Text TOP

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TextTOP 06.jpg

Summary

The Text TOP displays text strings in an image. It allows for multiple fonts, sizes, colors, borders, character separation and line separation. The text can be displayed as bit maps, anti-aliased lines, or filled polygon characters. Any TrueType font that has been loaded into Windows can be rendered by the Text TOP. Unicode is supported.

It can display simple text strings with embedded numeric values. It can also format lines of text and numbers in decimal or floating point format, reading the numbers from a CHOP, using special formatting characters.

Any TrueType font that has been loaded into Windows can be rendered by the Text TOP. To import a new TrueType font into your Windows system, open the Fonts folder in the Control Panel, then drag and drop your TrueType font files in (.ttf file format). Fonts can also be specified as .ttf file paths in the Font File parameter.

You can render Unicode text by reading the text as a python string. See Unicode.

See also: Field COMP, Text SOP, Unicode and the text() expression.

TextTOP.jpg

PythonIcon.png textTOP_Class

Parameters - Text Page

Field Component field - Specifies a Field Component to use as the source of the text. The font and style of the text displayed in the Field Component are set using the parameters in the Text TOP.

DAT dat - Specifies a DAT to use for the source of the text. Drag and Drop a DAT onto this field, or manually enter the DAT's path.

DAT Row rowindex - The row number (starting from 0) of the cell, if the DAT is a table.

DAT Column colindex - The column number of the cell, if the DAT is a table.

Specification DAT specdat - A Table DAT that allows you to specify and position text by pixel, with the lower left corner being at 0, 0. Column headers must include position1 or x, position2 or y, and text. A sample table can be:

x	y	text
0	0	lower left text
100	100	somewhere in the middle


Text text - A string of text. It optionally can be followed by a numeric value and another post-string, as set with Value and Post Text below. If you want to display the characters \ [ ] { }, you must precede them with a \. If 'Legacy Parsing' is off you do not need to escape these characters.

Legacy Parsing legacyparsing - In older builds the syntax \XXX (E.g \200 would be character 200), \t, \n as well as [] and {} (to position strings) was parsed in the string. This is now deprecated. For specifying characters codes, \t and \n Python syntax should be used instead.. The 'Specification DAT' should be used to position strings instead of [], {}. This parameter can be enabled to turn back on this legacy parsing though.

Use Value usevalue - Enables the Value field defined below. This value is inserted between the Text string and the Post Text string.

Value valuetouse - The numeric value to display.

Total Digits totaldigits - The total number of digits in the value displayed.

Decimal Digits decimaldigits - The number of digits displayed after the decimal place.

Post Text posttext - The text string appended after Text and Value (if present).

CHOP chop - The CHOP containing all the values to insert in the Text strings. The Text TOP will repeat the Text string until all CHOP channels are displayed. They are displayed by using a special syntax in your Text string, defined as string starting with %, for example %4d:

 %[flags][width][.precision][type]

  • flags (optional) - Alignment options.
    • - : left align (text is right aligned by default)
    • 0 : pad the left side with zeros
  • width (optional) - Total number of digits in the number displayed.
  • precision (optional) - Number of digits after the decimal place.
  • type - Number format.
    • d : integer
    • f : float
    • g : double, exponential format is used only when the exponent of the value is less than ?4.

Drag and Drop a CHOP onto this field, or manually enter the CHOP's path.

TextTOPCHOPValue.jpg

Comp Over Input compoverinput - If there is an input into the Text TOP, the text is composited over the input image using an Over operation.

Word Wrap wordwrap - When checked text is automatically line wrapped so it doesn't extend outside the TOP's borders. When using Word Wrap and Auto-Size together, the text will first word-wrap based on the specified font size, then auto size the resulting block of text.

Parameters - Font Page

Font font - Select the font for the text from this drop down menu. All fonts are provided by Windows, any TrueType font that is loaded into Windows can be used.

Font File fontfile - Specify any TrueType font file (.ttf file) to use for the text. When using a font file, the Font menu above is disabled.

Character Set charset - Select which character set to use.

Display Method dispmethod - The display method used.

  • Automatic - Automatically chooses which display mode to use based on font size and settings.
  • Polygons - Uses polygons to display the text. Polygons look better using large font sizes. They also support anti-aliasing (see Anti-Aliased below).
  • Stroke - Same as polygons but only an outline of the text is displayed.
  • Bitmap - Uses bitmap images for the text. Bitmap fonts are better for very small font sizes where high precision is required.
  • Texture - Uses polygons to render to a texture appropriate for each font size. Result is smooth anti-aliased text.

Anti-Alias antialias - Smoothes out the edges of the text. Not available for Texture Display Mode.

Stroke Width strokewidth - Controls the width of the outline when using Stroke Display Method.

Bold bold - Displays the text in bold.

Italic italic - Displays the text in Italic.

Auto-Size Font fontautosize - Automatically controls font size using one of the following 3 options. NOTE: Auto-Size Font only work with Polygon, Outline, and Texture Display Methods. When using this feature along with Word Wrap turned on, it will first word-wrap the text based on the specified font size, then auto size the resulting block of text.

  • No Auto-Fit - Does not use any auto-fitting. Font Size specified in Font Size X and Font Size Y parameters.
  • Auto-Fit Always - The font size will be increased or decreased so the text fits across the Text TOP from edge to edge.
  • Auto-Fit if Too Large - Only auto sizes the text if the text is too large and spills past the edges of the Text TOP. In this case the font size will be decreased to fit it within the borders of the TOP.

Font Size X, Y fontsizex fontsizey - Sets the font size in X (horizontal) and Y (vertical). Note: Floating point font sizes are permissable when using Polygon and Outline Display Methods.

Keep Font Ratio keepfontratio - Ignores Y value in Font Size. Sets both X and Y size to Font Size X.

Language language - Language type hint to help format the glyphs correctly. This should be a abbreviation from the Text TOP/SOP Unicode Language Abbreviations table.

Reading Direction readingdirection - Use to set whether the language reads Left to Right or Right to Left.

Kerning kerningx kerningy - The amount of space to add between letters in X and Y. Kerning is way of adding an arbitrary offset between letters. There already is a default offset associated with each font so the letters are flush against each other. The Kerning parameter this adds to that and allows for a Y offset.

Position positionx positiony - The starting position of the text in X and Y.

TIP: Inside the Text and Post Text fields the position can be overridden by using brackets.

  • [x,y] - "bleh[x,y]newtext" will place newtext at position (x,y) on the screen.
  • {X,Y} - "bleh{(+/-)x,(+/-)y}newtext" will offset newtext x,y from current position.
  • \n - using "\n" causes the text to move down to the next line and reset its position. (i.e. New Line and Carriage Return)

Line Spacing - Determines the amount of space between lines of text.

Horizontal Align alignx - Sets the horizontal alignment.

  • Left - Left justifies the text.
  • Center - Centers the text.
  • Right - Right justifies the text.

Vertical Align aligny - Sets the vertical alignment.

  • Top - Top justifies the text.
  • Center - Centers the text.
  • Bottom - Bottom justifies the text.

Border Space borderspace - When using Auto-Size Font, it will further shrink the text to give it a border.

Parameters - Color Page

Multiply RGB by Alpha /multrgbbyalpha - Multiplies the RGB channels by the alpha channel.

Font Color /fontcolor[rgb] /fontalpha - RGBA values for the text displayed. (default: white (1,1,1,1))

Background Color /bgcolor[rgb] /bgalpha - RGBA values for the background. (default: black (0,0,0,0))

Border A /bordera[rgb] /borderaalpha - RGBA values for border A color.

Border B /borderb[rgb] /borderbalpha - RGBA values for border B color.

Left Border /leftborder /leftborderi - What color the 2 left-most pixels are. Options are 0 (no change), Border A (uses color defined in Border A), or Border B (uses color defined in Border B).

Right Border /rightborder /rightborderi - What color the 2 right-most pixels are. Options are 0 (no change), Border A (uses color defined in Border A), or Border B (uses color defined in Border B).

Top Border /topborder /topborderi - What color the 2 top-most pixels are. Options are 0 (no change), Border A (uses color defined in Border A), or Border B (uses color defined in Border B).

Bottom Border /bottomborder /bottomborderi - What color the 2 bottom-most pixels are. Options are 0 (no change), Border A (uses color defined in Border A), or Border B (uses color defined in Border B).

Parameters - Common Page

Resolution - quickly change the resolution of the TOP's data.

  • Input - uses the input's resolution.
  • Eighth, Quarter, Half, 2X, 4X, 8X - multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Fit Resolution - Resizes the input to the size specified in Resolution using the best possible match that does not crop any of the input. It will resize the image to be larger than the input resolution if a larger resolution is specified. It's a "fit inside", Aspect Ratio is maintained.
  • Limit Resolution - Limits the input to the size specified in Resolution using the best possible match that does not crop any of the input. It's a "fit inside", Aspect Ratio is maintained.
  • Custom Resolution - enables the Resolution parameter below, giving direct control over width and height.

Resolution - enabled only when the Resolution parameter is set to Custom Resolution. Some Generators like Constant and Ramp do not use inputs and only use this field to determine their size. The drop down menu on the right provides some commonly used resolutions.

Use Global Resolution Multiplier - Uses the Global Resolution Multiplier found in Edit>Preferences>TOPs. This multiplies all the TOPs resolutions by the set amount. This is handy when working on computers with different hardware specifications. If a project is designed on a desktop workstation with lots of graphics memory, a user on a laptop with only 64MB VRAM can set the Global Resolution Multiplier to a value of half or quarter so it runs at an acceptable speed. By checking this checkbox on, this TOP is affected by the global multiplier.

Output Aspect - sets the image aspect ratio allowing any textures to be viewed in any size. Watch for unexpected results when compositing TOPs with different aspect ratios. (You can define images with non-square pixels using xres, yres, aspectx, aspecty where xres/yres != aspectx/aspecty.)

  • Input - uses the input's aspect ratio.
  • Resolution - uses the aspect of the image's defined resolution (ie 512x256 would be 2:1), whereby each pixel is square.
  • Custom Aspect - lets you explicitly define a custom aspect ratio.

Input Smoothness - This controls pixel filtering on the input image of the TOP.

  • Nearest Pixel - uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels - uses linear filtering between pixels. This is how you get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels - uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail.

Fill Viewer - determine how the TOP image is displayed in the viewer.

  • Input - uses the same Fill Viewer settings as it's input.
  • Fill - stretches the image to fit the edges of the viewer.
  • Fit Horizontal - stretches image to fit viewer horizontally.
  • Fit Vertical - stretches image to fit viewer vertically.
  • Fit Best - stretches or squashes image so no part of image is cropped.
  • Fit Outside - stretches or squashes image so image fills viewer while constraining it's proportions. This often leads to part of image getting cropped by viewer.
  • Native Resolution - displays the native resolution of the image in the viewer.

NOTE: To get an understanding of how TOPs works with images, you will want to set this to Native Resolution as you lay down TOPs when starting out. This will let you see what is actually happening without any automatic viewer resizing.

Viewer Smoothness - This controls pixel filtering in the viewers.

  • Nearest Pixel - uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels - uses linear filtering between pixels. Use this to get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels - uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail. When the input is 32-bit float format, only nearest filtering will be used (regardless of what is selected).

Passes - duplicates the operation of the TOP the specified number of times.

Channel Mask - Allows you to choose which channels (R, G, B, or A) the TOP will operate on. All channels are selected by default.

Pixel Format - format used to store data for each channel in the image (ie. R, G, B, and A). Fixed format values are limited to the range [0-1]. Refer to Pixel Formats for more information.

  • Input - uses the input's pixel format.
  • 8-bit fixed (RGBA) - uses 8-bit integer values for each channel.
  • 16-bit float (RGBA) - uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RGBA) - uses 32-bits per color channel, 128-bits per pixels.


  • 10-bit RGB, 2-bit Alpha, fixed (RGBA) - uses 10-bits per color channel and 2-bits for alpha, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RGBA) - uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
  • 11-bit float (RGB), Positive Values Only - A RGB floating point format that has 11 bits for the Red and Green channels, and 10-bits for the Blue Channel, 32-bits total per pixel (therefore the same memory usage as 8-bit RGBA). The Alpha channel in this format will always be 1. Values can go above one, but can't be negative. ie. the range is [0, infinite).
  • 8-bit fixed (R) - has 8-bits for the red channel, 8-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (R) - has 16-bits for the red channel, 16-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (R) - has 16-bits for the red channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (R) - has 32-bits for the red channel, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (RG) - has 8-bits for the red and green channels, 16-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RG) - has 16-bits for the red and green channels, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (RG) - has 16-bits for the red and green channels, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RG) - has 32-bits for the red and green channels, 64-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (A) - An Alpha only format that has 8-bits per channel, 8-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (A) - An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (A) - An Alpha only format that has 32-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.


Tips and Tricks

Tip 1 - When connecting a CHOP with N channels, using %f\n will output all the channels one line at a time.

Tip 2 - Writing in [%f, %f]bleh will allow the text to be dynamically positioned by chop values.

Tip 3 - Below shows you how to change the 'anchoring' (or alignment) of text in the text field on the fly:
[rightalign] %+5.1f leftsideofgraph_text {0, graphwidth}[leftalign] %-5.1f rightsideofgraph_text

which will result in:
24.6| {graph stuff in here} |31.5
4254.3| |26345.5

Tip 4 - Table creation trick.

  • Have the values in the chop in row / col form.
  • Set the text equal to %+10.2f %+10.2f %10.2f \n
  • Set the font to a mono spaced font.

This code will result in a table with 3 cols. Each cell with 10 digits, right aligned. With the precision set to 2 decimal places.

Tip 5 - Using the positioning options.

  • [0,0]test puts 'test' in the bottom left corner, anchored to the left, middle, right / top, middle, bottom of the text depending on the alignment option that's selected.
  • {5,5}test offsets 'test' 5 pixels in the X direction and 5 pixels in the Y direction from where it would have been drawn.

Tip 6 - Other formatting examples.

Value = 23.4567
Text = %5.3f
Result = '23.456'

Value = 1
Text=%04d
Result = '0001'

Value = 1
Text= %+4d
Result = 'Â Â Â Â 1'

Value = 1
Text=%-4d
Result '1Â Â Â Â '

Tip 7 - Accessing other character sets.

  • There is access to ANSI, Symbol, Unicode, Arabic, Baltic, Chinese Big5, Eastern Europe, GB2312, Greek, Hangul, Hebrew, Johab, Russian, Turkish, Thai and Vietnamese.
  • Most new charsets only have new characters after ord values of 100. The Text TOP converts ‘\#' into the character with the ordinal value of #.. ex ‘\211' is sigma in the greek character set and letter Seen in arabic. Still only supports 256 values, so Unicode does not work at this point.

Tip 8 - Pixel Length of text. To get the pixel length or other qualities of a string, see text() - use the text("string TOP", string attribute) expression which returns width and height of the text based on the font settings of that text TOP.

Tip 9 - Print the current frame number using $F in the Text fields, and the current animation time with $T. Print the values of expressions using backquotes `sin($F)` and use the output of commands using `execute("ls")`.