Trace Preview

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Timo Kähkönen
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Location: Finland

Trace Preview

Post by Timo Kähkönen » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:52 pm

Scanahand has some problems with tracing (there are sharp bumbs/edges in the lines that appears dispite of Smooth/Super settings. HighLogic has tried to improve the tracing algorithm - without present success.

Image

The quality of tracing equals well to the quality of the source image. The user doesn't know which like is the good source image. The only way to check this is to generate the font and it takes about minute.

If the user is not satisfied to the result and want to adjust tracing parameters he must do the same slow generating process so many times that the result is good enough.

I have thought this problem few hours and here is my proposals to solve this:

1) to improve tracing algorithm once more according to user requests

2) to add tracing preview to Scanahand, where the user could check that the tracing result is optimal to his purposes

3) to allow the user trace glyphs of the font after font generation. This means that if the user doesn't want the Scanahand does not do tracing, it only parses individual glyphs as bitmap images and map them. The Scanahand does everything but the tracing of glyphs. The glyphs of generated bitmap font could then be traced with Scanahand, FontCreator or whatever proper software. If FontCreator has not "Trace Selected Bitmap Glyphs" feature, it could possibly be done.

I think the best could be to add a few checkboxes to tracing parameters: remove line bumbs, smooth linebumbs, sharp linebumbs.

And when there are these alternatives and the tracing preview, the Japanese user could make adjustments beforehand and go to drink some tea while those thousands of Japanese glyphs are generated!

What other users are thinking about this Trace Preview to Scanahand?

Dave Crosby
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Why

Post by Dave Crosby » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:50 am

I think of Scanahand as a SIMPLE easy way for people to get involved in making fonts.

The more complicated it becomes, the further it gets from its intended purpose.

For those who wish to get really involved in font creating should be using the High-Logic Flagship Font Creator.
Aut nunc aut nunquam

Timo Kähkönen
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:05 am
Location: Finland

Re: Why

Post by Timo Kähkönen » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:19 pm

Dave Crosby wrote:I think of Scanahand as a SIMPLE easy way for people to get involved in making fonts.

The more complicated it becomes, the further it gets from its intended purpose.

For those who wish to get really involved in font creating should be using the High-Logic Flagship Font Creator.
Thanks for replying. All views are important and are for great help for developing the software better.

I think people are not as disabled as many writer in this forum has put it. I agree that programs must be easy to use. But when the program is made easy to use, it is very complicated to code such program and there must be much advanced features inside the program.

I think that tracing the font many times is not easy. The program would be easy to use if the tracing algorithm would recognize e.g. the image damageness, lightness and blurness and make the tracing always well. But I don't believe that the program can be made so straightforward that it always produced excellent results.

It is the ability and resources of the programmer how simple the program is to use. Many parameters and settings can be "hide" from average "novice" user, but if the settings are there, the "advanced" user can find and adjust them.

If the professional find the program useful, also the novice can trust to the program. So the efforts to make the program better are always profitable.

Timo Kähkönen
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:05 am
Location: Finland

Re: Why

Post by Timo Kähkönen » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:41 pm

Dave Crosby wrote:For those who wish to get really involved in font creating should be using the High-Logic Flagship Font Creator.
FontCreator has many features but there is not Scanahand like batch scan property or outline improver or simplifier (is there?). So if the tracing fails or the result is not satisfactory, the FontCreator is not the choice. The choice is to develop Scanahand to make better things which it is intended for.

Dave Crosby
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:13 pm
Location: Enoch, Utah

Re: Why

Post by Dave Crosby » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:47 am

Timo Kähkönen wrote:
Dave Crosby wrote:For those who wish to get really involved in font creating should be using the High-Logic Flagship Font Creator.
FontCreator has many features but there is not Scanahand like batch scan property or outline improver or simplifier (is there?). So if the tracing fails or the result is not satisfactory, the FontCreator is not the choice. The choice is to develop Scanahand to make better things which it is intended for.
I agree for Scanahand Pro!

As in all things, font creators fit in a bell curve: Those that will use a free trial and abandon the program after a few minutes to those who will use it for hours every day to those who will only use the first version and never try anything else.

I still think Scanahand should be kept simple and inexpensive for people new to fonting.
Aut nunc aut nunquam

mully
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Trace Preview

Post by mully » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:20 pm

yes this is one of the things scanahand could learn from ScanFont

the tracing preview and the tracing options. (but maybe only in a PRO edition - I'd pay for that - or switchable so that it can stay as easy to use as it is now for beginners and can be more elaborate for POWERusers)

this PLUS a good autokerning or basic manual kerning and scanahand would dominate the market.
What I'd like to see would be that letters could overlap (without overlapping though) so two H's next to each other would look like they do now but for example an L and a T would overlap so that it won't look like a big gap.

cheers,
mully

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Trace Preview

Post by Erwin Denissen » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:47 am

I think auto kerning would be a great improvement, although people should be aware that several word processing applications don't support it, or don't have it turned on by default.
Erwin Denissen
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mully
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Re: Trace Preview

Post by mully » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:03 am

Erwin Denissen wrote:I think auto kerning would be a great improvement, although people should be aware that several word processing applications don't support it, or don't have it turned on by default.
wooooohooooooo - cool.

I'm only using fonts in Photoshop though (I think Calibri is good enough for Thesis Papers)
d'you know if PS supports that kind of stuff?? Is "gebrochene Breiten" ("broken widths"?) the feature we are talking about?

cheers,
mully

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Trace Preview

Post by Erwin Denissen » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:08 am

I assume PS uses the kern information that is inside the font file.

More about manual kerning here:
http://www.lyzrdstomp.com/tutorial_kerning/
Erwin Denissen
High-Logic
Proven Font Technology

mully
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Trace Preview

Post by mully » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:44 am

Erwin,

thanks for that.... the option+arrow method was new to me and is PRETTY DAMN QUICK

I can live with that until you implement an amazing auto kern feature :)

cheers,
mully

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