Technically it isn't rendering it to pixel data. A Cairo recording surface
just records the drawing operations without rendering it to pixels (AFAIK).
Then it uses those recorded operations to find bounds.

On Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 9:54 PM Alexei Podtelezhnikov <apodt...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> > This hook function (for librsvg) would work in the following manner:
> > * create a cairo recording surface
> > * render the glyph on that surface (you'll have to check whether to
> render the whole document or a particular element)
>
> This is unacceptable because it defeats the purpose. If the library
> cannot return the bounding box without rendering, just forget it and
> bail from ft_glyphslot_preset_bitmap. You and Behdad did however say
> that say that it is available in some libraries.
> https://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/freetype-devel/2019-07/msg00128.html
>
> > * get the bounds
> > * perform any transformations on the bounds if necessary and then preset
> the slot
>
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