FontArk

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  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    - No plans for a release of a download version to run locally.

    - Grabbing Nodes (anchor is the AI term and it has other meanings in type design tools) is a bit hard and a known issue, we still search for the optimum Node size and stroke width because too tiny it's impossible to grab and too large it is hard to work as well.

    - You receive 100 beta credits with subscribing, each time you generate and  download a font one credit is gone. This is how we would like to make our business model and charge for credits when moving to paid service, the other option is a monthly subscription. In any case we're not going to start charging soon, so if you'll run out of them just message me and we will refill it.

    - The extra Nodes you see are the cap Nodes, they are added to the end of the skeleton depending on the cap-style you use. Other additional Nodes along the way will be the Line-join nodes if selected. In case you don't need and special line-join use the No-line-join mode  and they'll be gone. 
  • AbiRasheedAbiRasheed Posts: 183
    Ah ok makes sense. Cheers!
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    The part I can't see is how I can use a skeleton to design the initial silhouette, set the precise size of the counters, bump the counters around until they're correctly placed.
    Well, I don't know if these are good, or bad news, but my experiment shows that these issues works pretty much the same way as with normal outlines, just with the option for crazy real time automation and synchronization.



  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 916
    That was very interesting, thank you.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,649

    Here is the demo generated file when opened in Fontlab studio.

    The outlines are fairly clean, but completely improperly constructed as far as not having nodes at extremes. This could be fixed in a post-process, I'm sure, but are not yet “good” outlines.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    edited March 2016
    In terms of ease of work, it was important to us to construct the outlines according to the skeleton's structure, so if the designer will position the skeleton nodes on extremes that's where the outline nodes will be positioned, and this image demonstrates this principle, and this is unique to Fontark.
    the real challenge was to determine the length of the outline's bezier handles in relation to the distance from the skeleton and the orientation of the curve - if it bends to the right, the right out line handles should be shortened and the left one stretched, and how much?
    There is no mathematical answer to that and it was a challenge to achieve such clean outlines, and Wes's question was based on his experience, for most (if not all) existing tools produces an unworkable complexity of nodes when executing stroke to path/expand path/make parallel path/change weight/etc' all these actions in standard vector editing tools results with a total mess, and I'm sure everyone here are aware of that.

    When I told our development department how I wish the outlines to be generated, during work and in the end font generation, I was told that it is impossible, and several alternatives were offered, I have rejected the suggested solutions on the spot and sat with a paper and pencil and invented the algorithms myself, so any manipulation to the skeleton, such as change weight/contrast/proportions/etc' will be as easy to work with as with the original path, inside Fontark and outside it.
  • At this stage, it looks to me as a tool that can be used in the early stage in the development of a design. It can help to have a good look at proportion, rhythm etc.

    When I look at your stills and movie samples, I do not see a solution yet for the biggest part of the work, the detailing and local (per glyph, per weight, per problem) outline work.



  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    FA is by definition (especially at this stage) a design tool, for early-medium stage of development, but it's extreme flexibility definitely enables outline detailing per glyph/weight/problem, including free outline editing like in any other vector editor (for all the stuff that can't be achieved by the unique tools and system).
    So I think it covers quite a lot of what you call the biggest part of the work and very efficiently. 
    There are some layers of pro finalization that are not covered yet as optimization, OT-features and Naming, so you wont be able to produce a "ready to market" font out of it but it doesn't bother us much for most pro users have means to do it outside FA, and we focus entirely on developing FA unique core features.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    edited March 2016
    Just published the new set of type design fundamentals with Fontark videos.
    It's all beginners stuff but it demonstrates quite well the principles of working with FA, and presents the unique method we've developed to sync a font's glyphs in a way that flexibly "links" the unified aspects and separates the uniqueness of each and every glyph in a typeface.

    It is a Youtube playlist so either watch it on Youtube or figure out how to navigate between them.

    First video is about balancing the width of a typeface's characters. Good exercise for beginners. (7 min)
    Second is about spacing. (11 min)
    Third and fourth are about optical corrections. (15 min each)


  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    edited January 2017
    Next week (starting on Sunday) I'm intending to spend time demonstrating Fontark, one on one. You will not give up your fav tool for it, but you'll probably be surprised by it's capabilities.

    If you're interested, for any reason, message me to schedule a demo at your convenient time.  
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,552
    edited January 2017
    I was fortunate to get such a personal demo recently, and was much more impressed than I expected. FontArk is powerful and flexible, and for many type designers could replace most of their process. Most reassuring is that it's not too tied down to skeletons.
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