Trace Plugin

I just implemented the first version of a trace bitmap plugin. Place the image in layer and then call the plugin from the filter menu.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3563666/TraceBackground.glyphsFilter0.1.zip

Please try it and report all the issues you find here.

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works pretty nice for me.

but would be awesome if plugin would set points a extreme-points only :slight_smile:

This is fast and the results look much better than the results of most trace routines. Overall the outlines are fairly smooth at a distance and do not have the sharp corners and protrusions and that appear when tracing is done with Fontlab or Illustrator. So this would be great for tracing wood type, signatures, or “ironic” hipster lettering.

But it generates too many points to be useful for high-end lettering or converting drawings to fonts. It might be better if the “Tidy Up Paths” feature were better at cleaning up complex paths, and had some control sliders. Jakob’s suggestion of extreme-points only is good. But it would really need to be extreme points and maybe one point between the extremes when necessary.

I’m working on the extreme points.

Another idea: a checkbox that limits straight horizontal and vertical paths to straight lines. So a sans-serif I would be drawn with only 4 points and T with 8.

If there were a way to move the image layer so that letters aligned with base height, cap height, descender depth, and x-height there could be an option to snap nearby points to those lines.

DTF
Why use Trace to build a sans serif? If you want straight lines, it’s always better to draw those yourself. Trace makes sense for handwriting or calligraphy. And there, it also makes sense to keep a lot of detail.

Georg Seifert
Wow. The ‘Size of smallest element’ option is a godsend.

Shouldn’t it be called ‘Scale Image’?

One drawback that still makes me use AI for tracing: before I can use the Trace filter, I need to scan, split the scan into separate files for each letter and then place each file as Image in a glyph, then, in each and every glyph, scale it to the right size.

Now, if the Trace filter (or a separate Scan filter) could dock into OS X’s Image Capture interface, and if I could fetch individual letters straight from the scan, and if I could tell the filter what my x-height was on the scan, and the letter scans would go into the right glyphs with the right scale…

If you change the dpi (not pixel count) you can change the default size of the image.

And you can still paste in a big image, trace it at once and copy the shapes to the right places.

There is a cropping functionality (right click > Set Crop to layer bounds). The crop is currently not respected, but I will fix that.

So, if everything is as it is supposed to be, you would past the image, scale it to the right size, move the first letter to the right place, set the crop. Then copy the image, select the next letter, paste it and reset the crop.

What do you mean with move the image layer? You can move the image like any other element.
1. Did you lock it? Right-click > Unlock Image 2. Did you activate the display of images? Make sure View > Show Image is checked. If the respective glyph has no outlines, Glyphs will still display the image even if it is deactivated.

Why use Trace to build a sans serif? If you want straight lines, it’s always better to draw those yourself.

If the software supports it, someone is going to end up doing it. Might as well plan ahead.

2. Did you activate the display of images? Make sure View > Show Image is checked. If the respective glyph has no outlines, Glyphs will still display the image even if it is deactivated.

That was the problem. I always forget that part.

Hi Georg!
I’ve already been waiting for that tool! :slight_smile:

Would it be possible to let the script delete all the points that are laying exactly on top of each other?

I also think that there should be an option to track the outlines even less precisely (creating even fewer points).

Layers > Tidy up Paths Did you experiment with the Optimization Tolerance and Roundness values? Nudging those up will give you simpler outlines.
Ups! Yes, that works great! Thanks … Yes, I did. The minimum I could get out of it was still quite overloaded:
Can you send me one of you images for testing?

Having trouble getting the plugin to work on the trial version… buuuut could totally be “user error” as I’m also a total noob. Under the filter dropdown I have Hatch Outline, Offset Curve, Remove Overlap, Round Corners, Tranformations"

Nothing showing up in regards to the plugin. “Trace Background.” It is happily residing in my plugin folder, however.

And thanks, Georg for what appears to be some excellent coding on your end and a nice piece of software!

angie
Did you restart Glyphs?

Makkablue,

Brilliant. I knew it something inanely simple! Thanks.

Hi!

Just found this thread about the plugin, so I would like to know if there is a newer version?

Greetz,
P

To my knowledge, this is the current version. You can compile your own from the source code though:
https://github.com/schriftgestalt/Glyphs-Plugins

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