Desktop Apps Training - Inkscape

Inkscape is a vector based drawing program that works on Linux, Windows, and Mac systems. Advantages of vector images are that scaling or rotating the image as many times as needed does not degrade the image and also increasing the size of an image does not affect file size.

Inkscape provides a solution from first time users to seasoned artists with many features and options. Features Inkscape offers allow users to push the limits of object creation and manipulation, operations and paths, fills and strokes, text support, rendering and more. Some of the individual features include creating shape objects, freehand drawing options, group objects, align edges of selected objects, apply boolean to two objects, pattern fill objects, multiple stop gradients, and converting non vector into a vector format.

After installing Inkscape and opening the application we can see a few different areas to choose from. Across the top of the window we can see the menubar which gives us options file, edit, view, layer, object, paths, text, effects, and help. Below the menubar is the command bar. The command bar includes icons for the following commands: new, open, save, print, import, export, undo, redo, copy, cut, paste, fit selection in window, fit drawing in window, fit page in window, duplicate selected objects, create clone, cut clone link to original, group, ungroup, fill stroke, font text and more. The tool control bar is 3rd toolbar down and it includes control options for the selected tool. On the left hand side we have the toolbox which holds a full selection of creating and editing tools. Below the canvas is a color palette and a status bar. the status bar displays information such as style indicator, layer information, notification region, pointer position and the zoom.

inkscape interface


If you're used to using Adobe Illustrator i've posted some comparisons to speed up your transition to Inkscape.

Illustrator = Inkscape
 direct selection tool
node tool
 pen tool
bezier tool
 pencil tool
freehand tool
 live trace
trace bitmap.

Inkscape offers many useful effects. They are located on the menu bar under Effects. I found many features that i recognized from using similar effects in other applications and some of the effects were completely unique to Inkscape. My favorite section was Render, which gave me some really abstract images to build on in a short period of time. Choosing to render a tree for example, saved me time and accuracy, all I had to add was the foilage on the structure of the tree.

 Inkscape effects

Getting Help

Finding help for an application like Inkscape is quite easy if you have internet access and don't mind a bit of browsing around. I've condensed many of the current Inkscape resources available online, to links listed here. Inkscape users have many options for getting help or inspiration while creating in Inkscape. The includes Inkscape documentation and Inkscape wiki so you can find answers to your problems and some tutorial-like examples. Tutorials are really necessary to examine while you're working with creative software. This is because somebody else's idea may spark an idea or solve a problem for you.

 Here are a few places that stockpile Inkscape tutorials:

These are just a few samples to get you started. 100s of Inkscape tutorials are out there for you. Also check out video sources like Youtube for Inkscape tutorial videos. Video tutorials are extremely easy to learn with as you can rewind the parts you have problems with and it takes almost no effort to re-create a tutorial.