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Re: medieval font design

From: Till Rettig
Subject: Re: medieval font design
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2007 10:05:51 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070103)

Juergen Reuter wrote:

Hi, Till!

My personal experience is that you have to fine tune the glyphs anyway; hence, determining just a few coordinates should suffice (this can be easily done manually if you have a really big printout of the scan).
Do you mean by using xfig or inkscape or by defining the metafont source directly?

For each glyph, a charbox must be specified, such that lily knows how wide/high the glyph is. In practice, a glyph may stick out of the charbox (even though you probably should have a good reason to do so). In this case, I think sticking out glyphs could be useful; see attached drawing (suppose that the blue curve represents the stem, the red curve the flag, and the dotted lines the corresponding (simplified) charboxes).
Yes, I understood this, I didn't mean though to have a diagonal stem, just that the stemform without flag should look different to the one with flag

However, as far as I know, stems are currently drawn dynamically by just creating rectangles on the fly, rather than outputting a fixed glyph. The reason for doing so is that the actual stem length in general depends on a lot of other things, and therefore there is no fixed stem glyph.
Oh, this sounds logicalt, but I think for the ancient notation there is no need to have different lenghts -- well, lets put it that way: in petrucci prints there *is* no different length, and in manuscripts naturally there is one. But it doesn't seem to differ that much as in modern notation mainly due to the fact that there are no beams.
I guess the stem printing code in lily/ would need to be slightly revised to enable printing of stem glyphs. Or, even better, if you could express the stem by a polygonal shape and, given a stem length, devise a method for determining this polygonal shape's coordinates, then polygonal stems could be drawn on the fly in lily/, analogous to the rectangular stems that we currently have.
This sounds like an idea -- just as I said it: I think for stems there would be some kind of polygonal form usefull while for stems that have flags the form should again be rectangular. But anyways, I will first start the font and then think of inserting it into lilypond.

And still the idea about introducing some variability to mimick the handscribe, that is to have about four or five slightly different glyphs that would be used in arbitrary order. Is something like this possible in lilypond?

Should be basically possible, if you modify lily/ accordingly. However, I guess the result would not look beautiful, since the "arbitrariness" of hand-writings actually comprehends a very complex process of balancing unevenness; I fear that simulating this process based on just some random numbers will not work well.
Yes, this might well be. Mainly my concern was that the glyphs shouldn't bee too "clean" and "smooth" looking, but this can well be done with only one glyph form.

Thank you very much so far for your answers!


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