_1024_VectorFont QCPlugin

QC’s text capabilities are great, but sometimes you might need a tiny plugin to quickly render a vector font in 3d space.
That’s where this plug comes handy.
It’ll let you input a string and render it using openGL vector lines.
Hopefully in faster fashion than through rendering an image.
The plugin is still beta, as I’ve got to test its speed … but it should theoretically be faster than the stock method.
No font selection available, as every character is hardcoded as GL_LINES, using some data kindly borrowed from uglyfont.
Let me know any speed issues or possible bugs.

EDIT: I just added a Completion input to the string, inspired by ToneBurst’s excellent JS string patches. I also added a Speed Test sample file, that requires FSK’s tremendous Simplex Plugin. (you can download his plugin at Kineme.net)
EDIT2: Thanks to everyone for testing, the new version 1.1 features bugfix (string length), optimizations and is also compiled as universal 32/64 bit, Intel AND PPC…

Download from the box. Sample file included. 10.5/10.6


14 Responses to “_1024_VectorFont QCPlugin”

  1. So this plugin isn’t happening for me. Any chance it is SN / Intel only.

    I’m on Leopard: PPC, 10.5.8.

  2. Oh just saw the notes. Who’s running QC on PPC these days? ahh that would be me!

  3. Why are some 3rd party QC plugins Intel only out of interest? Is it some common Open Source libraries? None of the Kineme plugins I can think of are Intel only…

  4. bangnoise Says:

    Nice, is fast. Seems to buggilly retain previous text beyond length of new text if you change the string input (eg “ABCDEFGH” to “IJK” becomes “IJKDEFGH”).

  5. Brilliant! I was waiting for someone to do something like this. Actually, looks like you’ve somehow got access to my list of QC-plugins-I’d-like-to-write-but-will-probably-never-get-around-to, and are working your way through it!! Keep up the great work :D

    This is a step along the road to a fully-realised suite of vector tools for QC. The next step would be to be able to create 3D GL-based vectors from an arbitrary font and/or EPS file. Definitely a good start, though.

    a|x

    • EPS is problematic, but i got a semi-working SVG renderer.
      QT does this nicely, but a QT-enabled QCplugin is around 10MB ;(
      Internally, we’ve also got a DXF to GLTools exporter, but it works only with straight lines. Pretty lame.
      GL-based vectors from arbitrary font is also on my WIP list, but I’ve got problems compiling Freetype or Cairo within a QCplugin environment. I won’t give up tho’…

      • Excellent. Yeah, the SVG renderer sounds good. There must be some kind of more minimal library just for vector>GL translation. I was reading an article in GPU Gems (can’t remember which volume, but one of the ones that’s free on NVIDIA’s site) about a method for GPU-accelerated vector-rendering. Don’t know if Apple’s builtin vector tools use a similar method internally.

        My thought was always that using Apple’s own vector and font-rendering tools would be the way to go, but it may be that they’re 2D-only, and produce flat images, rather than true 3D geometry, in which case they’re probably not such a good bet.

        a|x

      • EPS is effectively depreciated in the print world, according to Adobe experts I’ve listened to, it sucks. It’s all PDF.

      • Re: EPS v PDF:

        Well that’s for reasons unrelated to simple vector declaration, so pointless comment . it’s mainly about restrictive limitations of eps v pdf eg. no native transparency in EPS means compromising the data.

      • One more thing…

        “My thought was always that using Apple’s own vector and font-rendering tools would be the way to go, but it may be that they’re 2D-only, and produce flat images, rather than true 3D geometry, in which case they’re probably not such a good bet.

        a|x”

        2D is a subset of 3D restricted to a single plane so if it’s actually maintaing point data can’t an arbitrary Z be generated. Then transformed in 3D space.

  6. Incidentally, funny your should mention the JS String patches. I was thinking of tackling that as a first attempt at a QC plugin, ie recoding the JavaScript to use NSString in a plugin with string input and output.

    a|x

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