Autohint better than my TTF Hinting–What can I improve?

Lukas HornLukas Horn Posts: 10
edited January 16 in Technique and Theory

Auto hint vs. true type hinting in glyphs (TT instructor)

Hello everyone. I’m new at TT Hinting and I want to understand how it works. For learning I take a font I’m currently working on, so there are some inconsistencies in the design, but that’s (hopefully) not the center of my question. 

You can see on the left side my font as a TTF done with autohint. I think it is better if you compare it to the right side. Right side is the result of my hinting. I think the shapes of the glyphs in small size are clearer in my version. But in the middle sizes there are strange things happen. For example the b got a great contrast on baseline but a small contrast on the top of the x-height (For instance in size 16).



Is it a problem of the construction of my letters or a hinting problem? 


I’m working in Glyphs App and this is what I've done:


font information

– I defined stem values & alignment zones



In the design interface

– my letters got extremepoints

– the extreme points in the y direction have an anchor on the alignment zones

– I set stem hints in x and y direction


x direction



y direction


Finally

– Should I take a look to the shape of my outlines or is it a common hinting problem?

– Are there some values I should set in the Font Infos like the blue values or TTFZones etc. (I don’t have a clear picture of how I can make the hinting better with all these different values)?

– Is it for the transformation into TTF important to remove all overlaps in the font?

– I heard different things, so I’m little bit confused–is it important to set hints in y AND x direction?


Glyphs specific questions

– I can hint my letters in the normal design window (Picture below) and I can do it in the TrueType Instructor (the two pictures above), so is it the same kind of hinting or is the first the information for Autohint and the second for real TTF? Because in the first case I can set ghost hints which isn’t possible in the TT Instructor and in the TTI I can set deltas which isn’t possible in the first case


– When I open the TTI (in x direction–you can see it in the picture under the x direction headline) I get two extra points located under the baseline–one on the 0 position in the x direction and another on the end of the right side bearing of the glyph. Is it smart to make a connection (like a interpolation) between this and the nodes of the letter?


I’m thankful for every advise!


Comments

  • First, don't hint the x-direction.
    Second: The output looks like it doesn't has any hinting. Can you send me the file that I can have a look (I’m the developer of Glyphs). 

    One the x-direciton screenshot you hinted an overlaying point. That point will be removed on export so that might cause problems. You should export with "Remove Overlap" active. 

    Your shapes look good. 

    You don't need anchors for the stem hints. Glyphs will add them for you.

    Lukas Horn said:

    – I can hint my letters in the normal design window (Picture below) and I can do it in the TrueType Instructor (the two pictures above), so is it the same kind of hinting or is the first the information for Autohint and the second for real TTF? 
    The hints in the normal mode are for PostScript fonts. The ones you add with the TrueType tool are for TrueType. 

    There are two different autohinters. One for Postscript outlines. It is run per glyph so you can chose if you like to autohint a glyph or define your own hints (stick to autohinting for most glyphs). For TrueType, you can either autohint or manual hint the whole font. 
  • Thank you Georg! I'd sent you an mail. And don't wonder there are just hints on the lowercase letters.
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