Creating a SMuFL font

Music notation symbols, fonts, font sources and font creation, SmuFL.
gregc
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Joined: 10 Nov 2020, 23:45

Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by gregc »

What is your workflow as you create your SMuFL font? What tools do you use?

benwiggy
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by benwiggy »

My workflow is to do things haphazardly as the mood takes me. :lol:

Just FontForge. I'm also using Affinity Designer to edit some of the symbols, and then import them into FF. I have the SMuFL glyphs webpage open as a reference.

gregc
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Joined: 10 Nov 2020, 23:45

Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by gregc »

Thanks!

benwiggy
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Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by benwiggy »

OCTO wrote:
16 Sep 2020, 07:04
Beautiful! Is that Sebastian?
Here is a sample document designed to show off some of the glyphs in Sebastian. Obviously, it doesn't make musical sense and some aspects of the engraving will be Dorico's own (the lack of optical kerning on the cancellation naturals, for instance, which no app does well.)

The PNG comes out a bit lighter than the PDF.

I took notice of Tantacrul's comments about flags hitting quarter-space lengths, and not clashing with tremolos. I think the flags are rather good. The secondary flags are not as wide as the first flag, and i'm not sure about whether that's a good thing or not. It certainly matches some engraving I've seen.

The clefs are not quite as thick as Bravura, Leland, November, but not as weak as some of old digital fonts.

Not that you'd know, but I've now done 750 glyphs. I need to get up to c. 1000 to include most of the additional notehead shapes and standard performance techniques.
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OCTO
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Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by OCTO »

Dear benwiggy,
1000 glyphs? It is a gigantic job! I know, I try to edit Maestro and I get tired just of 200 symbols.

So, you want to create a SMuFL of Sebastian font? I guess this one is done in Finale. Does SMuFL work in Finale?

Jus quick comments, my own impressions:
1. half notehead seem to be to large, it bypass the staff line. I think it should be resized to the "touching in thirds" but not more than that. If the angle of the notehead (which is oval) is less vertical and more horizontal, it will create larger touching surface, but the horizontal size should be compensated (shortened).
Now I don't know if it is the same Sebastian/sebastiano font, since my notehead differs (and I like this):
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As you can see, the red line the horizontal flattened touching surface, that is similar to Maestro:
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2. Black notehead should also be resized, perhaps 95%.
3. I like rests (half/whole with soft edge toward the line - wonderful), flags, accidentals and dynamics. The accidentals are particularly powerful, and the flat's feature of the vertical stem is interesting, however I am not sure about it yet - I would need to print out the music and look at it for longer time.
4. Maybe octava with the clefs more bold? Or larger and bold?

So far - so good!

BTW, who is creator of Sebastian/Sebastiano?
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25.5 • Sibelius 2020 • MuseScore 2+3 • Logic Pro X+ • Ableton Live 10+ • Digital Performer 9+ /// MacOS Mojave, (side systems: Fedora 32, Windows 10)

benwiggy
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by benwiggy »

Florian created Sebastian, and I started working on a SMuFL version during a rainy holiday in September. We've been discussing it together.
I have adjusted some things: the note flags and flag rests, particularly. Florian created a lot of variations: I've selected what I think are the best.
I assembled a lot of the 'components', e.g. the ottava numbers on the clefs: the 8 needs to fit 1 space (see the F clef).

I also made the breves, which are the best of any font ever. :wink:

But yes: getting the glyphs to be the exact right size and position for SMuFL is the biggest job.

Thank you. I'll have another look at the noteheads. Can you explain about the flat a bit more?

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OCTO
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Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by OCTO »

benwiggy wrote:
19 Jan 2021, 10:18
Thank you. I'll have another look at the noteheads. Can you explain about the flat a bit more?
Well, the flat symbol has a feature which I haven't seen in other fonts to that extreme degree.
But it is interesting, the symbol is very bold, yet the white spot is "lightened" by reducing the width of the stem at that place. It is a very good solution to keep the boldness but reduce it where it is not necessary:
2021-01-19 (7).jpg
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The same feature is found in Igor's font, but solved in another way, by slowly reducing the stem's size toward the bottom:
2021-01-19 (8).jpg
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I see that the dynamics are a bit different from the old font, particularly with :piano which I didn't like.
The new dynamics are gorgeous!

Now I see that the staff lines pass through the whole notehead when it is placed in the space:
2021-01-19 (9).jpg
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Just an idea: reducing the complete font to 95%?
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benwiggy
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Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by benwiggy »

I'm glad you like the dynamics!

Re the noteheads: Yes, that's bad.

1 space is 250 pt (in font apps), so Bravura's noteheads are +/- 125pt from zero. The Sebastian originals are +/- 147, which is quite a bit bigger, and that's what you're seeing there. I've aimed for +/- 134, to give a slight 'kiss' on the staff lines. Perhaps these could be the Large Noteheads in Dorico's set, and +/-125 as the defaults?

See this revised PDF. (Also the ottava clefs)

I see you have FontLab. (I bought it a Christmas!) If you want me to send you the vfc file, I'd be happy to.
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OCTO
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Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by OCTO »

There is a way to test the symbols on the staff, in vivo:
You create two temporary "dummy" staff symbols, one for "on the staff" another for "in the space" symbols that you want to test with the staff.
The staff symbol is found in Maestro/Engraver at "=" symbol. I have used here Engraver.
Than you copy it to a slot which is easily accessible on the keyboard (to be typed), so I have used "A" and "a" since there are now parenthesized accidentals. I will undo that. But it is easy to remember.
I have decided that "A" will be used to test "in the space" symbols, so I moved the staff so that the second space is positioned in the vertical middle.
Than I have moved it toward left (to -200) and set up glyph width to 0, so when you type another symbol there is no space made, and the symbols overlap each other. So any change of the single symbol, in this case the notehead, I can immediately see how it looks in vivo.
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Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25.5 • Sibelius 2020 • MuseScore 2+3 • Logic Pro X+ • Ableton Live 10+ • Digital Performer 9+ /// MacOS Mojave, (side systems: Fedora 32, Windows 10)

benwiggy
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Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Creating a SMuFL font

Post by benwiggy »

Nice tip! It's actually fairly easy to overwrite the OTF and relaunch Dorico with my test project. But that will be quicker.

I'm going to add some more notehead types, now the noteheads are settled, and tidy up the ASCII end for Finale users. Then I'll release a 'beta' version for anyone who wants to try it out.

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