Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

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FlameRat
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Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

Post by FlameRat »

I'm making my own custom music font right now, and after today's progress, I've found out that the flag design I use makes the default beam thickness (0.5sp) too thick, so I tried making it thinner (probably 0.2sp, but I don't have any way to test it yet). I've dug through the engraving option and didn't find the option for that. And I've tried modifying the SMuFl metadata file (which does have the "beamThickness" key) but that does nothing, even after I switched to another font and back.

Below is a screenshot to kinda illustrate my point. Since the flag design I use is rather thin, the beam is too thick.
beam issue.png
(51.09 KiB) Not downloaded yet
And so here I ask, will there be any support for adjusting beam thickness in the future, if it haven't been available yet? And since it's also related, I'd add that, if such thing is allowed, there shall be an option to adjust grace note beam thickness scale as well, since otherwise the beam for grace note would become too thin if I do set regular beam thickness to 0.2sp.

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ps. unrelated to this, but it also seems that non-full size clefs aren't affected by edits done on full size clefs, which might be considered a bug (as changing the 3 optional "clef change" glyphs also doesn't help). Since I'm still working on the font it might be that I missed something, but per SMuFl specification say my modification should be enough, giving that Dorico is documented to ignore those smaller clefs and the spec says the software should scale down the full size clefs at render.

Rob Tuley
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Re: Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

Post by Rob Tuley »

AFAIK the rules that "beam thickness is 1/2 sp and beam separation is 1/4 sp" are inviolable. If you change them, you open up a huge can of worms over the visual interaction between horizontal beams and staff lines.

With the standard measurements, a horizontal beam can be positioned above, astride, or below a staff line and all three are easy to read. If change the dimensions, you will get beams within a staff space with 16th or 32nd-notes, which are unreadable.

But if you want to produce graphic artworks that look similar to sheet music, of course anything goes.

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Daniel at Steinberg
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Re: Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

Post by Daniel at Steinberg »

We do plan to add options to set the thickness of beams in future, but it's not something you should expect imminently.

To change the appearance of clef changes, you need to edit the "...(small)" versions of the clefs in Engrave > Music Symbols.

FlameRat
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Re: Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

Post by FlameRat »

Rob Tuley wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:50 pm
AFAIK the rules that "beam thickness is 1/2 sp and beam separation is 1/4 sp" are inviolable. If you change them, you open up a huge can of worms over the visual interaction between horizontal beams and staff lines.

With the standard measurements, a horizontal beam can be positioned above, astride, or below a staff line and all three are easy to read. If change the dimensions, you will get beams within a staff space with 16th or 32nd-notes, which are unreadable.

But if you want to produce graphic artworks that look similar to sheet music, of course anything goes.
I'm thinking that if I force slanting on every beam (which is available in engraving options IIRC), even ones that joins two or more of the same notes, then maybe thinner beams doesn't look too bad, but that's just my assumption yet.

Sure, 0.5sp beam thickness is the most readable, but to force it on everything might be a bit excessive, as even though my case is more of an edge case (to make things a bit more alienated while trying to make things still readable, which means it won't be as readable as the default font), IIRC historically 0.5sp is far from the only standard being used, and a more practical use of the thickness option would be to replicate traditional looking scores. (Which might also require curved beams to be a thing, though.)

FlameRat
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Re: Will (or have) there be a way to adjust beam thickness in the future? (Also, possible small clef issue)

Post by FlameRat »

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:43 pm
We do plan to add options to set the thickness of beams in future, but it's not something you should expect imminently.

To change the appearance of clef changes, you need to edit the "...(small)" versions of the clefs in Engrave > Music Symbols.
Sure. Do hope that it can be available within big version 3, though, but at least it's not something I can't wait.

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