For Shame! Auto-Bold

hrant's picture

I have a client who needs a Bold of one my fonts, yesterday. I tried to buy enough time to do it right, but they still want it yesterday. I told them, but I'm no martyr, so... I'm trying to use FontLab's auto-bold Action (I'm running 5.0.4 on XP) and apparently it's not as good as old Fontographer's! I can't seem to vary the size-gain restriction in each dimension. Even if I do it in two steps (once horizontally with dimension gain, then vertically without) it doesn't do it right. It's not a clean-up issue (I was planning on doing that) it's a matter of trying to avoid vertical squooshing after doing the auto-bold! :-/

Help?

hhp

bojev's picture

Hrant, it seems to work OK on my Mac running 5.04, but a thought might be if you still have FontLab 4 installed try it for the Bold Effect.

Arno Enslin's picture

If you have the old Fontographer installed, use it for enbolding, generate a pfb file from it and try to transfer the glyphs to your FontLab working file. There are different ways to transfer the glyphs; for example you could assign the font mask of the other font and then swap the outline with the mask.

Edited: Naturally have to adjust the hints (not adjusting, but rehinting with the AFDKO autohinting macro), the stem values and the alignment zones.

-----

Not a help for the moment, but FontLab is going to integrate the Fontographer enbolding algorithm into FontLab Studio, as far as I know.

eliason's picture

I can't seem to vary the size-gain restriction in each dimension.


Did you not find these settings, or did they not work?

Arno Enslin's picture

@ Craig

I think, that the FontoGrapher enbolding algorithm is better regardless of the settings in FLS.

hrant's picture

I can try FL4, but I don't expect much. Fog4 no longer runs on my machine (the OS memory-management seems to throw it off, and I once tried pretty hard to get around it but couldn't). Fog3 does run though...

Craig, the problem is a Bold needs to be wider but not taller, and that "Keep glyph dimensions" box only does both or neither (and not even very well - in fact it makes things narrower - dumb). One would think you could do a bold on each dimension separately, the vertical keeping the dimensions and the horizontal not, but for some reason it gives the same results! :-(

hhp

.00's picture

Remember that H weight controls the vertical stem and vice versa for the V weight. The number you enter will essentially be double what you ask for. A value of 20 will increase the stem with by 20 in each direction. If you use small increments you may be OK, but why not just use the interpolate node took on the individual glyphs. If the font contains a reasonable number of glyphs, say under 500, I think one should be able to do it in a day's worth of work, considering at least a third or more of those glyphs will be composites.

hrant's picture

> The number you enter will essentially be double what you ask for.

It doesn't even seem to be that predictable...
But I don't really mind the iteration required to find a good number.

Being an Armenian font the number of glyphs is way less than 500!
But -at least the way I work- there's no way I could do it the way I'd
like by tomorrow morning.

I guess I have to fuse two sayings:
"Time is money" and "You get what you pay for"...

--

Anyway, I'd still love to learn any tricks concerning this, even after the fact.

hhp

typerror's picture

Hrant...I am using the current version of Fontographer. If you wish, I could perform it in Fog and send it back to you as either a font or a FL file that you could tweek.

Michael

hrant's picture

Very generous offer - thank you.
Let me try Fog3 first...

hhp

.00's picture

One certainly has to do what one has to do to service a client, but a bold in a day? What a drag if you cannot educate the client to the demands of what you do.

Somewhere I saw someone say, "In most businesses its time, price, quality. Pick two. In type design, pick one." I don't know if I totally agree with this but it does sound close.

hrant's picture

It's a bigger rush than usual because they were actually using
a faux Bold and realized way late that it wouldn't cut it... :-/

hhp

riccard0's picture

Here’s Claus’ comment about time, price and quality in type design:
http://typophile.com/node/81392#comment-460932

JanekZ's picture

"I can try FL4, but I don't expect much. Fog4 no longer runs on my machine (the OS memory-management seems to throw it off, and I once tried pretty hard to get around it but couldn't)."


and set Virtual Memory to ZERO
reboot
run FG41
;)
Best

hrant's picture

Jan, I had tried that. No go. :-(

hhp

Arno Enslin's picture

@ hrant

There is a more or less official patch, which should fix the memory problem. I recommend to thoroughly read that thread:

http://forum.fontlab.com/fontographer/will-fontographer-install-into-vis...

I am also using Windows XP and here the old Fontographer version worked. I have one Gigabyte RAM. Alternatively to the patch you could remove a memory module, if you have more than one.

JanekZ's picture

Update: no reboot needed when you set: use no VM. (winXP home, ver. 2002, SP3; 1 GB RAM)


4154 characters allowed, not bad.
Edit: on win2k it goes with patch and 1.5 GB RAM (also no VM)

hrant's picture

I've been meaning to give an update, for the curious.

So a couple of good things happened: I bought myself
an extra 24 hours; and I gave Fog4 another shot* and
it worked! And it's amazing how much better than FL's
Fog's auto-bold is. The main thing it gets wrong is the
overshoots**. Anyway, it all worked out (considering
the still-too-short timeframe). But Armenian only has
about 100 chars; even a modest Latin font I couldn't
have pulled off, at least not the way I work.

* For one thing I noticed a "No paging file" choice
that wasn't there before - maybe it kicked in after
I installed SP2 (I've been avoiding SP3).

** Which you normally have to adjust
when changing the weight anyway.

hhp

blank's picture

On a related note, KLTF Glyph Tweaker is great for this sort of thing. And if you have Remix Tools you can even go a little overboard with the fake bold and then tame it with RMX.

hrant's picture

I just realized I never said "thank you" to everyone who helped.
Thank you.

hhp

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