Another poor titler (or two)

barleycorn wrote on 12/2/2011, 5:38 AM
There are shocking problems with the new Titles & Text plug-in. Whoever wrote the spec for this thing has some explaining to do.

1. There's no proper Unicode compliance. Need Greek or Cyrillic characters? Need anything not in the ANSI character set? Forget it. To put this into context, there's no problem using such characters in the ancient (Legacy) Text generator.

2. CFF OpenType fonts don't appear in the Font Family list. The vast majority of commercially available fonts cannot be used. There used to be an arbitrary restriction in the (Legacy) Text generator but this was removed in Vegas 4.0b.

3. There are problems with the following characters (they're not rendered in the Video Preview):

• – —
149 150 151
Bullet, En Dash, Em Dash

  [No-Break Space]
160

­
173
Soft Hyphen

The first three are needed all the time and this needs to be put right straightaway. It's a moot point whether or not the last should be visible or not (see http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/shy.html) but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Incidentally, ANSI characters 145 to 151 are still not rendered in the Video Preview when using the (Legacy) Text generator so using that instead is not an option. Perhaps they could both be fixed at the same time.

4. There are no OpenType glyph substitution capabilities. Since these are available in the ProType Titler (and are made straightforward by Windows Presentation Foundation), why could they not be in Titles & Text? Why was ProType Titler not developed or adapted? Anyone who knows anything about typography and design is going to want these nowadays (the technology's even in Microsoft Word 2010).


First impressions of NewBlue Title Pro aren't good (first impressions are all I can get so far since it crashes Vegas all the time – bundling this with Vegas Pro 11 might not have been a very good marketing move in the medium term). Anybody who doesn't know the difference between kerning and tracking has no business writing a typographic plug-in. Not supporting kerning is about as amateur as you can get.

Comments

farss wrote on 12/2/2011, 7:12 AM
I'd really like to learn more about typography and how it is supposed to work. At the moment I'm not certain what should work and how it should work so I'm at a bit of a loss trying to know if it isn't working, maybe you can explain this a bit or recommend a source I could readup.

Simple example. In PrType Titler I see an option to display fractions as "slashed" or "stacked". To try this out I select a ProType font and select the "1/4" character using the character system tool, copy and paste that into PTT. So far so good.

Changing the Fraction option in PTT's Opentype tab from "slashed" to "stacked" does nothing. Should it or for that to work does the Font itself have to have those options available?


Bob.
AtomicGreymon wrote on 12/2/2011, 8:43 AM
I purchased V11 just the other day, on the final day for the promotional upgrade pricing of the promotional upgrade pricing, so I haven't had a chance to actually install and try it out yet. However, if the points listed by the OP are accurate then it definitely needs to be rectified ASAP, or the new titling plug-in really has no business having the word "Pro" in the title.
johnmeyer wrote on 12/2/2011, 11:09 AM
I haven't tried out the V11 titler, but if the OP's observations are correct, then the inability to enter standard typographic characters, diacriticals, and "foreign" characters is pretty pathetic. We figured out all these typographic issues back in the late 1980s, and they've been available to all programs ever since. Typography is hundreds of years old, and has a set of rules that are pretty well known.

I'd really like to learn more about typography and how it is supposed to work. At the moment I'm not certain what should work and how it should work so I'm at a bit of a loss trying to know if it isn't working, maybe you can explain this a bit or recommend a source I could readup.The best reference on typography and on typsetting usage is "The Chicago Manual of Style." The only question is whether its rules apply the same down under as they do here, but I suspect about 99% of what is contained in that book would be relevant to you.

It is a book that is as important as a dictionary, if you intend to publish your written works.

Another answer to your question is that you can ask me. If you Google my name and "Ventura Software" you'll find that I learned a thing or two about typesetting back in the 1980s.

Of course, I'm still learning, and I still don't know whether Garamond looks better than Times Roman ...
Guy S. wrote on 12/2/2011, 12:35 PM
HA! I used Ventura 7 or 8 (1999) after miserable attempts at creating a user manual with Word, Word Perfect, & Page Maker. What a program! It was clear, logical, and so easy to jump right into and learn. Everything just made sense. Nice to finally meet you!

Guy
Dan Sherman wrote on 12/2/2011, 12:44 PM
Found the webinar with Gary R. this week helpful in finding my way around NB Pro Titler.
Deep but logical.
Seems like a good app. to me.
Are we expecting too much from a titler here.
We aren't publishing books with Vegas Pro, we are applying titles to video.
Chicago what?
Pro Titler is certainly head and shoulders above Cayman IMHO.
What a confusing, convoluted piece of work that was that I paid too much for.
johnmeyer wrote on 12/2/2011, 1:58 PM
Are we expecting too much from a titler here.It is true that we don't have to deal with printing issues like trapping and separations, but the idea that professional quality results don't matter when dealing with a "Pro" application just isn't right, I don't think. For instance, you may not care about anti-aliasing, or even know what it is, but you definitely want and need it when dealing with titles. Similarly, you may think that "kerning" is a funny word, and don't care about it, but you definitely need and want it, even with Video titles.

The first example below is from the original Vegas titler which, incorrectly in my opinion, does not enable kerning as a default setting. As a result, unless you know something about typography, and unless you make the effort to enable this option every time you create a title (with the old titler), you get the first result (bad) instead of the second result (good). Hopefully you can see the difference (which is caused by how proportionally-spaced letters look when placed next to certain other letters that mirror their shape, and therefore should be moved closer, but only when those letter pairs are next to each other).

Unkerned:


Kerned:
farss wrote on 12/2/2011, 2:57 PM
"The best reference on typography and on typsetting usage is "The Chicago Manual of Style." The only question is whether its rules apply the same down under as they do here, but I suspect about 99% of what is contained in that book would be relevant to you."

Thanks John, will buy. I don't think it matter where or when that much, well set type is timeless. I cannot read a word of Chinese yet I can in an instant appreciate the work of the master Chinese Calligraphers. Perhaps there's an observation to be made there. When you're not trying to read the words you focus on how the words are written instead of what they say.


My original question and the thing I'm trying to unravel is how things should work in the digital realm especially with Opentype.

Argh, lots of Googling and I think I have my answer. The font set itself has to support the features. For example Parisine:

OpenType features include small caps, case forms, ligatures, special ligatures, alternates, stylistic sets, caps figures, oldstyle figures, tabular figures, fractions, superscript/subscript, superior/inferior figures, ordinals/superior letters and figures, and ornaments.

As I'm also finding out none fo the better fonts are exactly cheap :(

Bob.
Jim H wrote on 12/2/2011, 3:01 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, thank you John Meyer! You're such an asset to this community.
amendegw wrote on 12/2/2011, 3:08 PM
A while ago, I watched the DVD Helvetica, the Movie It was actually fairly entertaining.

...Jerry
monoparadox wrote on 12/2/2011, 3:24 PM
Hey John,

I had a copy of Ventura Publisher on my Tandy. I was just thinking about it the other day and how desktop publishing software has evolved.
barleycorn wrote on 12/2/2011, 4:52 PM
> Changing the Fraction option in PTT's Opentype tab from "slashed" to "stacked" does nothing

You've been unlucky in this case as very few fonts support stacked fraction substitutions (they're more usually known as nut fractions).

To see what should happen, add a ProType Titler event, add some text, select the Font family Palatino Linotype (installed with all versions of Windows since 2000 I think), set the Fraction style to Slashed, type (or paste) to replace Sample Text with the following: 1/2 1/3 5/8. Hey presto: as you type your text will be converted to properly formatted fractions. Change the Fraction style to Stacked (before or after typing) and your text will be formatted as nut fractions. This is called glyph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyph) substitution and you can imagine how much time it saves (and how many errors are avoided) when setting type. If you enter something like 213/217 you won't get a properly formatted nut fraction as Palatino only includes sixteen nut fraction glyphs.

There must be more comprehensive guides but for an idea of what kind of substitutions can be made, see OpenType Font Features (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms745109.aspx#variants). Unfortunately Stylistic alternatives seems to be broken in ProType Titler but for an idea of what can be done using nothing more than Microsoft Word 2010 nowadays (Adobe InDesign is my main tool) see Making awesome Wedding documents using OpenType Ligatures and Stylistic Sets in Microsoft Word 2010 and Gabriola (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/MakingAwesomeWeddingDocumentsUsingOpenTypeLigaturesAndStylisticSetsInMicrosoftWord2010AndGabriola.aspx).

As a general guide to typography I can highly recommend The Complete Manual of Typography by Jim Felici. It's not cheap but it's absolutely excellent and it will remain a useful reference book.
barleycorn wrote on 12/2/2011, 5:10 PM
> the new titling plug-in really has no business having the word "Pro" in the title

All but my last paragraph were concerned with the Titles & Text generator rather than NewBlue Titler Pro.

The latter doesn't kern fonts though and amazingly, the developers don't seem to know the difference between kerning and tracking. See http://www.newbluefx.com/helpfiles/TitlerPro/index.html?id_editing_screen.htm ("The Kerning control allows you to adjust the space between the letters in your Paragraph") and (02:39).

It also now crashes Vegas every time I try to open it...
barleycorn wrote on 12/2/2011, 5:38 PM
> I'm also finding out none fo the better fonts are exactly cheap :(

Palatino Linotype

Calibri
Cambria
Candara
Consolas
Constantia
Corbel

Gabriola

are something to be going on with.


Trial versions of InDesign (http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=indesign) and other Adobe software have included some wonderful and normally very expensive fonts (including complete families) in the past. There's a list of fonts included with CS5 at http://www.adobe.com/type/browser/fontinstall/cs5installedfonts.html
 
AtomicGreymon wrote on 12/3/2011, 12:41 AM
All but my last paragraph were concerned with the Titles & Text generator rather than NewBlue Titler Pro.

Ah, I see. Well, I hope when I get a chance to try out V11 this weekend I have better luck in terms of NewBlue Titler not crashing Vegas out.

I'm upgrading from V8, so I'm not totally familiar with the changes made throughout 9 & 10, but does 11 still include the Sony ProType Titler as an alternative to the more basic text generator? I guess that could be an alternative until NewBlue is working at 100%.
farss wrote on 12/3/2011, 5:05 AM
"Trial versions of InDesign (

I have Arno Pro installed and have been using it for my tests.

One specific question I am still trying to get an asner for:

In ProType Titler and PS CS3 I have been testing to see if I can get the Fraction options of Slashed / Stacked to work but neither application seems to be able to change the Slashed variant to the Stacked variant.

I do not understand if this should work or not. I also do not know if this depends on the front itself or is the application is supposed to be able to create both variants from data contained in the font without the font dataset holding the explicit variants?

Bob.
barleycorn wrote on 12/3/2011, 6:35 AM
> I also do not know if this depends on the front itself or is the application is supposed to be able to create both variants from data contained in the font without the font dataset holding the explicit variants?

It depends on the substitution table within the font; not on the application.

In the case of slashed fractions almost any combination can usually be created as the process would be (1) substitute the numerator forms for numbers before the slash, (2) substitute a fraction bar for the slash, (3) use the the denominator forms for the numbers following the slash.

In the case of stacked fractions, a substitution will only be made if a glyph for a particular combination is included in the font. Arno Pro (a wonderful font) doesn't include any stacked fractions so no substitutions will be made; Palatino Linotype includes the following: 1/4 1/2 3/4 1/3 2/3 1/5 2/5 3/5 4/5 1/6 5/6 1/8 3/8 5/8 7/8.

Stacked fractions aren't usually a good choice since they're far less legible than slashed fractions at the same point size (the numerator and denominator will be very small).
 
barleycorn wrote on 12/3/2011, 6:37 AM
> I'm upgrading from V8

Same here.

> does 11 still include the Sony ProType Titler

Yes.

Good luck with NewBlue Titler Pro.
farss wrote on 12/3/2011, 6:51 AM
"Stacked fractions aren't usually a good choice since they're far less legible than slashed fractions at the same point size (the numerator and denominator will be very small)."

Understood, I was using them only as a clearly visible way to test and try to understand how things work or "should" works.

Thanks for all the information, most helpfull and hopefully it will help others understand how it works.

Bob.