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Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:42 pm
by _Bin_
Typefaces such as Nexa Rust have multiple layers in them. But I've not yet to find a solution for producing such typefaces and still maintain the position across the weights in FontCreator.

The only method I know is produce one master weight and delete the effect we don't need (For example, produce the weight with shadow, then go to each glyph and delete the shadows, save as main weight, then do the process again, but this time delete the main outline.) It's just painful to do and hard to manage.

As far as I know only Glyph has support feature for this kind of typeface.

My solution is implementing the alignment system, for example, we can sync the guideline across all project that are opening. But I don't think this is the best solution. Any idea?

Re: Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:24 pm
by MikeW
A layered font (i.e. characters in successive fonts required to "build" the complete character), even that as produced by Glyph, really are made of the number of fonts=layers. So if I create a 3 layer font, it requires three identical text frames with identical content, all with using a different member of the family.

However, as you mention, it can be a pita to design. Any changes to one glyph in one font likely have to be made to each supporting "layer" font. I currently do what you describe (more or less) in that I start with the version that I consider the master, which will also be exported on its own. Then I remove parts for each "layer" and export them. I have all the requisite projects open and if I make a change to say the H character in the "master" or complete version, then I copy the parts to each project and delete the former part of that H character.

It would be nice if all the parts that make up the layered font were in the same design file so they could be manipulated without having 2, 3 or more font projects open.

The only give a heck is how many people actually have created layered" fonts? I.e., how great a need is there for Erwin & Crew to make it happen?


Re: Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:11 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Colour fonts consist of multiple layers.

View my Test Page in Firefox to see them in action.

See my font project attached to this thread to see how multi-coloured glyphs are built up from several layers. I do it by copying the master glyph, pasting copies for each layer, then deleting some contours from each layer.

Re: Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:19 pm
by _Bin_
@MikeW: Yes, as far as I know that produce the master weight then delete the unnecessary parts is the only solution. But as I mentioned it, it's too much of a pain, and plus it's hard to manage. I think there could be some other solution to it, in which the developers of FontCreator can brainstorm to creat an unique feature for FontCreator.

I don't know about how many people want this feature, but the multilayers typefaces start to appear more often nowadays. On the Best Sellers page of Myfonts, there is at least 3 of them (Blend - Typesense, Revista - Latinotype and Sensa - FontFabric). They are all just recently released. I think this feature is much needed, even more than colored glyphs feature that FontCreator currently having.

I agree with you about your solution. I hope the developers can look into this and give it a chance. If FontCreator alone can do this I think it'll be more powerful & unique than most of the font editors available for Windows.

@Bhikkhu Pesala: Thank you for your help, but I'm afraid this is not what I mean.

Multilayer typefaces is a family, which consists of many weights, each weight is one layer of the font. For example, we got A and the shadow of A, then A will be in a font, and shadow of A will be in another font (not in the same font). That way if we want A and its shadow have different color/effect, we can change it easily just by type A, copy the layer, and change the font family of the newly copied layer to A-Shadow.

Re: Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:26 am
by _Bin_
I found this tutorial, it's for glyphs app but generally the feature I mentioned: ... color-font

Re: Multilayer typefaces support?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:41 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
When Erwin first introduced Colour Font technology to FontCreator 7.5 he was quite excited about it, but I was less enthusiastic. The problem is that there are very few applications that support coloured fonts. It makes a lot of extra work for the font designer but almost no one can use coloured fonts. I don't doubt that its time will come, but it may be a while. Even then, it won't ever be mainstream in my opinion — it's just too easy to add colour in graphics and publishing applications.

The same issues (and some) affect layered fonts. Are there any applications at all that support them, or does the user just have to format the publication with several layers each using a different font in the family?

I notice that Erwin has not even commented yet. I don't doubt that it would take a lot of work to support, and how is that justified unless layered fonts are a common requirement?

Whatever happened to multiple master font technology? I heard about it a decade ago, but i have yet to come across a single font that uses it.