Cross Platform Font Layout - current workarounds

Pi Digital sean at
Tue Aug 25 06:01:13 EDT 2020

Not Fridge, Fork. 

I assume (dangerously) from your reply that you do not have to make real world applications for corporate branded customers. Where design has been done by a branding team with a 12 - 120 page Production guide). Someone like the BBC, Channel 4, NBC, or their subsidiaries. Like Saatchi and Saatchi, Mars, Ford, Pfizer, Virgin, VTech, Bandai. 

My case study this project. Two week turnaround (first week primary development wireframed , second week skin and output for Windows(primary output)/Mac(Backup)). Tv gameshow multiscreen (some split across multiple screens themselves) for live recording screen graphics. 35 cards (or frames, pages, slides, whatever you want to call them) plus video inserts all with live updated content input by a controller on a remote machine (pc or Mac as they see fit on the day) as the show progresses. 

As the platform my POC and his office colleagues was using was a PC it made sense to do development in Windows for output to PC and Mac for studio techs to pick from based on location around the studio (the gallery for controllers, back stage and stage floor). It is arse-umed that how it looks on Windows is how it should look on any other platform we distribute to including the various output sizes (1024x576SD, 960x540HHD, 1920x1080HD, 3840x2160 4k). Everything has to match to the pixel. That’s how branding works. We have no issue with that moving between platforms in editing and graphics platforms, so post production facilities (mine included) could not conceive or perceive that it would be any different in a development environment. Design it in photoshop on a pc and send it to your colleagues working in After Effects on a Mac and send it back to an editor on a PC running Premiere and it looks the same end to end. That is ‘just the way it is’! 

So, after developing at a stupid rate, 12 solid 14-18hr days, we have the finished app layered out (don’t get me back on the layering embargo), animated with text & graphic moves and effects, ready for deployment out to Mac and PC. Tick the boxes in the standalone settings, build and open in their respective platforms. 

Only to find that everything you had laid out perfectly matching on PC is totally screwed on the Mac. Opening up the stack on the Mac, it’s the same thing. Now with only one day to go I am forced to work out the fastest way to realign every text box (anything from 2 - 200 per card) so they match exactly regardless of platform. Like is done automatically on any other software we use.

That’s ‘real world’ development. Not to mention my current bread and butter job for Porrima which has, to date, 47 substacks, 377 cards, 10,800+ text objects and  is now being ported from PC o et to HTML5 by way of a tonne of NON-CODE-ONCE workarounds and layout alterations.

It’s this kind of BS that keeps me mental, ensures I don’t get too sane. Makes sure you get a good rant out of me every week or month. 

Sean Cole
Pi Digital
> That is HowTF  (What do you mean exactly by "How Tin Fridge"?) ;-), I get
> things done.
> Best, Richmond.

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