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Old 10 January 2017, 14:31   #1
Daedalus
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Font Antialiasing in Scala MM400

I've just opened Scala MM400 for the first time in about 15 years. I put a slide together fine, but the font antialiasing doesn't seem to work right: it always spreads the colour to black, so the background needs to be black or else it doesn't work. The manual isn't much help, describing the different modes in detail but saying that the background colour is taken into account. But setting the background colour to anything other than black has no effect on the antialiasing colour. I've also tried setting the outline, shadow and 3D colours, and I've made sure the 256-colour palette has plenty of in between colours that would be suitable.

I'm sure this was possible to do before, and there's something simple I'm missing. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 11 January 2017, 01:51   #2
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Might be a cut down version of Scala. The later releases, while having more features, did drop a few you found on the early versions. I could be wrong but I wasn't the only person who used them. The out of house video guy on Format (Gary something - Whiteley?) raved about Scala using AA for fonts, said they made the package unique for doing presentations at the time. But he was a Pro, and it might have been left out of non-Pro versions maybe.

It was certainly there. Maybe only works on TrueType fonts, the ttf variety?
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Old 11 January 2017, 11:32   #3
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I've tried with both bitmap and TT fonts, same result. The manual says it's there for both types, with TT support added in MM400 (antialiasing setting 5). Seems like a strange feature to have working incorrectly for a cut down version - why not just disable it? I also don't remember ever seeing any pro versions advertised, just floppy and CD versions.

I'm sure it's either a setting I've missed or a problem with my ancient Scala install. I guess a new installation couldn't hurt...
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Old 11 January 2017, 11:52   #4
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Hmmm. I've been thinking, might only cut in on interlaced screens. They're the ones that benefit most.
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Old 11 January 2017, 12:06   #5
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Tried it on low res and high res interlaced screenmodes. Same thing.
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Old 11 January 2017, 12:43   #6
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Screwy idea - Scala wasn't tested on AGA? Or rather, the AA option wasn't? That's all else I can think of. I don't think it is that, but for AA to work, there has to be a halftone of the ink colour for the fonts in the palette, somewhere.

The company is still operating, but I have no idea if they even know about that sort of issue anymore.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scala_(company)
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Old 11 January 2017, 13:31   #7
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Well it supports the AGA palette and 256 colour screens, and does a reasonable job with palette remapping and optimising so support is definitely there. The antialiasing uses multiple levels of colour, not just a halftone, and I made sure that there were plenty of colours in the range for it to choose from. Manually changing those colours on the palette to suitable shades makes the antialiasing look great, but that's lost the next time you remap a slide or change any layout settings.
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Old 11 January 2017, 14:03   #8
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Yeah, I guess you have to remap the palette for each slide. Not an issue for 24 bit users, but a pain in the rear for Amiga users. Come to that, anybody not using 24 bit graphics card.
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Old 11 January 2017, 14:15   #9
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That aspect itself isn't an issue since it does it automatically and does it well. It just precludes a work-around for the font problem, which wouldn't be possible on 24-bit screens anyway.
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Old 11 January 2017, 14:24   #10
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I don't understand - a 24 bit card does not have a problem painting any pixel any colour.

I was thinking more of remapping outside of Scala, to make sure images have suitable in between shades for your main font colour.
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Old 11 January 2017, 14:33   #11
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My work-around was by manipulating the palette to fix the incorrect colours chosen by Scala for its antialiasing. On a 24-bit card, such palette adjustments make no sense except in rare cases of using a CLUT mode. Mapping isn't the issue - the issue is that Scala always thinks text is on a black background and picks colours based on that.

Yes, I could create the text in DPaint, PPaint or whatever, anti-alias it there, import that into Scala and it would be perfect. Remapping in Scala wouldn't affect it then. But that's a crazy amount of work compared to using a feature of Scala that should work, and was a major selling point at the time.
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Old 11 January 2017, 14:47   #12
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No, sorry, that's not the way I was thinking of.

You have a font colour. You want to AA it. Easier in Scala than other places.

But, you have to make sure those colours are available in all palettes used by all pictures.

If you are saying that Scala assumes black is the background for all font uses, that's a different kettle of fish. Then you are have to make sure all images have inbetween colours for your font colour and all possible background colours... hmmm...
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Old 11 January 2017, 16:09   #13
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Yep, that's what I've been saying all along. From my first post:

Quote:
...it always spreads the colour to black, so the background needs to be black or else it doesn't work.
[...]
But setting the background colour to anything other than black has no effect on the antialiasing colour.
[...]
I've made sure the 256-colour palette has plenty of in between colours that would be suitable.
Perhaps I should grab some screenshots to make it clearer. The issue isn't my lack of understanding of the situation, familiarity with palette control goes hand-in-hand with programming the custom chips, and I've coded plenty of palette and bitmap manipulation routines over the years. The problem is I don't know why Scala is taking black as the background colour, regardless of the actual colour chosen.
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Old 15 March 2017, 18:12   #14
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Okay, to partially close this out, I ended up adjusting the presentation to use a black background and light-coloured fonts, which antialiased perfectly. However, when I went to actually make the presentation on someone else's Amiga, much of the text was actually corrupted and difficult/impossible to read, even though they'd been fine on my own OS 3.9 machine. Which didn't exactly help the presentation to be fair

In the end, I managed to reproduce the glitching on WinUAE and OS 3.9, and while I don't know exactly what combination of patches and 3.9 components are causing the issue or how my own machines were immune to it, I did find that running the Scala player on 3.1 fixed not only the glitching, but also the antialiasing issue. So I can now use any colour background and have any font perfectly antialiased to the background, so long as I boot into 3.1 instead.

I'm pretty sure that's the first piece of software I've actually had to do that for. I can't remember the last time I booted the machine into 3.1 other than to do software testing, but it was probably around 1999...
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Old 19 March 2017, 20:49   #15
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You may find WHDload useful for this

http://whdload.de/apps/Workbench31.html
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Old 20 March 2017, 13:51   #16
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@kolla

Wow, what kind of wizardry is this? Never crossed my mind that this was even a thing, I'll be sure to test it as soon as I have a chance!
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Old 20 March 2017, 20:18   #17
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Cool, that never crossed my mind either. The wb1.3 slave is nice as well!
Another option is simply to have another boot partition with 3.1. Early boot menu lets you choose boot partition after all.
If you have several sys partitions you can dismount the ones that are not in use.
Edit: Or turn on/off automount in hdtoolbox if they are used seldomly, to make sure it doesn't use any resources at all.
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Old 20 March 2017, 23:39   #18
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Yeah, I have my original 3.1 partition still there from "back in the day", which I use for software testing. But having a WHDLoad setup is a lot more convenient to switch to than doing a cold reboot or shifting everything over to WinUAE.
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Old 22 March 2017, 20:44   #19
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Yes, it is very convenient. I use it quite a lot for programs and games that are not so happy with "fully patched" systems
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