Inkscape is a free, open source drawing tool (similar to Adobe Illustrator).  The purpose of this discussion thread is to capture tips and tricks for using the tool and to help each other learn how to use it for lace design.

A useful reference manual for new users can be found here:

http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html

The tool can be downloaded here:

http://inkscape.org/en/

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Here is a post on resizing a design in Inkscape and changing the size of the paper:

http://laceioli.ning.com/group/computer-aided-design/forum/topics/o...

Thanks that was very helpful. 

Can you talk about importing a scan, and then doing a vector drawing of it?  Do you do this on a new layer? 

Veronika
Thanks for starting this.

I am away from my computer for the next week so I can only give a quick answer.

Yes, I would create a layer for the scanned image because this will allow you to hide and show the image quickly.  Be careful when resizing though because a group can not cross different layers.  To include the image in your drawing, use File -> Import.

You might want to play with the tracing feature - this will take an imported image and try to create lines that match.  More info on tracing can be found in the manual here:

http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/Trace.html

Just tried another tip by Veronika and it did not seem to work. Appeared I had several problems:

  • A real circle for the dot doesn't work, it should be a path.
  • I gave the dot just a fill, it should have at least a stroke
  • The (leaf)-shape path disappears, so first duplicate it if you want to keep it
  • The shape path shouldn't be a combined path, if you did compose a combined path, join the nodes.


Veronika Irvine said:

Here is another Inkscape tip:

There is a tool in Inkscape for evenly placing dots along any path.  It is called the "Pattern Along Path" tool and it can be found in the Path Effects editor.  Below is a screen shot showing the result.  I have drawn a circle (in red) and then used the tool to evenly distribute copies of the circle along a leaf shape drawn using the pen tool.  I later added the grey lines connecting the dots to show how the worker pair would travel in this pattern.

The nice part of the tool is that it positions the dots exactly on the path and it measures the distance along the path so that the space between the dots, as measured along the curved line, is exactly the same.

You might wish to have the dots spaced closer together near the tapered ends of the design.  To do this, once you are happy with how the tool has positioned most of the dots you can disconnect the dots from the tool (using Path -> Break Apart) and then position some of the dots by hand.

Instead of trying to explain how to use the Pattern along Path tool here, I will point you to a tutorial that has a nice description with lots of screenshots.  In the tutorial it talks about drawing a rope but if you substitute a circle for the s shape used in the tutorial you can draw dots along any line:  Repeating a shape evenly along a path

The same feature offers also possibilities for tape-lace trails. Use a dash or V-shaped path in stead of a dot. Fusing closes gaps between V's, but a too big value causes strange curves and bends.

The right side off the images below reveals a problem with the method introduced by Veronika: the distances in the example vary from less than 3 to more than 4 mm. On the left hand the second method applied to the nerve of a leaf combined with snapping at intersections to fix the problem.

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