What’s the name of the font-making software you’re using? I guess I’m rambling on about this as I fear that in the future I might need to do real font customization again and wonder what’s at the top of people’s picks.
\ Edit: Big blab about font work here (and CG software), a bit tangenty perhaps, IGNORE IF NOT INTERESTED 😃 /
I’ve done similar, a long time ago — '90s-early '00s — with FontCreator (I think that’s what it was called).
Since then all my “font customizing work” has been a little off the beaten path: in my CG software…which can’t use a font rather directly like Photoshop, Word, and many many other programs. With my CG software you use a “Create text” tool; you type into its field the text you want and select the font, then the software creates a (flat) CG object/mesh of that text. You use — can fully manipulate — that CG object from then on in (extrude, texture, jitter points, on and on and on, really neat!) but it now has zero connection with the TTF file that created it. I.e., if you decide you want what it says to be different then you need to go back to square one to re-create OR alter the CG object you’ve created using object editing techniques if that happens to be easier (<-ala if you need to change “STACEY” to “STACY” you can just change/edit the CG object by hand in a few seconds…but if you find you now need “STACY” instead of “NORUL” then you have no choice but to go back to square one to re-create/re-type…)
If I decide I’m going to make a custom “font” (for use only in my CG software/scenes) I would get the closest existing font, then type a line with every letter, numeral, punc, and have the tool generate my new alphabet object, then I’d go to town modding (dragging around, adding, deleting points that define the shape), perhaps only a few letters if that’s all the end-result required…and of course if I’ve perfectly cleaned up the “I” I can often copy much of that work over to the vertical stalks of the “H” to save some work/time, then leapfrog that work to the “U” then “V”, etc. if needed.
The usage method of the end result is crude though: When I want to “type” something out with my new lettering I copy the CG-object letters I need and place them by hand (but am very careful to lock their horizontal position, I never allow them to shift up or down). If I’m lucky, my needed text will fall in line with alphabetical arrangement in spots, such as “AB” “DE” “GH” “LM”, to give me strong/definitive suggestions for kerning in at least a few spots. A cool thing about CG software is that all kinds of manipulation is very fast, so if I need two letters on the alphabetical line that are reverse of how I need them — e.g. I need “PO” instead of “OP” — I can still grab “OP” and flip the whole of the pair then flip the “P” (to keep their original kerning); in two seconds my “OP” is now a perfect “PO”.
This all is really only for titles and short bits of text though, no paragraphs. Luckily I have yet to do a project where I needed paragraphs of (custom design) text; I was always able to just straight use a font already out there for that and let the tool do (almost) all the placing/kerning.
Based on what you said, Hutt, I guess I’m kind of lucky with this custom (CG) alphabet approach in a big respect because my kerning is just done by hand, sliding letters horizontally until they’re right, which is fast and always looks great (unlike Arial’s kerning with “rt” always being too close, at least IMO, needing a tiny space inserted).
Outside of my CG software I’ve also been lucky I guess in that I’ve either been able to find a font good enough for my needs, or any mods I needed were so minor they were easily doable (in Photoshop) without editing a TTF file. But I would like to know if there’s something good, perhaps free, out there I could have on hand just in case.
If you made it this far I hope it was of enough interest 😃