I am working on an Inkscape video tutorial, but I’m also trying to get over a cold so it’s making things difficult. I’ll just tell you a little bit about Inkscape here and we’ll do a video later.
How it works
Inkscape produces images differently than Gimp. Where Gimp is a pixel-based image editor, Inkscape uses scalable vector graphics. Both Inkscape and Gimp offer advantages based on what type of image you’re trying to produce. With Inkscape, you can build your image, and you will be able to use it at any size without losing quality. With Gimp, the resolution of the image determines how large you can use it. Once you begin making the image larger than its original size, It starts to become pixelated and blocky. That doesn’t happen with Inkscape because what you see is based on drawing lines or curves or whatever from Point A to Point B using a mathematical formula. So no matter how far apart Point B is from Point A, the image knows that the line or curve drawn between them follows a specific path.
You might be familiar with Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Freehand. These are also vector graphic editing programs. But these programs are expensive. Illustrator alone costs hundreds of dollars. Inkscape is free and open source. They make the uncompiled source code available to you, and you can modify it, redistribute it, basically do whatever you want with it, if you’re so inclined. Me, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of how to go about modifying the program, so I am just happy that it’s free.
Inkscape does not have all the features that some other programs might have. However, it does have other features that those programs don’t. Adobe Illustrator is pretty much the industry standard for graphic designers. But Inkscape is still a very valuable tool for the price. Total cost: $0.
Inkscape runs on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. You can download it at http://inkscape.org. Did I mention it’s free?
Ways to use it
If you’re doing web design, you can incorporate Inkscape into your work-flow by using it to create banners, logos and more. Most web browsers these days are able to display .SVG files, which is the default that Inkscape uses. Microsoft Internet Explorer is not able to display .SVG files. However, Inkscape can also export files in a number of other formats, including .PNG. These files are compatible across all web browsers.
I’ve already posted a tutorial showing you how to make a starburst pattern with Inkscape, so head on over there and give it a try.
Are you an Inkscape user? Leave a comment and tell me what you do with Inkscape. Or post a question. Or just say hello so I know you care.