"". Cut Two Pieces: 05/07/09 - 12/07/09

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Using Grid to Draw Objects in Inkscape.

To draw objects with straight lines such as diamonds and zig zag lines, turn on the grid feature in Inkscape. The advantage of turning on the grid is the pen will follow the lines and nodes will snap to intersections on the grid enabling accurate straight lines and corners to be drawn. If the lines and nodes do not snap, just turn on snap by View>Snap. If further editing is to be done it is often necessary to turn the snap off but leave grid on.

Click on any image for a larger view.
View>Grid or (# which on my keyboard is shift and 2)


Settings for the grid can be changed in Inkscape Preferences if you would like to change the size of the grid squares.


- Select the bezier tool to draw.
- Left mouse click to draw first point, release mouse button and move to next point, then left mouse click
- Repeat until the shape is complete.
- If drawing a closed shape it will close when you return to the starting point.
- Alternatively hit the return key on the computer to finish the shape.
- A line is green when drawn and red while being dragged.


- Shapes can then be colour filled.
- Select the object to be changed and select a colour from the colour bar.
- Save file.
If cutting from Sign Cut, remove either the fill or the stroke, as Sign Cut treats them as separate paths and will cut the shape twice.
Other users of Inkscape for digital cutters, save the file as normal.

Using grid to draw open shapes.
- Select the bezier tool to draw.
- Left mouse click to draw first point, release mouse button and move to next point, then left mouse click.
- Repeat until the shape is complete.
- Hit the return key on the computer keyboard to finish the shape.
- A line is green when drawn and red while being dragged.

To thicken the lines, path outset often give untidy results and dynamic offset rounds the corners. I do the following instead to thicken the lines.
- Open the Fill and Stroke menu.
- Select object.
- Select flat colour in the Stroke paint tab.

- Open the tab Stroke style.
- Increase the Width as shown below.
- Select a style for the Join.
- Select a style for the Cap.
Below are three examples on the same object.
Many combinations can be used, select and try different options until the shape suits your requirements.
Example 1.
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Example 2.

Example 3.
- After making the above changes, Path>Stroke to Path.
- Path>Simplify to remove extra nodes that are added in the process.
- Save file.
Example showing View>Outline after all the changes.

Please leave a comment if you find this useful or find it difficult to understand.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Inkscape - Drawing a Heart and Teardrop

Grid can be used to help draw a heart shape.
See post on Using Grid to Draw Objects for a more complete explanation.

- Turn on grid. View>Grid (or # on the keyboard)
- Draw a basic heart shape.
- Select node edit (left bar, second from top) to have access to the node editing menu.
- Select object to be edited.
- Select the nodes on one side, they will turn blue, click on symmetrical nodes on top menu bar as shown.
- Repeat node editing on the opposite side of the heart.
- If you want to colour fill the heart, select the object and click on a colour from the lower colour bar.
- If you want to further edit the heart it is usually better to turn grid off as it makes it easier to manipulate the nodes.
- Save file.

Summary
- Turn on grid
- Draw a basic heart shape
- Select node edit then click on object to be edited
- Select nodes on one side and click on symmetrical nodes
- Repeat on other side of shape
- Change colour fill and stroke
- Save file

The same method can be used to draw raindrops and other rounded closed shapes.

Click on any image for a larger view.

Another way to draw a teardrop.
Draw a circle or oval.
Path>Object to Path.
Select node edit and turn the top node into a corner node as shown below.


Select the new corner node and move it to the desired location.
I use guidlines to ensure the top node being relocated stays in-line with the bottom node to give a symmetrical shape. Using guidelines is optional.
If you would like a sharper corner point highlight the node to be changed and just drag the node handles to change the shape.
Save file.