Have you tried to design with skeletons?

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Filip Zajac's picture
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Joined: 14 Mar 2014 - 6:03pm
Have you tried to design with skeletons?
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The extension allows drawing letters with a centerline – skeleton. The stroke is literary drawn by a nib led according to a skeleton. Letterink advantage is the ability to vary nib width and angle on the same skeleton and keep those variations while changing general nib preset for a master. Moreover, the stroke is rendered into a glyph as if it was an outline. This allows the designer to use strokes without the direct necessity to expand strokes to outlines.

Expanding to outlines generates clean vectors without messy points. Or, at least in most cases, it does so. The remaining cases are going to be fixed.

Currently, its possibility is narrowed to the simple pen simulated by abscissa. But, the results are more than promising.

Try it here
http://letterinkapp.com

Oliver Weiss's picture
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Joined: 14 Mar 2013 - 8:23pm
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That looks interesting. I'm using Fontlab, so I'll have to get (and learn) Glyphs first.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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FontLab VI also has this capability, with the live Brush tool.
I have enjoyed working with it, but I will caution that adjusting the weight live on a skeleton has some significant limitations, which are present on any existing tools I have seen so far.
Notably, when increasing weight from a skeleton it is not ideal to add that weight equally on all sides. So for example, one wants to add about 2/3 or 3/5 of the increased weight on the outside of an H, less than half on the inside. Or with an O, it can differ from one design to the next as to what proportion of the added weight should be on the outside or the inside on the sides, and at the same time the top and bottom should only grow inwards.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Leaves a bloke wondering if someone is going to app-ify Metafont.

Filip Zajac's picture
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Joined: 14 Mar 2014 - 6:03pm
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Hi Thomas,

I have already heard about the problem, but haven't met it yet. For instance in real life: If I am writing with a stronger nib, I have to accordingly adjust hand trajectory. Same way, we need to adjust a shape of the skeleton. Maybe a better solution will be if the software could recalculate skeleton shape to suit the nib strength. What do you think?

Filip Zajac's picture
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Joined: 14 Mar 2014 - 6:03pm
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Metapolator already does. However, Metafont is completely different algorhytm than Letterink.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Ah yes, Metapolator does a nice job in that regard. And I am sure MetaFont does as well.