Character Generator

What Does Character Generator Mean?

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.


Techopedia Explains Character Generator

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.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…