Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale released

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elbsound
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Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale released

Post by elbsound » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:28 pm

Today after more than 5 years of development I have released the plug-in Perfect Layout v1.0 for Finale/Windows.

It is the most comprehensive plug-in ever written for Finale. The plug-in includes more than 300.000 lines of code, has native support for more than 450 music fonts, features more than 100 automated layout tasks and fixes numerous long-term issues in Finale. Perfect Layout has gone through a 9-month beta test with more than 50 beta testers.
It comes with an automatic installer for all supported Finale versions (2014-v26) plus automatic installation of 17 Maestro-compatible music fonts.

Among the 100 features of this monster plug-in you will find
-collision removal of most music symbols
-automatic alignment of expressions, articulations, hairpins, lyrics and many smart shapes
-automatic visual balancing and collision removal of staves and systems in score and extracted parts
-improval of MusicXML imported files and old Finale files from the 90s (including automatic expression category assignment and alignment correction)
-automatic repeated measure numbering for percussion/drum staves
-automatic rest splitting and merging according to the time signature

The plug-in works both as a "1-click solution" with many intelligent algorithms that automatically set the best parameters as well as with a very flexible and versatile user dialog with more than 200 parameters in the Gold edition.

More info: https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/overview.php
Beta user feedback: https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/feedback.php
Examples: https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/examples.php
Demo videos: https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/videos.php
117 pages PDF manual: https://elbsound.studio/download.php?f= ... nualEN.pdf

The Mac version is still in development, but a preview is already available.

A few images from Elbsound.studio:
Image
(The red measure numbers are not from Finale, but have been added afterwards for better visual reference)

The Gold edition user dialog:
Image

Automatic Staff/System Balancing:
Image

According to a survey at the end of the beta test nearly half of the beta testers (44%) answered that the plug-in saved them 25% or more of their overall Finale working time. 25% means one week per month - a huge time saver.
Image

If you have any questions about the plug-in, let me know.
You can also test the plug-in by submitting Finale documents to Elbsound.studio. We will process them and return the results to you - for free.
We might add a free demo version in the future, but at the moment the "Send in your files" option is the only way to test.

Jan Angermüller
https://elbsound.studio

Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale released

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Michel R E
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Michel R E » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:13 pm

on your website, under requirements, it does not mention Finale 26. I presume this is an oversight?

when it says "400 measures" does that mean it can TREAT 400 measures at once? or that if your score contains more than 400 measures it will not work?
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
GPO, Garritan Solo Stradivari violin, Gofriller Solo Cello.
XSamples Chamber Ensemble.
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michelp
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by michelp » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:22 pm

Congratulations, Jan.
Michel R.E. : the press release above says "2014 - 26".
Michel
MacOsX 10.11.6, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Mac Mini Intel Dual Core i7 3Ghz, 16 Go Ram. Azerty kb. Full TGTools. MOTU Midi Express XT USB, Roland Sound Canvas SC-88vl, MOTU Audio Express. 2 monitors (27' pivot, 24')

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:25 pm

You can use it in FInale 2014-v26. Thanks for the hint. I have updated it now.

The "400 measures limit" in Silver400 means:
A file with more than 400 measures will not be processed. If you delete all measures above 400, it will be processed.

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Michel R E
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Michel R E » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:26 pm

do you require multiple licenses to use the plugin with two different versions of Finale on the same computer?
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
GPO, Garritan Solo Stradivari violin, Gofriller Solo Cello.
XSamples Chamber Ensemble.
New convert to NotePerformer3.

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:36 pm

No, it automatically installs for all Finale versions that it finds on the computer. If there are multiple Windows users installed on one computer, every Finale version of every user will get the plug-in installed in its plug-ins folder.

You can also run multiple plug-ins at the same time.
For my testing I usually have 8 Finale instances with 8 plugs-in on one computer running at the same time (two users with 4 Finale instances, 2014-v26).

Multiple activations or licenses are only required for use on multiple computers.

Thanks for the input - I have added this now to the license/activation section on the online shop page.

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N Grossingink
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by N Grossingink » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:43 pm

I use a custom music font for one of my clients. It's based on Maestro, but with many symbols replaced with bits and pieces from other music fonts. Would the plugin work with this font, or must you use a font that is supported?

By the way, nice job!
N. Grossingink
Department of Public Works Music Engraving Inspector - Milwaukee, WI


Mac Mini 2014 2.6 Ghz, 8Gb RAM
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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:53 pm

Yes, it will work with all Maestro-compatible fonts, but it might show a warning message that it doesn't know the font and assumes that it is Maestro-compatible.

The font engine currently has direct support for nearly 500 music fonts (of which ca. 400 are non-compatible music fonts).
For example all fonts that are used in our Music Font Comparison are also supported.

But ... even if you used unknown non-compatible fonts, it's not so severe: the plug-in will still work and will hardly have problems. There are only very few functions that actually need to understand what a symbol was used. For example in the articulation placement this is very important, because the plug-in puts bow marks on top, followed by fermatas, and then accents, etc. So if the plug-in doesn't know if a symbol is fermata, then it might mess up the order of the articulation placement.

There is also a section about font support in the FAQ:
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... to-other13

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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by ebiggs1 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:51 pm

It is a shame that a third party developer has to create a plugin that should already be a function of Finale from MM as part of the program.
Finale 2014.5 - Finale 26
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motet
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by motet » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:06 pm

Congratulations, Jan!

An advantage of a demo version over "send it in" is that would could play with the various knobs of you don't like the default results.

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:25 pm

Yes, a demo would be great. Unfortunately it's rather difficult (or better: impossible?) to create a secure time-limited demo in JW Lua.
But we are still thinking about solutions...

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motet
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by motet » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:45 pm

Or somehow a "can't save" version? I guess not.

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:52 pm

Can't save doesn't make sense. Because this is a Finale feature that we can't disable.

Another solution might be an alternative "purchase by paying over several months" model that you can cancel after one month and thus will only cost you very little. If you keep it running for e.g. 12 months, the plug-in is yours. Otherwise you will only have 1/12 of the normal cost.

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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by miker » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:27 pm

As soon as the Mac version is ready, I want it!
Finale 26 | SmartScorePro X2
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motet
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by motet » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Is it possible to turn off some of the algorithms off completely with the Gold version? Say I only wanted hairpin adjustments, for example.

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:33 am

Look at the user dialogs: you can deactivate lots of algorithms:
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/settings.php
And if there are reasons (that are valid for multiple users) to be able to deactivate more algorithms and still use the plug-in as a general layout plug-in, we will add more deactivation options. During the beta test we haved added about five more deactivations and most of them were already rather special. So in general I think it's not necessary to be able to deactivate more.

But some can't be deactivated (like hairpin/dynamic alignment) as they are not one function, but several functions all over the plug-in complexely woven. And if you look deeper into it, there are many other things directly connected to hairpin/dynamics: like articulations positioning, stacking and alignment, smart shape alignment, expression alignment, slur optimization, tie optimization, tuplets optimization, etc.
It becomes even more complex if you think about MusicXML imported files or old files from the 90s which both very often have wrong alignment settings for the dynamics or are placed in the wrong category ("Miscellaneous"). To get an optimal alignment of hairpins and dynamics also these MusicXML/Old File conversions are necessary.

So if you reduced it to "only think about alignment of hairpins and dynamics", it won't work as it is much more than just "hairpin and dynamics offsets" - or you will still have lots of other issues and collisions. That's what makes this plug-in so special and complex.

But even for hairpins/dynamics you have lots of options and deactivation possibilities. See
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ition=Gold
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ition=Gold
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ition=Gold
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ition=Gold
https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ition=Gold

But I take your suggestion and will add a demo file that shows what happens if you deactivate all algorithms in the Gold dialog (I will upload it in the next days ... and will then update here).

Jan
Last edited by elbsound on Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Michel R E
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Michel R E » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:46 am

I just noticed a tiny glitch in your example up above... measure 7 (the low A in treble clef) in the "before" image has both a tie and a slur, but in the "after" image appears to have only a tie. (I wasn't looking for bugs, I was just looking at what sorts of changes the plugin did. That happened to catch my eye.)

also note that in measure 1 the before shot includes bow markings, but the after shot does not. is this inadvertent differences between files? (like the up/down bows were added after the fact) or is this an issue with the plugin itself?

another question: at measure 24, the dynamic gets pushed really far down, while that dashed slur is rather far from the notes. is there a setting that would bring the slur closer and flatten it out a bit, while moving the dynamic to the left a bit instead of taking up so much room below the slur?
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
GPO, Garritan Solo Stradivari violin, Gofriller Solo Cello.
XSamples Chamber Ensemble.
New convert to NotePerformer3.

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elbsound
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:04 am

Would you do "tie + slur" as standard notation? It's not a glitch, it's a feature that duplicate tie/slurs are corrected. Slurs that were mis-used as ties are also converted to ties.

Please read the "Feature Overview" that corresponds to the image. Each measure is explained.
You can read it online (which is bit a more difficult): https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/overview.php
I'd recommend reading it in the PDF manual (pages 99-115):
https://elbsound.studio/download.php?f= ... nualEN.pdf
Also note that the image above is "Score View". In "Parts View" other things have been updated.
Parts View is also explained in the manual.

Same for the bow markings -> read the text ("Bow markings" are usually something for the player, not for the conductor - though in rare case it may be helpful for the conductor. So these are markings that can be hidden in the score)

Dashed slurs: dashed slurs are not automatically corrected when they are "misplaced", because dashed slurs are very often used for showing non-standard things or showing an extra slur marking that has a custom offset. If it had been a standard slur in m.24, then it would have been automatically corrected (i.e. moved slightly upwards) and thus the dynamics would have been much closer.
In rare cases dynamics are moved to the left, if it's a very low note (e.g. m.32).
You have options for resetting "Slurs" and/or "Curves" in the user dialog. By default only "Slurs" are activated. If you activated "Curves", then it would have moved the dashed line upwards.

The Gold edition currently has more than 200 options/parameters in the user dialog. So the user has quite some choice, if he doesn't like the "standard" settings.

(I have been using this plug-in on all my orchestra scores since 2014. Together with 50 beta testers the plug-in has processed more than 11.000 files from more than 500 composers. Though, of course, there can be a situations that could have been solved differently, there has been already a tremendous effort put in checking for different styles, standards, instrument specific notation, ensemble specifics, even font-specific notation (handwritten might require slightly larger distances), etc. For example articulation bow markings are only hidden in the score for string instruments, not if they are used on other staves for probably other reasons.)

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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:12 am

Please excuse a perhaps ignorant question, but having applied the Perfect Layout to a score, would that in any way affect further manual adjustments? There are no elements 'locked', or made difficult to change, by the use of the plug-in?
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by elbsound » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:22 pm

All settings can be changed manually after the plug-in.
The only element that can be locked in Finale are systems.

If you apply the plug-in with the "Reflow across systems/pages/Remove System Lock" settings (from Finale's preferences), this setting will automatically change to "Maintain System Locks" through the plug-in. Otherwise Finale might mess up the layout too quickly. So if you want to reflow the measures afterwards, you may have to unlock this setting in the preferences.
See https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ickstart17

Or are you referring to something else?
It is always easier for us to understand a problem, if we can see the Finale document.
But please your contact system on the homepage for this, not any forums or newsgroups.

BTW, the "Reflow" setting in Finale's preferences is extremely important for the plug-in as it determines if the measures/systems should reflow during the plug-in or not. They have an extra chapter in the "How to use" document: https://elbsound.studio/perfect-layout/ ... ickstart10

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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:49 pm

Thanks for the reply. I think that answered my question so far, even if I didn't ask about what could be locked in Finale, but, potentially, by the plug-in. I haven't started using your very promising Perfect Layout yet, but if I would come across any problems, I will post it on your home page.
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David Ward
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by David Ward » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:32 pm

This is a rather basic and probably naive question (for the future Mac version, when available) which might already have been definitively answered in the PDF. Given the 400 bar limit, will one be able to select part of a larger file to process, and then more of it &c? I ask because I have many Finale files which are well over 400 bars.
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Michel R E
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Michel R E » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:19 pm

David Ward wrote:This is a rather basic and probably naive question (for the future Mac version, when available) which might already have been definitively answered in the PDF. Given the 400 bar limit, will one be able to select part of a larger file to process, and then more of it &c? I ask because I have many Finale files which are well over 400 bars.
it was alraedy answered above, no. the total file sizze is taken into consideration. 400, the plugin works, 401+ it will not.
User of Finale since version 3.0 on Windows.
Now using a mix of Finale 2012, Finale 25, and 26.1
GPO, Garritan Solo Stradivari violin, Gofriller Solo Cello.
XSamples Chamber Ensemble.
New convert to NotePerformer3.

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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Peter Thomsen » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:39 pm

Anders Hedelin wrote:Please excuse a perhaps ignorant question, but having applied the Perfect Layout to a score, would that in any way affect further manual adjustments? There are no elements 'locked', or made difficult to change, by the use of the plug-in?
Generally, a plug-in only does what you can do yourself, manually.
The plug-in is just faster.
Mac OS X 10.13.6 (High Sierra), Finale user since 1996

Anders Hedelin
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Re: Perfect Layout v1 - The ultimate plug-in for Finale rele

Post by Anders Hedelin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:07 pm

David Ward wrote:This is a rather basic and probably naive question (for the future Mac version, when available) which might already have been definitively answered in the PDF. Given the 400 bar limit, will one be able to select part of a larger file to process, and then more of it &c? I ask because I have many Finale files which are well over 400 bars.
According to the info on the Elbsound home page it's only the smallest version that is limited to 400 measures.
Perfect Layout.JPG
Perfect Layout.JPG (128.82 KiB) Viewed 734 times
Last edited by Anders Hedelin on Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Finale 25, 26.1
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