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troubles generating font files

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Jul 06, 2013 at 17:08

Hi there,

Both in fontographer and FontLab, my font greatly display -- but once generated, the points are not accuratly matching their position! It may not be that annoying on heavy weights, but on ultralight it is a drag not to have the generated font matching the exact positions. Stems just go a bit larger or thiner here and there and I've tried every possible generating for the same disappointing result and...

here I am on da font, hoping this topic is not running already for a thousand dummies of my kind!!!

I should add I work on a mac with OSX 10.6, the same problem happens with fontographer 4 and 5, and that I copy_paste my characters from Illustrator, which works greatly, until I generate my font...

Truly it is not such big gaps that happen, but I don't see the point in producing a font not matching perfectly the result I have in Illustrator.

Thank you all guys for the great job you are doing, and for the time you may spend on helping me.

Graphic regards.


Jul 06, 2013 at 17:19



Jul 06, 2013 at 19:38

Thanks Claudeserieux for taking the time to review my question, but my trouble is not at all while copying-pasting from Illustrator, which works fine, only when generating my font. Should it result from settings in the file format itself, or settings of the apps?

My intuition was it involved settings on the "generating file" menu (!?)

Still trying everything, I could not make it out so far :(


Jul 06, 2013 at 20:35

The image changes to a vector when you import it into a font editing program. This vector is not an exact reproduction of the image you made in Illustrator, it is a reasonable facsimile. If you want the vector to exactly reproduce the imported image, you need to edit the vector.


Jul 06, 2013 at 21:33



Jul 06, 2013 at 21:46

Dans Fontographer , tu as des décimales lorsque tu genere la fonte il arrondit en entier plus ou moins un.


Jul 06, 2013 at 22:16

p 367 Fontographer manual

The Grid spacing field is for setting up an invisible grid that the Snap To Grid
function snaps to. The Align Points to Grid command also uses this as the grid.
One popular use for gridding is to have all your coordinates be on integral-number
coordinates. Simply set a grid spacing of 1 em unit, make sure Snap To Grid is on,
and then as you drag points around, they will always fall on em unit boundaries
(that is, coordinates will always be 120, 66 rather than things like 120.223, 65.97).


Jul 07, 2013 at 18:52

THANKS guys, for the very helpful explaination about the grid. The "align to the grid" function is good to know.

i do get a much better result now, included my illustrator models were maybe a bit too big (about A4) I scale them down and all in all the final aspect is "acceptable". I suppose obtaining really accurate designs would mean doing it all inside the font editor and having already worked a lot on it in Illustrator, and the font itself being mere stems, I won't go so much into the editor this time.

Frankly, having inspected modern fonts here and there, I think the editors are very problematic to use and most of those fonts, if correct for small weight, look dreadfull once enlarged. I don't see how shapes can ever go perfectly right with that grid system, tell me if i am wrong. Also having been taught how to hand draw letters during my studies in Paris, I wonder why most of the redesigned classic fonts are round tipped... weird. A lot to be done I reckon, when time allows!

And not the place to discuss those aspects anyway.

Thanks again for your great help and keep up the good work.

Graphic regards.

MC


Jul 07, 2013 at 22:09

gigagrother said  (view post)
...

Frankly, having inspected modern fonts here and there, I think the editors are very problematic to use and most of those fonts, if correct for small weight, look dreadfull once enlarged. I don't see how shapes can ever go perfectly right with that grid system, tell me if i am wrong...

The source graphic you make with Illustrator is only the starting point, if you want to make a good quality font. In ScanFont 3, which I use, the vector can be enlarged to the extent that changes can be made, equivalent to 1/96th of an inch at 864 points, (equivalent to 1/6912 of an inch/ about 1/2720 of a centimeter, at 72 points). Trying to judge things like parallel lines by eye is not going to give you accurate results, when the vector in enlarged, or reduced in size. Think of it like dividing numbers, but with a remainder, rather than a decimal, if the quotient is not a whole number. Example: You create a line that is supposed to have a slope of 3:1, but it's slightly off, (3,019/1,003), so the actual value is 3.00997:1, or slightly less than 1% error. The font editor will spread the excess value of 10 over the 1,003 distance, and the error will be almost impossible to notice. If you make the image 20% as large, the excess of 10 will be spread over about 251, making the error percentage 4%, instead of 1. Sometimes that 1/ 6912 variation at 72 points will be very noticeable at some, but not all, smaller point sizes, particularly with a straight horizontal or vertical line. The font editor will realize that the line is not exactly straight, and will assume that you wanted it to be that way. The font editor has no capacity for intuition; it doesn't correct your mistakes, it assumes that your mistakes are correct, and adjusts accordingly.

Many fonts are designed specifically to be used within a certain point size range. There aren't many script fonts that look good below 18-24 points, and there aren't many bitmap fonts that look good at larger than 72 points.

Don't blame the font editor, when fonts don't scale well. Blame the person who edited the font.


Jul 08, 2013 at 16:21

metaphasebrothel said  (view post)
...The font editor will realize that the line is not exactly straight, and will assume that you wanted it to be that way. The font editor has no capacity for intuition; it doesn't correct your mistakes, it assumes that your mistakes are correct, and adjusts accordingly.

Logic is a bit at stake here; lets say I draw a christian cross in Illustrator, put it in an oblique on the tip of one lower angle -- I copy paste it, the font editor slightly alters the angles to fit its grid. Those mistakes due to the very own logic of the editor, become mine, and the font editor consider them like non-mistakes! I guess I argue like an unmachine.

Speaking serioulsy, tell me again if I an wrong, I suppose what makes signs assigned to keyboards so different and needing such complex editors, is the fact that those fonts have to fit so many different configurations, computers, softs, printers, etc... I can actually make my christian cross in Illustrator with a very light knowledge of mathematics; font editors require a mecanician's skill.

Now lets put it this way: the font I'm building up is for private use only. If I ever publish or print documents with that font, that will be as PDF. Any straight forward solution to assign my shapes to the keyboard? If you were me, what would you do?


Jul 08, 2013 at 17:09

If the nodes of your glyphs are not on integer (em)grid-points no application that can handle text will be able to generate the output. You will end up with an invalid font file. To prevent that from happening the editors will move the node to an integer.
When you put your shapes in a PDF and you want it to look exactly as drawn, you will have to make a PDF with images instead of text. Which is an even worse solution.
A very straight forward solution to assign your shapes to your keyboard is make a font with your shapes. But then you will have to live with the fact that nodes have to be on integer points. That simple.


Jul 08, 2013 at 18:06

Play with UPM but Fontographer EM (max) = 2048.

http://www.typophile.com/node/30913


FontForge: EM (max) = 4096


Jul 08, 2013 at 18:15

Ok, trains run on railways, I have to live with such destinations as train stations in mind, that simple!

At least can I use my illustrator shape on a layer and try to adapt the integer to it, or is there better options??


Jul 08, 2013 at 18:19

You want the moon to be an apple while everyone knows it is a pancake.


Jul 08, 2013 at 20:30

Have You tried to make postscript OTF file?
Integer values for nodes are necessary for truetype TTF fonts.
I have no Idea how it look in Fontographer or FontLab, but in FontForge You can generate postscript OTF font
with non integer values for nodes.

Edited on Jul 08, 2013 at 21:43 by gluk


Jul 09, 2013 at 05:00

gluk said  (view post)
but in FontForge You can generate postscript OTF font with non integer values for nodes.

but I have a error : " BlueScale too large/small "


Jul 09, 2013 at 05:29

If your intention is to make a nice piece of clipart with Illustrator, you need take things no further.

If you want to make a nice font, your Illustrator image is only a source, not a finished image. Spend less time perfecting the source graphic, and spend more time editing that source graphic with the font editor. No matter how detailed your source is, it will not import without some distortion. I'm not even sure that the source graphic and the vector will be of identical size - mine get reduced by about 6%, when importing.

There's an easy way to tell. using Microsoft Word. Generate a source graphic at the size you expect to be 72 points. After generating the fonts, install and select it. Add the source graphic to a Word doc, (insert -> Image -> From file), then type the font glyphs next to it at 72 points, and compare sizes.


Jul 09, 2013 at 10:38

Many thanks to you all. Fontforge looks great but sounds like a pain in the neck to install for me, open source I reckon, my skills are mostly limited to pure graphic concerns, I am a poor mechanician, even if my grandfather conducted steam locomotives in France during ww2, head out of the cabin to check the signals red or green, smoke and bits of grit hitting his face. Back home, my grandmother always had to take the bits off his eyeballs using a platine thread. Appart from being used as a sample text, this has nothing to do with the topic!

I am not at all willing to have my characters fitting the exact illustrator design I made, but fit their original source (a principle), trying not to spend too much time on becoming a font designer, which is not my ambition. I can't help being a dilettante, reason why your competences are of great help to me.

At that point, considering my signs are regular spiderlegs extracted from an original grid I built up, I'd rather go back to the root and design from the editor grid itself.

Can I see it and plant my nodes directly on it? and what will happen if I try to make different weights?


Jul 18, 2013 at 13:49

Here is what I finally did...

I copied-pasted my illustrator glyphs with no outline in Fontographer... there I expanded a very small stroke, removed overlap, aligned to the grid (only a slight reajustment happened) and then changed weight to make five different ones. Not absolutely perfect, but good looking for the eye (ultimate judge I reckon) and for what I do with it. Thanks to all for you help.

I still haven't seen the possibility to actually display the grid anywhere.

also doing a lot of preparation hand sketchings, I still wonder how and with which app preferably, to import those as template for a reasonably accurate result, to trace glyphs from them.


Jul 18, 2013 at 14:22

gigagrother said  (view post)
... also doing a lot of preparation hand sketchings, I still wonder how and with which app preferably, to import those as template for a reasonably accurate result, to trace glyphs from them.

I'll be accused again of having shares but for what you want to do High-Logic's Font Creator is probably the best tool. Get version 7 which supports OTF (alas no GSUB yet ). See Tools at the top of the page.



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