Convert bmps to glyphs

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What if I had 1000 bmp's that I then wanted to translate into a 1000 glyph font, without manually copying and pasting? On any platform?
#1 - 2009-06-27, 18:28

If I had to do this project, here's what I'd do. But consider: I already own FontLab; it's kind of a pricey option if you don't already have a use for FontLab. Maybe Fontographer can be used to do something similar but I don't know.

In Windows:
Use Photoshop or whatever top scale them all to about 700 pixels high and covert them to 1bit . . .pure black and white.
Open Fontlab, create 1000 blank glyphs in the Unicode private use area.
Use autoclick software . . . I use http://www.spacetornado.com/DoItAgain/
Make a copy of the folder of images. Open the first blank glyph in FontLab. Open the first image in Photoshop, then close the image (to set the proper folder). Arrange Fontlab, Photoshop, do it again, and the file folder on the screen so they're all visible. Make sure the files are displayed in list mode. In FontLab, view/turn on background so you can see if the images are working correctly.

Record a DoItAgain sequence:
  • open the file at the top of the list in Photoshop
  • select all
    • copy
    • click in the blank glyph in FontLab
      • paste
      • press . (advances to next blank glyph)
        • select the file at the top of the file list and delete it.
        • Press the special DoItAgain key to stop recording the sequence.
          • Test the sequence in DoItAgain. If it works, you can set the repeat setting for that task to 1000.
          Let it run overnight. In the morning, if FontLab didn't crash you'll have all your glyphs as background bitmaps.
          Save because autotracing tends to crash FontLab easily.

          In the font window, select all glyphs and autotrace. If it crashes, you need to screw around with the autotrace settings (f10) to make the trace less detailed. Then you can copy/paste those traced images into another font . .. probably several if you have 1000 images.

          The other option is to use ScanFont. But to do that, you have to arrange all the images on several bitmaps. So that already eats up some time. It's not a good option for clip art, it's more suited to making fonts. If you've got detailed images, you may get a lot of crashing, no matter how simple your tracing is set. If your images are simple, like pictograms, maybe ScanFont might be okay.
#2 - 2009-06-27, 20:38
Ray Larabie
Typodermic Fonts Inc.

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