Scanahand edits in Font Creator

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jorlando
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Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby jorlando » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:01 pm

Hi, I'm thinking of getting Scanahand so I can offer an inexpensive handwriting font service to users of my font site (http://interactimage.com)

First question is if any problem will be caused by changing the High-Logic logo on the template to my own logo.

Next I was wondering what happens if a user enters a massively over sized character in the template. Or maybe a wild descender on a signature. Say one that exceeds the bounding box for that character cell. If I open the finished font in Font Creator will I find the glyph to be clipped off where it was over sized or will the entire scanned character be available so I can adjust it to proper size (and edit away the bounding box.)

Lastly, could a template be made with limited codepoints and extra large cells for the purpose of making dingbat fonts?

Thanks
Jeff

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:44 pm

I will leave Erwin to answer the Logo question, but both Standard and Premium editions can be used for commercial purposes.

Image

The user must enter the entire glyph within the grid squares or they will be clipped. You could manually edit the filled template with an image editor, but it would be time-consuming unless the corrections needed were very minor.

In the above illustration of wrongly drawn glyphs in the bottom row, in FontCreator, you could scale the A, and a, you could alter the side-bearings on the e, you could move the A up to the baseline, scale the f and the 8, but the g would be clipped unless you edited the template before running it through Scanahand.

The Premium edition includes a Symbol Template with 8 Columns and 7 rows, and you can use custom templates. Since the trial version is free, why not try it out and see what the requirements are for filling in the templates?

Or see the Online Manual
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jorlando
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby jorlando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:18 am

Thanks for the reply. Looks like the program doesn't care about the logo..

The demo is crippled for looking into the template question as it will only process the first two templates and rejects any others including ones you generate with the editor.

What I'd like to do (I think) is make a template with a small number of very large cells - say just caps and numbers, maybe 500px square... Then paste in a drawings, sketches, or whatever and generate a dingbat font with it. It would do the same function more or less as the bitmap import feature in Font Creator only import all the bitmaps at once via the template. In FC, you have to import each bitmap individually and it takes a lot of time to generate a dingbat font.

It does this pretty well using the regular templates but the size of the bitmap being scanned ends up being too small for a good dingbat font.

Jeff

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:21 am

I was able to create a Dingbat template of 3 columns by 4 rows. This gave me grid squares 670 x 530 pixels. I printed the blank template to a PDF driver, exported the template as a 300 dpi JPG image, and filled in the template using IrfanView's IrfanPaint plugin, adding some dingbats from my own fonts, and pasting a couple of fairly detailed line art drawings. I ran the template through Scanahand 2.0 Premium edition. The resulting font is attached.
Attachments
Dingbats.ttf
(23.16 KiB) Downloaded 234 times
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jorlando
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby jorlando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:05 am

Bhikkhu, Thanks very much for your effort. This exactly answers my question and I'm going to go ahead and buy the product.

The image of children praying makes a beautiful dingbat. Really nice design and detail.

jeff

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby William » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:21 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I was able to create a Dingbat template of 3 columns by 4 rows. This gave me grid squares 670 x 530 pixels. I printed the blank template to a PDF driver, exported the template as a 300 dpi JPG image, and filled in the template using IrfanView's IrfanPaint plugin, adding some dingbats from my own fonts, and pasting a couple of fairly detailed line art drawings. I ran the template through Scanahand 2.0 Premium edition. The resulting font is attached.


Could you say why you used a PDF driver and then exported the template as a 300 dpi JPG image please?

How exactly does one do that please?

Could you possibly attach the filled-in template file please?

William Overington

2 December 2008

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:46 am

William wrote:Could you say why you used a PDF driver and then exported the template as a 300 dpi JPG image please?

Because its a lot quicker than turning on my laser printer and scanner, and doesn't waste paper.

How exactly does one do that please?

Open the PDF in PDF-XChange and export as image (or take a high resolution snapshot)
Could you possibly attach the filled-in template file please?

Filled in JPG template and PDF blank template are attached.

The code for the template is below:

Code: Select all

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<DATA>
  <Template>
      <Name>Dingbats</Name>
      <Columns>3</Columns>
      <Rows>4</Rows>
      <Characters>$41-$58</Characters>
      <IsSymbol>TRUE</IsSymbol>
      <PageRatioTopHeader>1</PageRatioTopHeader>
      <PageRatioHeaderBottom>15</PageRatioHeaderBottom>
      <CellRatioTopHeader>4</CellRatioTopHeader>
      <CellRatioHeaderAscender>0</CellRatioHeaderAscender>
      <CellRatioAscenderxHeight>0</CellRatioAscenderxHeight>
      <CellRatioxHeightBaseline>40</CellRatioxHeightBaseline>
      <CellRatioBaselineDescender>0</CellRatioBaselineDescender>
      <CellRatioDescenderBottom>0</CellRatioDescenderBottom>
  </Template>
</DATA>
Attachments
Dingbat Template.pdf
(7.57 KiB) Downloaded 230 times
Dingbat Template.jpg
Dingbat Template.jpg (415.41 KiB) Viewed 6913 times
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby William » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:15 am

Thank you.

William

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Erwin Denissen » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:01 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
William wrote:Could you say why you used a PDF driver and then exported the template as a 300 dpi JPG image please?

Because its a lot quicker than turning on my laser printer and scanner, and doesn't waste paper.

Is the "Save As..." button not working :?
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:39 pm

That's too easy. :)

Initially, I wanted to use a PDF to edit the template in PDF-XChange by adding custom stamps, etc.

Save As… would be a much quicker route to get to JPG or PNG (best for line art).
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J-Mac
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby J-Mac » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:04 am

Hello all! I am not presently using Scanahand, but I am considering purchasing it. I am a member over at Donationcoder.com and have read a few threads about Scanahand there. BTW, my fellow members there have spoken well of Scanahand!

I do have a few questions for you. I noticed that the topic of this thread is "Scanahand Edits in Font Creator", yet it appears that the template created by Bhikkhu did not require Font Creator after all, unless I misread his posts. I also see in several places here where Erwin mentions using any graphic editor to modify/edit/clean-up fonts created in Scanahand. I use both Paint Shop Pro and ACDSee products on my own computer, and while I can probably make the edits described here with PSP I also know from experience that it will not be as easy as it sounds.

Does Font Creator make it much easier to edit or clean up Scanahand fonts? Or would it be not much easier than using a separate graphics editor?

Does the Premium version of Scanahand contain some sort of internal editor? Or is it exactly the same as the Standard version with the exception of the capability to create templates?

BTW, when I first saw the threads about Scanahand I was hoping that it had the ability to create true cursive fonts, meaning the kind where each character in a word are connected. But I have seen since then that it does not. I mean, you could possibly edit the starts and stops of each character so that they would be very close and give a rough impression of flowing cursive - I have used another online handwriting font creator that also is like that. But it usually doesn’t look very natural. Of course I also know of another application that does indeed create flowing cursive fonts and/or signatures; but when I last saw it - about three years ago - it had a price tag of around $200 to $300! Ouch! As I can only use any such application for my own personal use here at home, that kind of pricing is not within my realm of possibility!

Actually, purchasing both Scanahand and Font Creator would be quite a stretch for me, too, since I really have no pressing need for a handwritten font; I just thought it would be fun to do.

Anyway, if someone here can give me a little more information about editing Scanahand fonts, using Font Creator for Scanahand editing, and whether or not the Premium version has an internal editor - or at least about the detailed differences between the Standard and Premium versions - I would be very appreciative.

Thank you.

Jim

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:34 am

J-Mac wrote:Does Font Creator make it much easier to edit or clean up Scanahand fonts? Or would it be not much easier than using a separate graphics editor?

Cleaning up scans is best done in a bitmap editor. After you have run the scan through Scanahand to make a Truetype font, the bitmaps are traced as Truetype vector curves.
Does the Premium version of Scanahand contain some sort of internal editor? Or is it exactly the same as the Standard version with the exception of the capability to create templates?

Both editions of Scanahand have the ability to create custom templates, but only the Premium Edition has the ability to create fonts using those custom templates. The Standard Edition lets you see what you will get if you upgrade, but doesn't let you generate fonts with extended range of characters. There is no internal bitmap editor. You can export the filled template as an image, edit it in an image editor, then open the edited template in Scanahand. The template editor lets you edit the template grids to change character sets, or guidelines. Comparison Chart
BTW, when I first saw the threads about Scanahand I was hoping that it had the ability to create true cursive fonts, meaning the kind where each character in a word are connected. But I have seen since then that it does not.

Cursive fonts with swashes are not possible with Scanahand as the side-bearings are generated automatically.
Actually, purchasing both Scanahand and Font Creator would be quite a stretch for me, too, since I really have no pressing need for a handwritten font; I just thought it would be fun to do.

It would be best to purchase FontCreator Home Edition, which is the same price as Scanahand Premium Edition. It is more powerful, but it takes a bit more effort to get your scanned bitmaps into a font. Once they are traced into a font, you have much more control in FontCreator to manipulate them.

This video Creating your First Font shows you how to get your scans into FontCreator fairly quickly, but its not fully automatic as it is with Scanahand. Whichever program you use, it helps to clean up the scanned bitmaps before tracing them as fonts.

For my Hattha font, I imported my rough handwriting and cleaned up the outlines using the vector drawing tools in FontCreator. It took several days. If someone can write neatly, they can produce a font similar to this with Scanahand within an hour, or in five minutes if they are a skilled artist. However, it won't use composites, it won't have kerning pairs, it won't have bold and italic typestyles, and it won't have the huge range of characters than my Hattha font has. To create such a font in Scanahand even for just the regular typestyle would be very laborious • 3 typestyles, 1,725 Glyphs
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J-Mac
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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby J-Mac » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:56 am

Thanks for the reply Bhikkhu.

Actually the prices of Font Creator Home and Scanahand Premium were not the same, at least not yesterday. Scanahand Premium was $29.95 at Bits duJor and Font Creator Home is $79.95. I went ahead and made the purchase at that price, though to be perfectly honest I don’t know that it really does that much that I will use.

(Impulse buying of software on sale - if it is a disease, then I surely have it!!)

Thanks again, Bhikkhu!

Jim

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Re: Scanahand edits in Font Creator

Postby Dave Crosby » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:35 pm

J-Mac wrote:(Impulse buying of software on sale - if it is a disease, then I surely have it!!)

Thanks again, Bhikkhu!
Jim


Hi Jim, I'm sure you will enjoy them if you use them. My experiences are here:

http://enochutah.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=100&t=998

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1961
Aut nunc aut nunquam


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