Multiple Master Questions

Michael Jarboe's picture

I have a few questions regarding MM builds to create a range of typeface weights for the future…

1. Is there any available multiple master Fontlab sample files anywhere? I learn better by seeing and doing and I'd like to look at the inner workings of one if possible.

2. Are the interpolation results similar in their imperfection as using a bold effect feature? I assume their would be considering any type of automated process is by nature, imperfect. (I've already downloaded RMX 1.53 in anticipation assuming it will only help the process of manipulation and accuracy further)

3. What is a good weight combination to start with, I vaguely remember reading posts that mention a certain combination… i.e. start with light and bold but nothing too extreme in range?

Thanks,

Mike

PS: I just opened an existing font I have, I've defined a 'Weight' axis, I see the Axis palette, I've selected between the masters but do not see 'different masters appearing as outlines of different colors', nor does anything seem to happen when I select either 'master' and adjust the weight slider? Am I missing something here, what do I have to do to get things to happen here? lol

.00's picture

I suggest you read the FontLab manual regarding this topic. That is how I learned how to do it.

.00's picture

On another note, Blake was completely fried when he said that "Doors of Perception" thing.

If the doors of perception were really cleansed, all they would be were really clean doors.

Windows, on the other hand, are a completely different matter.

Jackson's picture

Yea, the best place to start is the fontlab guide. It sounds like you're just creating a new axis from just one master, which would make both layers of the font identical. I'd suggest finding the section in the guide that covers multiple masters and the blend tool.

Michael Jarboe's picture

Haha… terminal… I love it… maybe I can reword it and form my own version of it… or replace it with a bizarre Morrison quote?

I read the manual and followed it, I just learn better by seeing it, manual's always lose me at some point… I pretty much learned Fontlab Studio through a combination of things of only which the manual was a very small percentage…

Thanks for the replies…

Michael Jarboe's picture

Jackson, your right that's what I did… I guess I need to read through again, maybe grab the other weight of said font and import it so the two 'layers' are different… when I think layers I visualize Illustrator layers, I'll figure it all out, I'm so close!!!

Michael Jarboe's picture

Okay I chose two existing weights I had from a previously designed font 'Light' and 'Bold' then I chose 'Blend Fonts' and created my MM file and in seconds created a 'Thin' version and generated the instance of it…

So I guess using MM's is just a hyper efficient way of dealing with weights and widths… although like anything automated it still requires manual clean up and tweaks.

So when designing in anticipation of using MM's you need either 'extreme' of your font pre-designed and completed, as in a light and a bold version, or a thin and a black version or a condensed and extended version to start with, is this correct?

And since the 'Blend Fonts' command works so well, what is the benefit of 'manually' creating a MM font? (At this point I don't even know how to do an MM build manually, I reached a dead end with that until trying the Blend command but I'm curious as to why one process is better than the other)

Thanks,

Mike

Thomas Phinney's picture

Why manually create an MM fonts instead of using the "Blend Fonts" command? Working in MM space ensures that your master fonts remain compatible. The number of ways things can get messed up is much more limited.

No, interpolations are not particularly similar to using the bold effect command. They have different pluses and minuses, essentially. Generally better, but there are things to watch out for. Read Adobe tech note 5015 on MMs:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/font/pdfs/5091.Design_MM_Fonts.pdf

Cheers,

T

Michael Jarboe's picture

Yeah I noticed a handful of glyphs didn't make it through the blend process but it wasn't so bad for this particular font.

Am I right then, that basically for MM compatibility say… a capital 'T' that has 8 node pts. in the 'light' weight has to match the capital 'T' with exactly 8 node pts. in the bold? Is it as simple as that?

Thanks,

Mike

Thomas Phinney's picture

Not quite. There are extra complications regarding off-curve control points which are aligned neither vertically nor horizontally. It's best to read the tech note.

Cheers,

T

Michael Jarboe's picture

Thanks Thomas that was a great read I feel like I can move forward with a better understanding of how to construct for MM and/or edit past types to sync better between extreme axes…

Thomas Phinney's picture

Glad to be of help! Of course, in the case of the letter "T" none of the oddball problems were likely to come up, but as soon as you start getting into the curvy letters, you can get into trouble.

Good luck!

T

snolling's picture

Another Multiple Master font question:

I am working on a Mac in OSX, and I have MM Myriad, and I want to create an instance - but I don't have FontLab.

What can I use to do this?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Find somebody with a Mac that has Classic support and they can create a new instance using ATM (Light or Deluxe).

(Though next time, for an unrelated question, you could start a new thread.)

Cheers,

T

Jens Kutilek's picture

You could also use the command line tools mmafm and mmpfb from the free LCDF Typetools to generate instances.

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