[pdftex] Could Adobe Photoshop's "blending options" for text be supported in a future {Pdf|Xe}TeX variant

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Apr 7 21:44:41 CEST 2018

On 2018-04-04 at 19:38:44 +0100, Philip Taylor (RHUoL) wrote:

 > I have been playing with Adobe Photoshop's "blending options" for
 > text recently, adding a gold or metallic texture to otherwise plain
 > text.  The results are visually very striking, and I therefore
 > began to wonder whether similar functionality might one day be
 > added to Pdf/XeTeX, in the former case natively and in the latter
 > case via \specials and an extended (x)dvipdfm(x) driver.
 > Three examples of the sorts of effect I have in mind can be seen at
 > :
 > [omitted]

Sorry Phil, this can't and shouldn't be done by TeX engines.

The only reasonable way to achieve such effects is:

  * convert each glyph to a standalone vector graphic (PostScript,
    SVG, or similar)

  * process each vector graphic with external tools and export the
    results to PostScript

  * create a new Type 3 font with the original, maybe adjusted,

Type 3 fonts can contain arbitrary PostScript code (scalable, with
colours and shading) and are supported by all PDF-creating engines and
dvips already.

The best tool for vector graphic processing I'm aware of is Inkscape.
I have absolutey no experience with Inkscape and don't know whether it
has a scripting language built-in.  The latter is required in order to
process a complete font without manual interaction.

I suggest to move this discussion to texhax because there is no way to
add such a feature to TeX engines and because I'm convinced that you
get more feedback there.

Looking forward to meet you at BachoTeX,

Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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