Help with Multiple Master Fonts

bobbygrotesk's picture

I'm having trouble figuring out if it’s possible to create a multiple master font from two separate weights of one font. I have designed a bold and a light version both in their own separate files. Is it possible to create a multiple master file from the two individual files?

This is my first attempt at multiple master, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

—B

Michael Jarboe's picture

Yes you can. Open both in FontLab Studio and go to Tools>Blend Fonts… and select Build the Multiple Master font.

That should get you started. Read up on or experiment with the different panel options, and look in the FontLab Studio manual about the requirements of compatible outlines/contours etc.

Once you figure all that out look into Prepolator and Superpolator which is a superior way of building out multiple weights/styles.

.00's picture

Make sure each glyph has the same number and type of nodes. Also the start point must be in the same location.

I would recommend ignoring the 'Blend" feature and use the older "Mask-to-Master" Technique.

Assign one of your font to the mask layer of the other. I find it easiest to assign the light weight to the mask layer of the bold. Use the Mask to master command, pick the MM Instance you want to be replaced by the Mask and make sure you check "Do not insert points"

All of this is in the FL manual. I learned how to do it by reading the instructions contained therein.

Tim Ahrens's picture

Some more threads that deal with this question:

http://typophile.com/node/46967
(see James' step-by-step explanation, this is the way to go)

http://www.typophile.com/node/56801

bobbygrotesk's picture

Thanks you all very much.

I have tried out both techniques mentioned and believe the mask to master technique is the best for me.

Although some of the glyphs after the process are appearing green, others red and some white. Is there a specific reason for this?
I have gone through and made sure all of the starting points / directions are the same and still find it a bit tricky.

Thanks for the links also Tim, infact the reason I am venturing into MM is so I can avail of your remix tools.

–B

.00's picture

As you begin the MM process, make sure you go into Font Info and go to the Multiple Master Settings at the end. Move the slider to somewhere between the two masters. This will change the display in the font window and give you a clear idea which glyphs were successfully transformed.

The Green should mean a successful transformation, but sometimes the start points between the masters are different and, while the transformation has taken place, what you get is Frankenstein between the masters.

Red means the transformation was not successful. for any number of reasons, different number of nodes, different path directions, or different number of contours between the masters are the most common.

White usually means that the glyph was composed of Components, and while the base glyphs may or may not have changed, nothing has gone on in that particular location.

Tim Ahrens's picture

You should also have a look at Prepolator. It is a tool specialised in making the node structure of two fonts compatible. Mac only, and it looks like if you work in FontLab you will have to export UFO and then re-import. Thought there was a video of Tal's presentation at Robothon 2009 on Vimeo but it seems to be gone.

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