I'm looking for resources that can teach me how to build an OTF variable font. I'm using Glyphs and I have already created a TTF GX variable typeface.
Recently a client asked me for an OTF format that still behaves as a variable but I don't know how to do it. I have found a lot of articles about VF and about OTF (some of them thanks to this site) but nothing on how to practically create it: which software or plug in...Am I missing something?
Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
and thank you too!
It's hard to imagine that a client really genuinely prefers to have CFF2 outlines, when surely the whole point of OpenType is that we don't have to care about the choice of outlines.
If you refer to GX, that sounds like you have made a variable font that doesn't conform to the OT 1.8.x spec for variable fonts. E.g., you've defined axes differently than spec'd in OT. Is that what you mean?
If you meant a variable font with TT outlines, then I suggest you say that, or perhaps a (glyf/)gvar variable font. (At this point, I'm guessing most people would take OT as implied.)
I ended up adding a brute force override to implement those two flags on all glyphs of Cascadia Code (rather than just the ones that needed it) as a stopgap until ufo2ft decides how they'd like to implement it.
I prefer the rendering of 4×4 oversampling anyway. Because it is pretty much the same render process as standard bilevel rendering, and it is not sensitive to every single area in the pixel. It is pretty much a more practical anti-aliasing engine. So even with this update my font renderer named TD renderer will of course still use 4×4 oversampling, like classic GDI does.
So, on the one hand: yes, theoretically possible. If you are writing an app or a code library, you should probably not make an assumption. But as a practical rule of thumb for everybody else, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that an OTF almost certainly contains PostScript-style outlines.
And… out of how many OTFs in that directory?
I have 602 otf files in that directory. The TT-outlined .otf files are all from CreativeMarket, so that's something.
Interestingly (or not?), the version name is "Version 1.01 emb4-OT."
Some resellers simply won't accept such submission, as all files must be in the same format.
Variable fonts are not more naturally inclined to either type of curves.
One could argue that the original CFF OpenType fonts are actually a bit of a hack (given the data redundancy inherent in the format, shoving a whole CFF font into a table), BUT the CFF2 format used for CFF variable fonts addresses that problem.
However… as CFF2 variable fonts were just a bit late getting spec’d relative to TTF variable fonts, and supporting TrueType variable fonts involves less engineering, CFF variable fonts are not as well supported as TrueType variable fonts. Some things still don’t support them,
And then again there are many things that do support them, but supported TrueType variable fonts first. So sometimes current/recent versions of browser X or app Y support both flavors, but if you go back a bit, there are versions that supported TT variable fonts but not CFF2 variable fonts.
~/Library/Fonts$ grep -R 'glyf' --include=*otf .
Binary file ./SyrCOMUrhoy.otf matches
In my collection of historic and exotic fonts:
~/font_examples$ grep -R 'glyf' --include=*otf . | wc -l