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A while ago I researched out of curiosity if it was possible to build fonts with embedded colour bitmaps like the Apple Color Emoji font on Mac OS 10.7/10.8. I figured out the «sbix» table format and wrote some code that can be hooked into the Python FontTools to decompile and compile the sbix table which contains the image data.
Some of my research was generously allowed to happen during my working hours at FontShop International.
After pondering for a while what to do with this knowledge, me and FontShop International finally decided to make the code public to encourage experimentation.
So without further ado, please check out the attached demo scripts.
Check out the demo scripts in sbix_demo.zip for examples of how to build your own colour bitmap font or extract the images from an existing font. If you want a proof of concept, view the included
ColorTestSbix.ttf on Mac OS X. It should look like in the included font book screenshot. The name ColorTest is a bit misleading as it’s only a scanned typewriter face in greyscale ;)
If you just run
addSbixImages.py, it will add the pngs from
set_150 to the file
ColorTest.ttf and save the resulting font as
If you have the original Apple Color Emoji font, you can use
extractSbixImages.py to extract the pngs from it. They will be saved in the