PDA

View Full Version : "Translating" Braille?


iamback
11-17-2005, 08:06 AM
Hi all,

Maybe this is a bit off-topic, but I can't think of many on-topic places to ask...

To make a long story short, I have made scans of a few objects that have ordinary type on them (in English) as well as Braille printed with "raised" ink (I don't know the proper term for that?). I want to put the scans on the web as illustrations for a story (still to be written) and I'd like to provide a "translation" of the Braille in these images, as a caption or longdesc for the images.

Now I know very little about Braille - what I do know is that there are different writing systems depending on language used; for instance systems equivalent to "latin" characters and different systems for languages that use a syllabic script, such as Tibetan or Japanese. But even for English I don't know the letter equivalent of each of the braille letters, even though I can deduce a few from the few words I have here.

I also think that in some cases words may be abbreviated. For instance, my images are of things from an organisation whose name starts with "Braille" (but the subtext here actualy shows a web address); the first equivalent (I think) word in Braille though seems to be "brl" which I suspect may be shorthand for "Braille".

So, for starters: does anyone know where to find (say) a "latin" Braille font - or a web page showing the characters and their equivalents? One of the Braille texts (just a few words) may not even be English, but given letter equivalents I may be able to deduce what it is if not English.

Anyone?

I can post the images, if that helps.

ktinkel
11-17-2005, 01:51 PM
… does anyone know where to find (say) a "latin" Braille font - or a web page showing the characters and their equivalents?I know little about Braille but something about fonts.

There are both free and commercial fonts designed to represent Braille in print. Here are some good collections of resources (information and fonts):

Brailler.com (http://www.brailler.com/mobrl.htm) — Many sources of fonts and instructions, with descriptions; and a tutorial (http://www.brailler.com/braille.htm) on learning Braille as well.

Luc Devroye’s remarkable collection of font lore includes a section on Braille fonts (http://jeff.cs.mcgill.ca/%7Eluc/braille.html), with links to many downloadable fonts as well as other information.

Perhaps these will get you started.

iamback
11-17-2005, 09:25 PM
Kathleen,

Wonderful!

I know little about Braille but something about fonts.
(...)
Brailler.com ("http://www.brailler.com/mobrl.htm) — Many sources of fonts and instructions, with descriptions; (...)
Did you note the name of that document? mobrl.htm - that immediately confirms my suspicion that 'brl' is shorthand for 'Braille' (and 'mo' must be short for 'more'). That article starts with:
Braille Alphabet

Braille does a lot with just six dots...numbers, punctuation, math, music, and a set of standard contractions (known as grade 2 Braille) to save space. There's an even more contracted form (grade 3), too.
And at the top of that page there's some Braille, too - which I think is just the page title - and it must be "grade 2" (or even 3). So there :)

Off to read... will report back.

iamback
11-18-2005, 05:09 AM
Here are some good collections of resources (information and fonts) (...) Perhaps these will get you started.
Oh, my! What a rollercoaster you sent me on!

I knew a few basic things:
- different "codes" for different languages (totally different for different writing systems)
- abbreviations or "shorthand" (which makes sense given that Braille is bulky and takes generally longer to read than fully sighted people need to read printed or displayed text) - such as the 'brl' I encountered which I assumed was short for "Braille"

Correct on both counts, but...
- just American English and British English already have different Braille "codes" (never mind French, German or even syllabic scripts)
- "literary" Braille has several "levels" or shorthand; thus you have "basic": just replace each -English- letter by the equivalent braille symbol), grade 2 and grade 3 (and even 1 1/2)
- different codes for different purposes since with just 64 code points (six "dots" which can be "on" or "off" -> 2 to the power of six = 64) it's pretty hard even to display normal written text, let alone mathematics, or chemistry, or music. So there are separate "codes" for "lliterary" Braille, for science (with mathematics), for chemistry, for computer codes, music... some of which have sets of extensions (e.g., flow charts for computing).

"Fonts" are just an extra "relatively minor" complication in all of this since I found different fonts put different Braille symbols at different code points - apart from (lower-case) letters which are at their standard code points.

So... I basically have two texts, each consisting of three words. What are the symbols so I can "translate"?
- text one has two words in English - but three words in Braille
- text two has a (latin) web address for the organization; the organization's name has three words - but the braille words are shorter (the first is 'brl') than each of those; but are they level 1 1/2, 2 or 3?

Looking at sites with basic information, and some fonts I downloaded, at first only made it clear to me that it was all a lot more complicated than I thought. Looking at my abbreviated words I saw Braille characters that didn't even occur in many of the fonts I downloaded! Quite apart from the same symbols appearing at different code points in different fonts. What a mess! (And there are different problems with those fonts as well... never mind.)

Then I found two basic pieces of information: that there is a difference between US and UK Braille; and I found a site with some texts in "abbreviated Braille". One text was quite helpful, because it had content I was familiar with - after which it was like solving a crossword puzzle or a logical language puzzle: a lot of fun actually!

If, like me, you like puzzling and riddles, try decoding this; the heading is Basic Rules of Online Safety for Preteens
,BASIC ,RULES ( ,ONL9E
,SAFETY = ,PRETE5S

-- ,I W N GIVE \ P]SONAL 9=M,N S* Z
MY A4RESS1 TELEPH"O NUMB]1 P>5TS' "W
A4RESS/TELEPH"O NUMB]1 OR ! "N & LOC,N
( MY S*OOL )\T MY P>5TS' P]MIS.N4
-- ,I W TELL MY P>5TS "R AWAY IF ,I
-E ACR ANY 9=M,N T MAKES ME FEEL
UNCOM=TA#4
-- ,I W N"E AGREE 6GET TGR ) "S"O ,I
8MEET0 ONL9E )\T F/ *ECK+ ) MY P>5TS4
,IF MY P>5TS AGREE 6! MEET+1 ,I W 2
SURE T X IS 9 A PUBLIC PLACE & BR+ MY
"M OR "F AL;G4
-- ,I W N"E S5D A P]SON MY PICTURE
OR ANY?+ ELSE )\T F/ *ECK+ ) MY P>5TS4
-- ,I W N RESPOND 6ANY MESSAGES T >E
M1N OR 9 ANY WAY MAKE ME FEEL
UNCOM=TA#4 ,X IS N MY FAULT IF ,I GET
A MESSAGE L T4 ,IF ,I D ,I W TELL MY
P>5TS "R AWAY S T !Y C 3TACT ! ONL9E
S]VICE4
-- ,I W TALK ) MY P>5TS S T WE C SET
UP RULES = GO+ ONL9E4 ,WE W DECIDE ^U
! "T ( "D T ,I C 2 ONL9E1 ! L5G? ( "T
,I C 2 ONL9E1 & APPROPRIATE >1S = ME
6VISIT4 ,I W N A3ESS O!R >1S OR BR1K
^! RULES )\T _! P]MIS.N4
,^! TIPS >E ADAPT$ F ..,* ,SAFETY ON
! ,9=M,N .,HI<WAY4 ,COPY"R #AIID &
#AIIH ,N,NAL ,C5T] = ,MISS+ & #E
,EXPLOIT$ ,*N4 ,ALL "RS RES]V$4

A few hints to get you started:
4 - is a full stop at the end of a sentence
1 - is a comma
# - signifies a number follows
" - indicates the next letter is a single-letter abbreviation for a whole word (e.g., "S"O = someone, "M = mother, COPY"R = copyright)

A few deductions (just examples, many more are needed):
- a normal letter is rendered as a capital
- the text is "grade 3"
- in "grade 2" a single letter can stand for a whole word (e.g., d = do, w= will, p = people)
- in "grade 2" a short combination of letters can stand for a longer word (e.g, brl = braille, ch = child, fst = first)
- in "grade 3" a symbol can stand for a number of letters (e.g., / = st) and this can be combined with "grade 2" so we can have f/ = fst = first; *n = chn = children)
These may not be quite accurate, but for "decoding" text they work.

Writing down bits and pieces from this sample text (an excerpt from a much longer text Keeping Your Child Safer (http://www.nbp.org/downloads/safer.brf) in what they call "contracted braille" (note the .brf extension) I learned a lot, and fast. If you give up, there is an ASCII version (http://www.nbp.org/downloads/safer.txt) as well - but I didn't cheat. ;-) But there are still a few letters and symbols I haven't deduced yet...

Back to my scanned samples. Assuming my "abbreviated" text is indeed "grade 3" my next problem is still unsolved: finding a font that actually has the Braille symbols I see at the code points corresponding to the "contracted braille" as found on http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/downloads.html. I haven't found such a font yet - but it's entirely possible they used a commercial font that I cannot inspect... only freeware fonts are an option for me in this little exercise.

Finally a little warning:
If you ever find a need to typeset Braille - which often needs printout in a "visual" font for proofreading - you cannot just go and translate each letter into its braille equivalent. For starters: which font? And then: which language, which flavo[u]r of English? Which "grade" will be needed (and does your font actually have all the symbols needed)? At the very least ensure you get a proofreader who is familiar with Braille in the encoding needed.
I'm already stumped trying to render in a "Braille font" a single phrase of three words...

...

To make the story complete, here are my two scans:
1. Is a label on packaging, obviously designed so that both blindless and visually impaired people can read it. The English text says "cap - black" on two lines; the Braille text (below each of the lines) has one three-letter word on the first line and two words on the second line. It didn't take me long to find that the first line is simply "cap" in Braille and the second line is "color black". Even someone just starting to learn Braille could deduce that the package contained a black cap - the word "color" a useful qualifier if you have never seen colors, I suppose. That was before I even started this thread here.
2. My second example (printed on the actual black cap inside that packaging!) had three words in Braille and a web address - and it had me stumped, apart from deducing that the first word in Braille was 'brl' which triggered a vague memory about Braille using abbreviations. But even given that the web address (www.braillewithoutborders.org) as printed is for an organization called "Braille without borders" I was lost: each of the three words in Braille was shorter than each of the words in the organization's name. Now I know this is probably "grade 3" braille and simply spells out the organization's name. Using the notation of the "contracted Braille" sample above it reads: BRL )\T BORD]S

I'll try some more fonts later...

BTW, what is the official term for what I called "raised ink"? Or is that the correct term? Printed in black ink so the dots are visible but also tactile for someone reading Braille; I understand this is often used for proofing texts in Braille.

ktinkel
11-18-2005, 07:03 AM
Oh, my! What a rollercoaster you sent me on!Oh, good. Appears you are having fun. (And I will leave you to it!)

BTW, what is the official term for what I called "raised ink"? Or is that the correct term? Printed in black ink so the dots are visible but also tactile for someone reading Braille; I understand this is often used for proofing texts in Braille.It could be what we usually call “raised lettering” — literally raised ink. It uses an ink containing plastic particles that is applied on a press, then passes through a heating unit to fuse it so it sits palpably above the paper. It is often used to imitate engraving or embossing (for wedding announcements or business cards, say).

This may be heavier, though, as ordinary commercial raised lettering wouldn’t seem to me to be reliable enough for Braille. Maybe it is only a matter of size.

Some Braille may also be done by embossing — raised characters achieved by pressing metal type into the back of the sheet. I suspect that must be how it was done in the beginning, anyway.

ElyseC
11-18-2005, 07:07 AM
It could be what we usually call “raised lettering” — literally raised ink. It uses an ink containing plastic particles that is applied on a press, then passes through a heating unit to fuse it so it sits palpably above the paper. It is often used to imitate engraving or embossing (for wedding announcements or business cards, say).Thermography, yes, or is there another, newer similar process?

iamback
11-18-2005, 10:28 AM
Oh, good. Appears you are having fun.
I am now ... but only because I persevered; at first I was drowning in a morass of codes, fonts with characters at different code points, the same braille character at different code points in the same font, and fonts that managed to "break" my font viewers. I had almost given up when I found that "contracted braille" document and suddenly everything snapped into place.

I had to overcome the problems with the fonts to find ones that actually have the "correct" braille characters at the code points corresponding to my little transcribed "contracted Braille" text... - in other words fonts that can actually be used to visualize "contracted Braille" directly instead of just having a collection of characters at more or less random code points.

Normally I use two tools to inspect fonts on my (Windows) computer: the Windows character map in its "Advanced view" mode so it can display whatever is available in the Unicode ranges, and Arjan Mels' Font Viewer which displays a ton of information encoded in a font and is the only free third-party font viewer I have even been able to find that can show Unicode ranges as well, and samples in the actual font (which the Windows character map doesn't do).

But some of these Braille fonts - a few are very old - must be non-standard: a few I installed are not even visible in the Character map, and a few (not the same set but there is some overlap) "break" the font viewer which then mostly defaults to Arial (and in one case shows only two tabs on the tabbed interface - both empty).

So... it took a lot of digging and trial and error, but these are good (TrueType) fonts:
1. Both free fonts downloadable from Duxbury Systems (who make specialized software for transcribing into Braille).
2. A font from the RNIB (which I can't find on their site)
These three fonts can be found on the Braille and ASL Specialty Fonts (http://www.tsbvi.edu/Education/fonts.html) page but for the Duxbury fonts it's actually much better to download them from the Duxbury site (http://www.duxburysystems.com/product2.asp?product=the%20braille%20TrueType%20fo nt&level=free&action=pur): they come together in an archive which also contains a very useful readme about the use of Braille fonts. The Duxbury site also has a lot of other useful information, such as a very informative FAQ (http://www.duxburysystems.com/faq.asp) and a nice story about Louis Braille and the Braille System (http://www.duxburysystems.com/braille.asp).

Some Braille may also be done by embossing — raised characters achieved by pressing metal type into the back of the sheet. I suspect that must be how it was done in the beginning, anyway.
As to embossing vs. "raised lettering", there are many methods, not just using metal type (which probably is used in commercial printing though). A good story about how blind people can use braille to make their life simpler - and various embossing techniques for doing that - can be found in 101 Ways to Use Braille (http://www.nfb.org/bm/bm99/bm990309.htm). There are also Braille printers that can be attached to a computer (which I suspect work with a dot-matrix technique), and Braille "typewriters" - with just six keys (one for each dot!) and a space bar. I have a picture of such a typewriter but I'm not sure if a scan of my contact sheet will be clear enough. (I need a film scanner - but that's a whole nother story...) I could try if anyone is interested.

iamback
11-18-2005, 10:31 AM
Ah, thanks Elyse - I didn't know the term "Thermography"!

If you look at the picture of the label I posted, the English text is "flat" while the Braille has actual raised dots (not visible in the scan though). I wonder whether that means it needs two printing passes (with two different inks)?

ElyseC
11-21-2005, 10:36 AM
I wonder whether that means it needs two printing passes (with two different inks)?You know, it's been so long since I had a thermography project, that I don't recall whether it took two passes or not. I think so, because as I recall, as soon as the ink lands (wet) on the paper, the thermography powder is dusted on (to stick to the wet ink), then passed through the heating unit. I think anything to be flat must be laid down first pass, then the next pass through the press is for the raised elements.

iamback
11-21-2005, 10:50 AM
(...) as soon as the ink lands (wet) on the paper, the thermography powder is dusted on (to stick to the wet ink), then passed through the heating unit. I think anything to be flat must be laid down first pass, then the next pass through the press is for the raised elements.
Ah - powder? I thought it was a special ink, with some type of particles mixed in. Certainly the way you describe it, two passes do make sense. I'd like to see how it's done some time.

Always curious... :)

ElyseC
11-21-2005, 11:09 AM
Then here (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&oi=defmore&defl=en&q=define:Thermography) are some links for you. :-) Looks like the term is also used for a type of infrared photography.

iamback
11-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Then here (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&oi=defmore&defl=en&q=define:Thermography) are some links for you. :-)
Lovely! So it's both a special ink (sticky) and powder dusted on top of that.

I guess this is also what's used to make the raised patterns (especially the markers for visually impaired people) on banknotes. (The Euro banknotes are not as good in that respect as the Dutch guilder banknotes were, alas -- we had truly "accessible money".)

donmcc
11-21-2005, 05:42 PM
Lovely! So it's both a special ink (sticky) and powder dusted on top of that.



Yes, but it does not take two press runs. The thermography unit is a post-press process, run before the ink dries. You lay the cards on a conveyor belt and they are taken through the dusting/heating unit to cook.

This was a very low end model that I saw, and I assume there are more mechanized versions that will auto feed and stack the cards.

Don McCahill

ktinkel
11-21-2005, 06:26 PM
… whether it took two passes or not. I think so, because as I recall, as soon as the ink lands (wet) on the paper, the thermography powder is dusted on (to stick to the wet ink), then passed through the heating unit. I think anything to be flat must be laid down first pass, then the next pass through the press is for the raised elements.I believe the process is more like this: print in the ordinary way, go through some gadget that sprinkles fusible powder on the ink, then go through a sort of oven. It’s all in a line.

If you want to have non-raised type on the same sheet, that would probably have to be a separate (earlier) pass, but I have never seen that.

iamback
11-21-2005, 11:13 PM
If you want to have non-raised type on the same sheet, that would probably have to be a separate (earlier) pass, but I have never seen that.
But that is what I was referring to: the label has both "flat" text and raised braille. So there must have been two passes, one for each ink since (as I supposed) the raised text is done with a special ink (as well as the powder which I didn't know about). Raised English lettering would probably confuse a (beginning) braille reader so it makes sense to me that that is flat and only the braille is raised.

iamback
11-21-2005, 11:20 PM
Yes, but it does not take two press runs. The thermography unit is a post-press process, run before the ink dries. You lay the cards on a conveyor belt and they are taken through the dusting/heating unit to cook.

But look at my message #8 where I wrote:
If you look at the picture of the label I posted, the English text is "flat" while the Braille has actual raised dots (not visible in the scan though). I wonder whether that means it needs two printing passes (with two different inks)?
Since for the raised text a special ink is used (as was confirmed), this will take two press runs. Unless you "mask" the text that should not be raised so it dosn't get any powder, but that sounds too complicated to be practical.

ktinkel
11-22-2005, 09:19 AM
But that is what I was referring to: the label has both "flat" text and raised braille. So there must have been two passes, one for each ink since (as I supposed) the raised text is done with a special ink (as well as the powder which I didn't know about). Raised English lettering would probably confuse a (beginning) braille reader so it makes sense to me that that is flat and only the braille is raised.Actually, this is all speculative. The right way to find out how it is done is find a Braille-printing printer and ask.

They could, in fact, use two different inks: one sticky and meant to attract the powder, the other not.

But I actually have no real knowledge of how (or how many different ways) they print Braille with both normal and raised text. Neither, I gather, do any of the others in this thread! <g>

Maybe Peter, Robin, or one of the printers will know how it is done.

Candy Jens
11-22-2005, 12:11 PM
Back when I was in high school a blind student in my class had a tool and stylus with which she took notes. The tool was two sheets ofaluminum, about 3" high and the width of a sheet of paper, hinged on the narrow side. The paper would be inserted between the aluminum sheets. The top had two or three rows of rectangles cut out - three dots high and two across, slightly rounded so it was clear which position the stylus was in. The part under the paper had corresponding "dimples" so that pressing the stylus would create a dent in the special paper. Note that the writer had to write right to left, and each letter backward, so that, when the paper was removed, the raised dots were in the proper position. Not an easy task even for a sighted person!

She also had a circular toothed tool (like a spur wheel) with which she could draw - she used this in geometry class.

Candy

iamback
11-22-2005, 02:27 PM
Back when I was in high school a blind student in my class had a tool and stylus with which she took notes. The tool was two sheets ofaluminum, about 3" high and the width of a sheet of paper, hinged on the narrow side. The paper would be inserted between the aluminum sheets. The top had two or three rows of rectangles cut out - three dots high and two across, slightly rounded so it was clear which position the stylus was in. The part under the paper had corresponding "dimples" so that pressing the stylus would create a dent in the special paper. Note that the writer had to write right to left, and each letter backward, so that, when the paper was removed, the raised dots were in the proper position. Not an easy task even for a sighted person!
Aha! Thanks for that. I had seen references to such a "note taking" tool but trouble visualizing it or how it works (I didn't come across any picture of such a tool so far): I could only think of a stylus making dents, not raised dots. With your description of the tool and using it backwards it suddenly makes sense.

She also had a circular toothed tool (like a spur wheel) with which she could draw - she used this in geometry class.
That sounds like the tool pictured on this page about the Braille production process: http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/tour/index.html#graphics - is it?

As to the Braille writer (Braille typewriter) I mentioned before, I'm attaching my little somewhat blurry picture of one, taken at the Braille Without Borders school in Lhasa. And today, digging a bit further in pages about Braille, I happened to come across a 2-minute video about this school; one scene shows one of the pupils actually using it.
Page: http://www.climbingblind.org/News/Dispatches.icm?xml=May+26%2c+2004.xml
Video: http://www.climbingblind.org/LiveUpdate/XML/d1-lhasa-video_100k.wmv

groucho
11-23-2005, 09:22 AM
<BTW, what is the official term for what I called "raised ink"? >

In broad terms:

The Braille itself would be EMbossing, or embossed paper, meaning the paper surface has been elevated toward the reader. The flip side of this is DEbossing, meaning the paper has been pressed away from the reader.

Thermography was developed as a cheaper imitation of engraved printing, AFAIK. When someone is having "social printing" done for invitations and such, the standard was to have this done with copperplate engraving, which leaves a raised line of ink and a distinct feel on the printed page. But engraving requires the expense of a plate, so thermography presents an alternative where a plain letterpress is used, and then powder is poured over the page while the ink is still damp. The excess is shaken off and the powder baked (with heat) so it adheres on the ink. A good thermography job fools many people, but it is never quite identical to real engraved printing. (Which usually leaves some embossing in the paper, and has a slightly different texture to it.)

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-24-2005, 03:22 PM
I had an opportunity today to talk to a blind friend who is active in the development of computer based systems for the blind and visually disadvantaged. An amazing guy who makes one very humble.

On the subject of Braille printing he told me that the normal method is embossing and he referred me to a company he regards as the leaders in Braille software -- Duxbury Systems in Westbury MA.

http://www.duxburysystems.com/default.asp

There is a lot of fascinating information there on Braille, its history and useage. Have a look at the FAQs for example.

I asked him about thermography and it was not something he was familiar with although I described it to him.

Hope that helps.

groucho
11-24-2005, 04:31 PM
Thermography--if you used the right size "spots" and got a clean thermo job to raise them nicely--probably could substitute for braille but I'm sure it wouldn't be as compact or as clear. Probably more effective to selectively eat those "dots" candies that come on adding machine paper.<G>

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-24-2005, 04:50 PM
If it were so I would expect them to use what must be much cheaper and faster than mechanical embossing.

But what I said was that he was not familiar with thermography -- I am <s>

iamback
11-25-2005, 03:20 AM
I had an opportunity today to talk to a blind friend who is active in the development of computer based systems for the blind and visually disadvantaged. An amazing guy who makes one very humble.

On the subject of Braille printing he told me that the normal method is embossing and he referred me to a company he regards as the leaders in Braille software -- Duxbury Systems in Westbury MA.

http://www.duxburysystems.com/default.asp

There is a lot of fascinating information there on Braille, its history and useage. Have a look at the FAQs for example.
Indeed. :) Have a look at my message #7 for example where I mention not only the Duxbury site, but actually link to their FAQ and their nice story about Louis Braille... An excellent site - this is where I got two of the actually usable fonts from!

I asked him about thermography and it was not something he was familiar with although I described it to him.
I do know the normal process is embossing - but in this case we have a combination of normal text and braille text, an on sticky labels to boot. I'm not even sure if it's possible to use embossing on such labels but I do know embossing is an expensive process (and quite specialized) whereas the thermographic printing is something a lot of commercial printers would probably support. The dots can be clearly felt, even with my untrained fingers and in spite of the paper being somewhat wrinkled; I'm not sure whether the Braille is are normal size of "jumbo" size. Given the setting where his is used I think some of the school's students actually help out selling their articles from time to time: they might know where the caps are on the shelves and feel it is indeed a cap inside the bag - but they'd still need the label to tell them the color of the cap inside (even hard to see for me as they also had a very dark blue and I specifically wanted black!).

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-25-2005, 08:04 AM
Sorry I missed your past reference to Duxbury.

I was just passing on the reference to thermography as indicative that it would seem not to be widely used for this purpose in the USA. If it were I am sure Jim would know.

But it does seem a good way to produce the raised dots if they can be made high enough to be digitally readable -- how nice to use that word in its original sense <g>

Candy Jens
11-25-2005, 12:04 PM
Yep, that's the tool! She had one for coarse drawing (as in the illustration) and one with more "teeth" for fine detail.

Candy

iamback
11-25-2005, 12:54 PM
Sorry I missed your past reference to Duxbury.
No problem - I was just teasing you a bit. But your friend and I emphatically agree on the value of that site! Another one that's quite nice is the Braille printer's site (links to that as well - check back).

[Thermography] does seem a good way to produce the raised dots if they can be made high enough to be digitally readable -- how nice to use that word in its original sense <g>
LOL! My inexperienced digits think they are readable on that label so I'm pretty sure they actually are. ;-)

Just a pity I haven't been able to make a scan that shows the dots are actually raised (as opposed to the letters).

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-25-2005, 01:21 PM
Just a pity I haven't been able to make a scan that shows the dots are actually raised (as opposed to the letters).

We believe you; we have used thermography.

How about Google on [+Braille +thermography] ? <g>



Log in ...Tribune: IT supplement of The Tribune, Chandigarh, India ... (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020923/login/main2.htm) Another thing going in favour of his technology, Bhat says, is that raised thermography is superior to traditional Braille, made by puncturing the page ...
www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020923/login/main2.htm - 7k - Cached (http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:-7l-_GICrOAJ:www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020923/login/main2.htm+%2BBraille+%2Bthermography&hl=en) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=related:www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020923/login/main2.htm)

Worldwide Printing Thermographers Association - Welcome (http://www.thermographers.org/pizzazz.asp) ... Thermography can also serve as a product security function, as the process is now ... Another benefit would be its capability to be used as Braille on packages or ...
www.thermographers.org/pizzazz.asp - 11k - Supplemental Result - Cached (http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:1zu5xsMMupkJ:www.thermographers.org/pizzazz.asp+%2BBraille+%2Bthermography&hl=en) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=related:www.thermographers.org/pizzazz.asp)

Patent 4101688: Method for printing braille characters by ... (http://freepatentsonline.com/4101688.html) ... plate is then offset printed on sheet material stock and the printed sheet stock is passed through a thermography machine to form raised braille characters on ...
freepatentsonline.com/4101688.html - 27k - Supplemental Result - Cached (http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:bUmZfGNnMxwJ:freepatentsonline.com/4101688.html+%2BBraille+%2Bthermography&hl=en) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=related:freepatentsonline.com/4101688.html)

desktoppublishingforum - "Translating" Braille? (http://desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?t=1555) Ah, thanks Elyse - I didn't know the term "Thermography"! If you look at the picture of the label I posted, the English text is "flat" while the Braille has ...
desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?t=1555 - 82k - Cached (http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:CWmh3GKHsFoJ:desktoppublishingforum .com/bb/showthread.php%3Ft%3D1555+%2BBraille+%2Bthermograp hy&hl=en) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=related:desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php%3Ft%3D1555)desktoppublishingforum - "Translating" Braille? (http://desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?goto=lastpost&t=1555) The thermography unit is a post-press process, run before the ink dries. ... The right way to find out how it is done is find a Braille-printing printer and ...
desktoppublishingforum.com/ bb/showthread.php?goto=lastpost&t=1555 - 63k - Cached (http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:DuZEWpgmCUsJ:desktoppublishingforum .com/bb/showthread.php%3Fgoto%3Dlastpost%26t%3D1555+%2BBra ille+%2Bthermography&hl=en) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=related:desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php%3Fgoto%3Dlastpost%26t%3D1555)
[ More results from desktoppublishingforum.com (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-41,GGLD:en&q=+site:desktoppublishingforum.com+%2BBraille+%2Bt hermography) ]

iamback
11-25-2005, 10:09 PM
We believe you; we have used thermography.But most of the readers of my travel blog won't have! It would be nice if it were possible to see the 3D nature of the dots in the scanned image rather than have my readers take me on my word. ;) I could try again though - I'm learning a lot about scanning 3D objects these days.

How about Google on [+Braille +thermography] ? <g>Great, send me on another quest of reading, reading, reading (when I should be packing my little backpack). ;) Thanks though: some interesting articles there. And it seems Google has been beavering away here, too...

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-26-2005, 06:17 PM
HAve you tried a diagonal digital photograph with focussed side lighting so you can see the shadows on one side?

iamback
11-28-2005, 02:37 AM
HAve you tried a diagonal digital photograph with focussed side lighting so you can see the shadows on one side?
The dots aren't raised high enough to cast shadows - but they're glossy: I need to see those highlights.

The only digital camera I have is the little one in my phone - I just tried to take a few pictures of the label with that (with diagonal lighting from my bright desk lamp). It was beeping a lot at me though (too close?), so I don't know how that will turn out. Still have to upload them to my computer...

If the lighting helps at all I could try with my analog camera on a tripod - but then I'm back to having to scan the result, and I don't have a film scanner (yet). :(

Hugh Wyn Griffith
11-28-2005, 12:55 PM
I just Googled on [Embossed braille example] to see if it might produce some visuals you could use -- imagine my surprise when the first one shows embossed braille interlined with inkprint on a new printer:

http://www.dotlessbraille.org/gemini.htm

This page:

http://www.uronramp.net/~lizgray/codes.html

has some very clear line images that show the raised nature.

But many of the other references don't actually seem to include the images referred to in the abstracts.