AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

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Psymon
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AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Psymon » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:47 pm

Phew! I just added in pretty nearly the complete Greek and Extended Greek character sets to my regular font -- 121 of 135 glyphs of the former (only missing the 14 Coptic characters in that set), and all 233 of the latter. :shock:

I haven't got a freakin' clue about what "looks good" for this language, though -- it's all Greek to me, as the saying goes! :lol:

Right now I just have the bearings set the same on all my glyphs in those two sets -- is it possible to run autometrics, and then autokern, on ONLY those two character sets, without totally messing up all my wonderful, laborious work everywhere else in the font? They don't need to kern with the Latin sets or anything else, they only need to kern within themselves, i.e. the standard Greek/Coptic AND the Extended Greek all kerning together.

I seem to recall some discussion that it's possible... but I'm terrified to do anything. If my memory is mistaken, though, and it's not possible, well, I guess I'll just leave everything veritably monospaced, as it is now, I guess. :roll:

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:41 pm

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Psymon
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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Psymon » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:58 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:41 pm
This earlier thread may help.
Oh, that was interesting to read -- although what it was that you were trying to do, Bhikkhu, I'm not too sure? Were you trying to kern all your Greek along with everything else, too (Latin, etc.) but it wasn't working? Was that the issue there?

If I understood that correctly, that was exactly what I was trying to avoid -- screwing up the "everything else" in the process of running autokern, when all I want to kern is only my Greek (everything else I've done manually, not "auto," of course).

I was thinking that maybe what I could do, with my own situation, is just skip the kerning, but at least try to get the metrics nicer/better (than monospaced). To do that, I could just save my font under another name -- just temporarily -- then run autometrics on that temp font, and then copy/paste just those two Greek character sets back into my original working file.

That would do the trick, wouldn't it, at least as far as the metrics go? I wouldn't have any kerning done, but at least that would be better than all the bearings being totally the same (and monospaced, basically).

Does that sound like a reasonable workaround -- a bit of consolation, at least?

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Psymon » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:28 pm

Well, that's weird. My own suggestion in my last reply here seemed to make perfect sense to me, so I just tried it -- but autometrics seems to have no effect at all on either of the Greek character sets, they're still all monospaced (with the same bearings throughout, that I'd given them before). :roll:

Why doesn't autometrics work on the Greek stuff? Erwin? :?

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:25 pm

Psymon wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:28 pm
Well, that's weird. My own suggestion in my last reply here seemed to make perfect sense to me, so I just tried it -- but autometrics seems to have no effect at all on either of the Greek character sets, they're still all monospaced (with the same bearings throughout, that I'd given them before). :roll:

Why doesn't autometrics work on the Greek stuff? Erwin? :?
Optical Metrics only works with Latin.
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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:35 pm

They didn't have FontCreator or Autometrics in the time of the Greeks.

A workaround is to paste the Greek glyphs to the Latin code-points in a new font, run autometrics there, then copy/paste the glyphs with their new metrics using paste special.

No warranty comes with this workaround. Try running Autometrics with different glyph spacing values until the preview text looks OK to you.
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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Psymon » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:31 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:35 pm
They didn't have FontCreator or Autometrics in the time of the Greeks.
Ha ha -- well, they didn't have it in the Renaissance either (from when the original metal types that my fonts are based on were made)! Maybe I should just delete all my kerning, etc. and make them really authentic? :D
A workaround is to paste the Greek glyphs to the Latin code-points in a new font, run autometrics there, then copy/paste the glyphs with their new metrics using paste special.
Hmm... that sounds like an interesting solution -- although I have the entire extended Greek character set, too (233 characters, on top of the basic Greek, if I remember correctly) so I'm not sure where I would paste them to.

Well, I think I'll just leave it as it is for now -- I'm not sure how often that Greek character set will get used (for my own purposes, anyway) and so perhaps it's not that big a deal. That's something I could backburner for now, anyway, just to finally get this all done and out of the way, but maybe I can go back to this and try that out down the road.

Or maybe in the meantime FC will also get the ability to autokern (etc.) Greek! That would be even lovelier. ;)

In the meantime, though, I found this weird ebook bug a bit more disconcerting -- I suspect that the issue isn't with my font, though, but rather with the ebook software? I don't know. Wish there was something I could do about that one, though.

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by ClintGoss » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:23 pm

Is it time to revisit the issue of AutoMetrics / Optical Metrics operating on a only subset of glyphs?

The manual says "this process can take from several minutes up to several hours" ... but I just timed my run at 33 seconds (on a two year old machine) ... but it doesn't cover my Greek nor Cyrillic blocks. This is a big speedbump for me, since I'm currently working up a "faux-monospaced" font (think of a proportional Courier New).

My current options include:
  • Bhikkhu's approach of temporarily copying glyphs to code points that are processed and then copy the glyphs back once AutoMetrics runs. Painful.
  • Set things by hand
  • Writing perl code to copy side bearings based on a a table of characters that should share similar side bearings (eg. $41 Capital A to $0391 Greek Alpha).
  • ... Any other methods???
Could the limitation on the AutoMetrics glyph set be relaxed? Or settable by the user? Things that might have taken 3 days in the past might take 3 minutes now ...

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:49 pm

It took about 4½ minutes on my six year old machine. Still not too long if it was double that if working on Latin and Cyrillic. Hardware is definitely getting much faster as the years go by.

It would have to calculate each character set individually. Latin Basic is 95 so each character has to be spaced relative to 94 others. Spacing another 95 characters would quadruple the number of comparisons.

Probably, run it once for each character set, and save the changes in between?
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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by ClintGoss » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:23 pm

Would love to "run it once for each character set"! I would love to be able to select a set of glyphs and run it for that set. Or a Unicode Block. Or a script. Ideally, on the selected glyphs.

I am just trying to get away from the "Copy all the Glyphs you want and then copy them back". That really doesn't work, because FC is still considering other characters in its algorithm. In other words, if I copy the Greek letters to the Latin letters, FC is still setting metrics on the letters together with the punctuation ... which is not great.

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Psymon » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:35 pm

I'm still running FC v. 11.5, and don't really feel the need to spend money to upgrade as it does pretty much what I want/need it to do -- but I would blow money on an upgrade JUST for this one, single feature if it could be wangled. :)

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by ClintGoss » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:05 pm

I'll second that sentiment! Although I'm not exactly holding off on an upgrade, but I would certainly move up if this becomes available. I have a current font project that has exactly this need, and I have on my screen right now Latin proportional and Greek monospaced. Ugh ...

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by Erwin Denissen » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:08 pm

We will look into this, but not on the short term as we have other priorities right now.
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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by ClintGoss » Sat May 23, 2020 10:34 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:35 pm
They didn't have FontCreator or Autometrics in the time of the Greeks.
Just came across this article, discussing the use of kerning in Sumeria ... wayyy before the Greeks ...

https://www.shillingtoneducation.com/blog/kerning/

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Re: AutoMetrics & AutoKern Greek & Extended Greek characters ONLY?

Post by ClintGoss » Sat May 23, 2020 10:49 am

I've been working with Bhikkhu Pesala's method of copying glyphs to the Latin script code points in order to access the FC AutoMetrics / Optical Metrics functionality for a while now. Some things I've encountered that may be helpful:
  • It really helps to pre-sort all glyphs by Code Point order (Tools => Sort Glyphs => Unicode Code-points). This smooths subsequent Cut-and-Paste operations.
  • I've found that the Optical Metrics process does not affect all glyphs in the Basic Latin block. Metrics on, for example, $5B-$60 and $7B-$7E are not set. Running AutoMetrics after copy characters from other scripts (Greek, Cyrillic, etc) into Basic Latin will leave the bearings on those characters unchanged. However, it seems that all the code points in Latin Extended-A are set by AutoMetrics. I now use this block (in a separate, sacrificial .fcp project) as my "workspace" for running AutoMetrics on non-Latin characters. If more than 128 characters are needed, then the zones of Basic Latin that just use letters could be used in addition, but this can become confusing ...
I am still looking forward to a feature of FC that allows AutoMetrics to operate on selected glyphs ... but until then, this has been a reasonable work-around for me.

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