Greyscale font in Flash low-quailty

daylite's picture

We've got a flash project that we are trying to squeeze every cpu cycle out of.
Obviously the best way to do this and get any form or decent quality, is to go with bitmaps, rather than vectors in low-quality mode.
So we're looking to test the performance of greyscale fonts in Flash in low-quailty mode.
If this works out I guess we'll have to investigate the next steps of building such a font, although after reading previous posts in this forum it might be a lot less painful to us if we outsouce it.

So... we're looking for a demo greyscal bitmap font to be tested in flash MX 2004.

Any offers ?

Miguel Hernandez's picture

Hi Robert.

Ultrafont

hrant's picture

Hold on. The Ultrafonts stuff is still outlines: they're pixelfonts, outline fonts designed to render out crisp anti-aliased type (the best stuff to read onscreen) at a single point size. I doubt they will render out faster (although their lack of curves might make a slight difference). So I think Robert might be talking about one of the relatively new features of Flash: the ability to render out an internal actual bitmap font (from an outline font) and then use that instead; the problem is I think that doesn't work with grayscale - although I think it might depend on platform -not sure though.

And a side question: what point size are you looking for?

hhp

daylite's picture

Hmmm... was a bit worried about that.

We're basically trying to get away from using vector fonts (outlines fonts with or without 'clever' hinting).

Nor are we too worried about 'tiny' fonts, but rather more traditional "Arial' derivatives at 12px, 14px and 18px. So there is no real worry about 'blurry' visuals at very small font sizes.

We are ONLY worried about performance issues.

Ideally we would like to use 'low-quality' mode fonts in flash and have the nice anti-aliased edges of 'high-quality' mode.

The only way I can see this happening, is if there is a bitmap font... the trick is... does flash support greyscale bitmap fonts or not...

...if it does, all I really want to be able to do is convert a standard outline font into a greyscale one and use it in Flash.

...if it doesn't, then there are 2 ways forward.
1. Use standard 1 bit fonts during high calculation areas, and then use high quality mode for notifications and interaction. *ugh*
2. Use a bitmap based lookup graphic element table and chain 'words' together. Just requires more programming I guess, and kerning goes right out the window. Then for the interactive areas, I would then switch to standard fonts in high quality mode. *not so ugh, just more work*

I guess it all really depends on how thoroughly flash has embraced the relatively not-so-new TTF specification. *heh*

Any further light ?

Rob.

hrant's picture

Mana comes in 13* and 16 PPEM - you can see them on the Ultrafonts site. It's probably not too expensive for you to buy them just to test; and if they don't work you might find a use for them in the future.

* Which actually has an Arial air to it, at least in the Regular lowercase.

I think a decent fallback would be to use a 1-bit font, which I'm pretty sure that new Flash feature can handle. But hopefully you can get grayscale to work.

Do let us know what happens!

hhp

daylite's picture

I've had a quick look at Mana on Ultrafonts.
Unfortunately if you right click and choose 'quality- low' in the flash player, we go straight back to the beginning, and the fonts become very aliased.

Is there no such thing as a font that contains no outline data, but only bitmap data ?
Greyscale if possible ?

All I'm really looking for is a test greyscale bitmap ttf font to play with. It doesn't even have to have real glyphs in it. We're only interested in seeing if it works in Flash, and if there is any performance boost over standard outline fonts.

Can anyone send us a 'demo' greyscale bitmap ttf font to test ?

Rob.

Miguel Hernandez's picture

> Ideally we would like to use 'low-quality' mode fonts in flash and have the nice anti-aliased edges of 'high-quality' mode.

> The only way I can see this happening, is if there is a bitmap font... the trick is... does flash support greyscale bitmap fonts or not...

- Did you receive an official answer from Macromedia?
Only Flash MX technology can really guarantee a greyscale bitmap ttf good work on low quality mode.

If Flash dont support this feature, and you decide to use high quality mode in font, i can do the development of your customised fonts designs, starting to send you a demo agreement for the proyect. Ultrafonts technology is the better solution actually available for greyscale fonts custom type design with a crossplatform ttf solution.

Best,

Miguel Hern

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