Quick Tip: creating an egg shape in Inkscape

Here is a super simple way of creating an egg shape oval using the Circle / Ellipse tool, and a little known feature of the Node Tool, called Node Sculpting.

Draw a circle

First up, use the circle / ellipse tool to draw a circle. Remember to hold down the control key on your keyboard to make sure it is a perfect circle.

drawcircle

Convert the circle to a path

Use the select tool to select your circle, and convert it to a path with Path > Object to Path. Now when you switch to the node tool, you will see your 4 nodes of your path.

convertcircletopath

Sculpt the Nodes

Using the Node Tool, select all the nodes in your circle path either by dragging a box around them, or using the keyboard shortcut Control + A. Now press the alt key on your keyboard, and click and drag the top node of the shape. Your simple egg shape is now complete!

altdrag

Check out Tav’s book for more information on Node Sculpting

Introduction to Inkscape: an 8-class lesson plan for teaching Inkscape

Here is a 8-class lesson plan & curriculum by Máirín Duffy for teaching the basics of Inkscape to primary school children. (the class was specifically designed for teaching a US 7th grade class.) The course is themed around the students creating a logo for their fake rock band, and then creating different items based on that logo, such as posters and t-shirts.Each of the 8 lessons has a bunch of resources to run the class, including lesson plans, student handouts and exercise sheets to print out and give to the students during the lesson.

All the resources and course outline is available on this page. Máirín has already tested and run this class on a class of 7th graders, and blogged about the progress of each day — well worth a read too if you want to see how well this class performs in real life.

Even though this class is aimed at 7th graders, following along the course is also a great introduction to the basics of Inkscape for kids of all ages.

inkscape class

 

Inkscape workaround to fix the white gaps between objects

Have you ever noticed that in Inkscape when you have objects that are perfectly butted up against each other, that there is still a small gap rendered between them, exposing the background colour underneath?

gaps2

Objects without space between, but gaps are still rendered.

This is a known issue with the way the SVG renderer in Inkscape does antialiasing, and there is even an Inkscape FAQ entry with a few ideas on how to workaround the issue.

However, I find that there is a simple workaround for this issue in a lot of cases. Simply group your objects together, and duplicate them twice:

gapsgif2

One issue with this approach is that it doesn’t work very well if the objects you are using have any transparency, as you are duplicating objects below, which changes the way the top object looks. Also in drawings with many thousands of objects, duplicating them does tend to make inkscape a perform a lot slower. However in most cases, this technique works great as the finishing step in your workflow to remove the pesky gaps.

Live Tutorial: Draw a Halloween pumpkin lantern in Inkscape!

Today István Szép of Pesto Design is holding another live tutorial event on Google Hangouts Event is now done, but you can watch the video here. This will be a halloween themed event, so he will be showing us all how to draw a pumpkin jack-o-lantern in Inkscape! Don’t stress if you cannot view it live, as the videos are always available afterwards to view as well!halloweendrawing

This is part of a series of Live Drawing Events that István has been conducting over the last few months, and they are pretty awesome! Jump over to his Google+ page to find all the videos of past events.

Create a simple button in inkscape in 3 steps

Here is a awesome tutorial on creating a simple button for your next user interface in Inkscape. The author assumes that you have a basic grasp of Inkscape before using this tutorial, there are no screenshots of which buttons to press. It is simply a explanation of the workflow used to make this button.

inkscape-button

Create a soft, feathered background with Inkscape.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn a technique in inkscape to create a soft, feathered background.

demo

The beauty of this technique comes from the fact that it relies heavily on clones, and live path effects. You spend a little time rigging up the effect, and then you can fluidly change the clone originals to update the result.

A bit confused? Just follow the steps, and hopefully everything will become clear!

Continue reading

Illustrating a bright web decal with inkscape

Here is a great tutorial on how to create a decal / sticker with inkscape. It is a good explanation of how to use the star tool in inkscape, how to align objects, and some of the advanced techniques of the text tool, including kerning and putting text on a path (creating curved text)

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