Book Review: The Book of Inkscape
No Starch Press, 2009
The Book of Inkscape isn't a text written by some recent convert to free illustration. It was written by one of Inkscape's core developers. He takes you through all of the key components of creating graphics. You will learn how to navigate your canvas, customize your workspace and create and transform objects. You will work with gradients, patterns, filters and paths. You will become adept at managing layers effectively. You will see how your graphics can be exported in various formats.
Working with vector graphics can be both difficult, frustrating and time consuming if you don't have the right mind set and you don't fully understand the tool that you are using. In 18 chapters and 6 tutorials -- all well illustrated with hundreds of examples -- plus 4 appendices, this book will help you master the skills needed to create impressive graphics with relative ease.
Here's a rundown on the chapters:
- Inkscape and the World -- an introduction to vector graphics and Inkscape
- An Inkscape Primer -- installing and basic operations
- Setting Up and Moving Around -- preferences, views, zooming, etc.
- Objects -- objects, object properties, cutting and pasting, layers
- Selecting -- looking at many selection tools
- Transforming -- moving, scaling, flipping, etc.
- Snapping and Arranging -- guidelines, grids and alignment
- Styling -- styles, colors, sampling etc.
- Stroke and Markers -- stroker width, joins, markers etc.
- Gradients and Patterns -- The gradient tool, handles, creating patterns
- Shapes -- using the various shape tools
- Editing Paths -- everything you need to know about working with paths
- Path Effects and Extensions -- Special effects and paths
- Drawing -- using penci, pan andbucket
- Text -- editing and text layout
- Clones -- creating and transforming clones (linked copies of objects that change with the original)
- Filters -- blurring, blending, etc.
- Bitmaps -- importing, retouching, etc.
- Tutorial 1 -- Desinging a Business Card
- Tutorial 2 -- Creating an Animation
- Tutorial 3 -- Drawing a 3D-Correct Cartoon
- Tutorial 4 -- Artistic Drawing
- Tutorial 5 -- Technical Drawing
- Tutorial 6 -- The Rose
- App A -- An SVG Primer
- App B -- Import and Export
- App C -- The Command Line
- App D -- Keyboard Shortcuts
You can get Inkscape from http://www.inkscape.org/ and spend lots of time exploring it, but this book will open your eyes to how the tool can be most effectively used. If you read this book and follow the examples, you will not be able to avoid becoming adept in the use of this excellent tool. Highly recommended, well written and full of practical examples and insights, this excellent text can make you a pro at using Inkscape.
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