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Re: [ft-devel] [Fontforge-devel] Peter Wiegel's auto spacing idea

From: vernon adams
Subject: Re: [ft-devel] [Fontforge-devel] Peter Wiegel's auto spacing idea
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 22:50:02 +0300

If no-one is familiar with David Kindersley's experiments with optical spacing it's well worth looking at.
Info is scarce, except from

Basically DK built an apparatus for viewing lettering, to gauge spacing before he cut the lettering into stone.
pic at
The viewer used a filter that 'kind of' worked like a gaussian across the horizontal of each letter(x-axis).

I can imagine that a similar digital guassian applied to characters would definitely speed up and improve manual spacing, and could be the basis of an underlying auto-spacing system too.


On 15 Jun 2012, at 22:16, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:

I've been thinking about this approach for a couple years.  Never got to try
it.  Mine is more mathematically rigorous, but really very similar.
Essentially: convolve the glyph with a gaussian, then for any two glyphs, you
want to set them next to eachother such that the integral of the gaussians for
the two glyphs shifted and multiplied is a certain number.  The width of the
gaussian, and the certain number give you two axes to adjust 1) general
spacing, and 2) how spacing functions around acute corners compared to
straight lines.

BTW, an approximation of it can be done using analytical algorithms instead of
bitmapping.  Maybe I give it a try finally.

At any rate, someone has explored this space extensively already. I never got
to read what he exactly does, has been on my TODO list. Checkout iKern.


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