Free alternative to RMX Harmonizer?

I love using that plug-in. I just can’t justify €99 for that specific function. That’s nearly half the price of the entire Glyphs app!

Are there any free alternatives (script or plug-ins) for automatically smoothing out curves ?

Mekkablues is also helpful for smoothing.
But anyway the scaler and monospacer options of RMX are way more helpful than the smoother and worth the money.

Tunnify does not smooth the connections between segments. You can train your eye and opt-move the curve point in question. Or use the €20 SpeedPunk to help you find the right spot for a node between two handles. There is also a harmonize function in Simon Cozen’s $50 SuperTool, but it uses a different algorithm.

But the 100 dollars are very well invested, trust me.

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Thanks for the recommendations guys. I guess I will eventually just have to program my own.

Doing your own to save 100 dollars? And for those you get the much more useful Tuner and Scaler for free :wink:

The utility/cost ratio is not convincing to me since I don’t need the other functions yet. I don’t do type design for a living :slight_smile:

Like a lot of people here I’m a computer programmer & I think I can learn a whole lot with this exercise and the community can collectively benefit with more alternatives.

It should also be pointed out that the Harmonizer won’t do much if you’re already drawing nice curves - it’s best to learn how to draw them cleanly from the start, tools like SpeedPunk are great for training your eye. Ultimately you’ll only need Harmonizer for real P.I.T.A. curves that are hard to clean up. It’s good to not think of Harmonizer as a janitor, but as a teacher to lead you on the path to correct curve drawing.

Harmonizer has different levels of effect too, which is really handy if you want to just apply a subtle touch to a complex curvature, or be more heavy handed on a problematic curve - something I’ve not seen the other alternatives offer.

I believe you can still use Harmonizer in a limited capacity if you are unsure about it, and want to take it for a test drive. It’s not time limited as far as I recall, but certain features are disabled.

Although I’m not a full time type designer either, I still bought a license for Harmonizer, not just because it’s a great project / tool to support, but in my opinion it produces the nicest results. I can safely say the $150AUD investment has already paid for itself.

Like any tool, the value is not in the price tag, but in your application / use of it. If you are a casual type designer, 99 euros sounds like a lot but you’ll look back on it one day as a professional type designer and say “I’m glad I made that investment”.

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I’d love it if you bought SuperTool, of course, but if you’re really desperate to program your own harmonize plugin, feel free. To make two curves G2-continuous, you need to equalize the coefficient of curvature on both sides of the joining node. The maths is a pain to work out from scratch, so I don’t recommend it; you can see the algorithm I used here. Knock yourself out!


Just a few quick notes from myself:

Interesting comparison. I’d consider it a tool, simply. Any good tool has predictable and reliable results, and I think the RMX Harmonizer does. Even though I could draw very good curves manually (having a lot of practice and understanding of the subject), I do use the Harmonizer myself daily, or rather hourly, when I design type.

In the case of an experienced type designer (Bezier curve user), the Harmonizer does what the designer would do anyway, just quicker. Like an experienced carpenter could cut perfectly straight with a normal saw, but uses a circular saw because it is more convenient and quicker.

For a Bezier beginner, the RMX Harmonizer can in fact give better results than the designer could achieve manually. This certainly invokes some kind of learning process but to me it is still just a tool that does something very specific very well, like a hammer or a drill or a saw.

The demo version is full-featured but it will only run three times per Glyphs session.

Yes, you need to make the curvature continuous (equal) for G2. FWIW, what the RMX Harmonizer calls “supersmooth” is G3, mathematically speaking – continuity of the derivative of the curvature.

The Harmonizer not only establishes continuity of curvature – while doing so, it preserves the original curve shapes as far as it possible (which also gives us some negative feedback and restrains the change at the node).

Oh, and lest we forget: Rounding errors. I spent as much time handling the rounding issues as I spent on the rest of the Harmonizer code. May aim was that when running the Harmonizer twice, the second time nothing should happen because G2 is already established. Which is really tricky considering the shape-preservation aim and the rounding issues. If you want to write your own tool, be prepared to face some challenges there.


Thanks for your comments everyone!

@TimAhrens perhaps you could consider selling the plug-ins separately? For people who are in my situation who don’t need everything in RMX toolset.

SuperTool is totally awesome too I might add.