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Most modern titling software allows you to import logos or graphics to incorporate with your text.  Avid's Marquee Title Tool does not, at least in any sophisticated way - which is a shame.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do the easy 3D manipulations to logos just like you can to letters?

That's what motivated this little tutorial series, but, depending on your workflow, the implications may be even broader.  If you have a set of many logos or shapes that you use often, for example, you can put all of them just a keystroke away.  You can use them as an easy way to make mattes, as some of our other tutorials describe.  For that matter, you could create characters (glyphs) for things like your signature.

Also, the kinds of fonts that we'll be using are vector-based - meaning that they're a set of equations that completely describe each character.  In English, that means that you can zoom the characters up to the size of a skyscraper without worrying about the ugly, fuzzy, pixelated edges that a normal image would show.


* - If you're just doing one-off work with logos (or anything else for that matter), the process we're about to go into is probably overkill.  Interested in a tutorial on vectorizing these more "expendable" images?  Drop us a line, and we'll get one in the pipeline ...

First, a couple of caveats: the font that you create is best suited to monochromatic logos, although at the end of the series we'll cover a trick for making logos with a few colors into fonts.  Also, the process requires the computer to guess the true, mathematical shapes of everything in your logo.  While it's very good at doing this - and you can tweak the results - you'll get better results the higher the resolution of your source graphic.

The basic process:

  1. Take your image into Photoshop (or the photo editing program of your choice), and prepare a black-and-white copy.
  2. Bring your black and white image into FontForge, and "auto-trace" it.  Rinse and repeat for as many images as you want to make into characters.
  3. Save your font, and link it up to your operating system.
  4. Enjoy (from your favorite word processors and titling tools!)

Next time: Setting up FontForge


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Scripting in DVD Studio, Part 5: Aspect Ratios and Advanced-ish Math was the previous entry in this blog.

Converting Images to Fonts, Part 2: One-Time Setup is the next entry in this blog.

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