Higher Quality 2D Text Rendering
Author: Nicolas P. Rougier

Editor: Tomer Moscovich
Editor-in-Chief: Morgan McGuire,
Williams College & NVIDIA


Even though text is pervasive in most 3D applications, there is surprisingly no native support for text rendering in OpenGL. To cope with this absence, Mark Kilgard introduced the use of texture fonts [Kilgard 1997]. This technique is well known and widely used and ensures both good performances and a decent quality in most situations. However, the quality may degrade strongly in orthographic mode (screen space) due to pixelation effects at large sizes and to legibility problems at small sizes due to incorrect hinting and positioning of glyphs. In this paper, we consider font-texture rendering to develop methods to ensure the highest quality in orthographic mode. The method used allows for both the accurate render- ing and positioning of any glyph on the screen. While the method is compatible with complex shaping and/or layout (e.g., the Arabic alphabet), these specific cases are not studied in this article.

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Citation: Nicolas P. Rougier, Higher Quality 2D Text Rendering, Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques (JCGT), vol. 2, no. 1, 50-64, 2013. Available online http://jcgt.org/published/0002/01/04/

Copyright: © 2013 Rougier

Received: 2012-11-22; Recommended: 2013-03-02; Published: 2013-04-30