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A character generator adds characters or animated text to video in video-editing applications. A character generator can be hardware or software based. Character generators are largely used during the broadcast of live television presentations or events.
Most modern character generators are computer-based, and are capable of generating both text and graphics. Before the advent of character generator technology, adding titles to video images was done with help of a dedicated camera shooting white letters on a black background, and then combining it with the video from the live-action camera to form a single image with white letters superimposed over it.
Most character generators can produce different type sizes and fonts. Hardware-based character generators are mostly used in video editing suites and studios such as television production studios. Hardware-based character generators generate graphics or text which are then encoded into high-quality video, digital video or RGB video signals. Software-based character generators are mostly found integrated with video-editing applications and are often available in related software packages.
Compared to manual titling methods, a character generator has the advantage of the ability to scroll. This scrolling enables viewers to see a smooth, continuous stream of titles without any break.