much time trying to tweak graphics on games, my mind just naturally thinks only in one direction when trying to improve image quality.

    With it at 4x, the softness is gone. Thanks so much for responding, very helpful! Also, in many posts about blurry text, I did not notice anyone providing that bit of info, so golfclap to you sir.
  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,555 Ambassador
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,244 Ambassador

    @pdok usually with text the first advice is to create large then reduce in size since text is immediately rasterized at creation. Since you'd indicated you'd tried that, you nicely lead @Stargazer54 to the solution.

    Side note on reducing text for sharpness - blah, blah, pixels, blah, blah, 50% is better/sharper than 42%. At 42% there's some annoying interpolation going on. "Blah, blah" is the technical term, right?

    Ok, so, HF is largely OpenGL based, and6, while the devs have never confirmed this, I believe in Hitfilm image, video and text objects are treated as textured polygons. This does mean the Export anti aliasing affects everything globally.

    There is a feature request thread to have a 2xMSAA option and to disable AA on Export, if you want to up vote that.

  • pdok
    pdok Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*

    Upvoted, good idea.

    I did see the threads discussing the weirdness of % multiples for scaling in this context. Based on those ideas, I actually tried several reduced sizes, including exactly 50%, with no success, and 42% happened to be the most recent choice purely for aesthetics based on a change in the box size.

    Now that I see the results of reduced AA settings, it all makes a lot more sense, including seeing that AA is being applied to the background still image. It's subtle, but sort of looks like somebody cranked the soften/sharpen slider about 75% of the way over on a photo editor. Since I did not change any HF defaults at first, it makes me question why it defaults to produce unsharp work. I'm not in the video field, so I'm uninformed as to why these defaults would be appropriate for a video pro artist.

    If there were a way to choose for HF to ignore text or certain classes of geometric objects when doing AA, that would be interesting as well.