Virtual Master Values

I’m unclear in understanding how to use brace layers:

I have a font with two axis, weight and ‘cross bar’ (which will be my virtual axis), and have created an upper case A on two masters, Thin (given a 0 on the weight axis) and Bold (given 100 on the weight axis).

I run Mekkablue’s script “Insert Instances” to create 4 instances on a Pablo Curve and see that around 68 on the weight axis I would like to thin and lower the cross bar of the A.

I add the virtual master custom property in the font tab and enter “Weight=68, Cross Bar=100” and then add an intermediate layer on the Bold master’s A glyph since the redesign needs to happen closer to the Bold master than the Thin. In the curly braces on the intermediate layer I leave the Weight property empty and give Cross Bar a value of 100. Then I draw the new glyph there.

In each Master and all the Instances (and their Axis Locations) I leave the Cross Bar value at 100. The only areas I enter 100 for Cross Bar axis are in the virtual master Custom Parameter and in the intermediate layer’s curly braces.

Each time I try to create a virtual master I end up also effecting the weight and also the font size (?). Is the intention of a virtual master to result in another slider for the user to have along side weight, etc or is it intended to be hidden from the user and simply guide the interpolation?

Thanks in advance!

You don’t need the Virtual master in that case. It is only needed when you have an axis that doesn’t needs a full master. E.g. if you add a “crossbar height” axis. Because only very few glyphs have a crossbar, adding a full master would only add a lot duplicates with very few changes. In this case you add a Virtual master to define the axis range and use brace layers to move the crossbar.

But in your case, you only add brace layers.

Hi Georg,

My example of the crossbar was just to be very simple so i could figure out what to input in all the various parameters to pinpoint that intermediate step. I’m confused what you enter for the virtual master and intermediate fields in the pre existing axis values

In another setting, let’s say I have the same two Masters and Weight axis set-up. This time I want to widen the bowls of my o, a & b near 68 along the weight axis - I will call this new axis Bowl Width / BWLW. So i create intermediate layers for all of them on the Bold Master and redraw their bowls like so. I will enter 100 for the Bowl Width parameter in their curly braces but what do I enter for the Weight? And also - what do i enter for the Weight in the virtual master custom parameter property in Font Info? 68 because that’s the target place in the weight axis interpolation space which i want this virtual master to hit? Do I leave Bowl Width values at 0 everywhere else?

When you like to only change stuff “near 68”, you don’t need an extra axis. Just add the intermediate layers. Or do you like to be able to change the width of the bowls later when you use the font?

Both options would be ideal. I understand what you’re saying for the more static scenario.

The second option is pretty complicated if the changes on one axis should be applied in certain ranges of another axis. So I would stick to the single axis setup (for now).

Ok, thanks - in general, should the virtual master axis be thought of as an invisible guide during interpolation or as another variable axis to have access to later on when using the font?