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Re: [ft-devel] State of autohinter stem darkening

From: Nikolaus Waxweiler
Subject: Re: [ft-devel] State of autohinter stem darkening
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 19:38:14 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.3.0

Would it be possible to implement TrueType stem darkening without
using hinting like in the CFF case? I really think that darkening and
hinting should be orthogonal.

I think so, too. Currently, stem darkening is basically a proof of concept bolted on to the autohinter. My idea is to turn stem darkening into a kind of generic service within FT so that all engines can implement it independently of the autohinter, just like the CFF driver does it.

A problem is getting at the standard widths of a font. The emboldening code needs to know how thick or thin a glyph is to know how much it should be emboldened. The Type 1 and CFF engines can access the PS private dict and get the designer's values from there and the autohinter simply computes them by itself (sometimes too thin for special symbols, leading to excessive emboldening). But there is no such shortcut for TrueType fonts without the assistance of the autohinter. Maybe the heuristic 50/75/110 values suffice for a first implementation. Or maybe I can change the autohinter a bit to just make it spit out those standard widths. I'll see. Just don't hold your breath ;)

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