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How to make Icons in Inkscape

Inkscape is free. So go to their website and download it if you want to make icons/characters for this site.
Next Page - Shapes

Basics

Keyboard and Mouse shortcuts

  • Scroll Up and Down: Mouse Scroll wheel or CTRL + Arrow Up/Down
  • Scroll Left and Right: Click your mouse Wheel like a button and move the mouse left and right. Or press CTRL + Arrow Right/Left
  • Zoom in and out: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel or F2 to select Zoom, then Left Click to zoom in or Right Click to Zoom out.
  • Select: Click on an object with the Selet Tool. You can also select this tool using F1
  • Multiple Select: Hold SHIFT and click on all the objects you wish to select, one at a time. Multiple select can be used to adding a gradient to all the objects, or make all selected objects transparent, or changing their colour, and so on.
  • Delete: Click on an object with the Select Tool. Then press Delete or Backspace. You can delete a selection by using the Select Tool. Click and drag around the selections your want to delete. Then press Delete or Backspace.
  • Undo and Redo: Undo is CTRL + Z, Redo is SHIFT CTRL + Z
  • Copy and Paste: CTRL + C to copy, and CTRL + V to paste, you can also Cut with CTRL + X
  • Deselect: Escape or double left click on blank area on the document.
  • Flip: Select object then press H to flip horizontal, or V to flip vertical.
  • Move object in front or behind another object: Select and object, then Page Up and Page Down. If you do not have these keys on your keyboard there are buttons you can manually click to on the top task bar below Object and Path, that you can click for the same effect.
  • TAB Key: TAB cycles through all your objects in Level order from the bottom level to the top.


Document Properties

  • File > Document Properties or Shift + CTRL + D
  • Make landscape by changing width to 297.00 and Height to 210.00. This is an A4 page landscape. Which we will be using for our basic character template.


Tips

  • Free Hand Drawing: Never do this. There is a freehand Pen, and Erasure Tool, among others. Do not use them ever. Unless you are a very advanced user, and if you absolutely have to; then make sure you Save before using Free Hand Tools. Free hand tools create ALOT of nodes which can cause the software to crash.
  • Use shapes to draw your image, as you get better you can merge them together, group a number of objects together. You can edit and adjust shapes to make them asymetrical. This is all covered in over the next few pages.
  • Use shapes to cut sections out of other shapes, again do not use the erasure tool.
  • When designing characters for this site, please ensure you keep detail to a minimum, we are aiming for bold clear and styalised images. Google search Paper Mario, for a basic idea of what we are looking for.
  • Nodes: SVG uses Nodes and paths to create images, it is all based on maths. There are no pixels here. A node is 1 point along a path. If you have a 2 nodes in a single object you have a straight line. 3 Nodes typically creates a triangle. 4 typically a Square or rectange, and so on. The lines/paths go from one node to another, forming lines. For complex shapes you can have many more nodes. This is why freehand drawing should be avoided when working with SVG. Every point in which a path deviates will create another node, meaning you will end up with hundreds, if not thousands of nodes.


The next few pages are going to show you a number of techniques for creating basic SVG Characters, such as this worm I created. After which I will start adding templates for creating characters for this web site.

Next Page - Shapes

Last update: March 27, 2019