Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vector Graphics vs Jpgs

Graphic arts is my new hobby/pastime. Since buying a Bamboo Create tablet, I've been playing with graphics non stop. :) Over two years ago I heard about vector graphics, but by and large it sounded rather intimidating to me. You see, I was just really getting the hang of manipulating a JPG.

This weekend, I learned how to play with vector graphics and OH BOY is it fun!!!! You know that part of us that remembers how excited we were to get a new Lisa Frank product? It's like that.

My tool: Inkscape a 100% free to use, open source vector graphics manipulator.

Here's the basics of what a vector graphic is: each shape is an image to itself you can modify and manipulate. the star tool is the coolest, you can change the color, the number of points and manipulate the little squares on the edge called "handlers" to kaleidoscope into all kinds of shapes!!!! And the shapes will stack and go behind one another etc. It reminds me of the old type of drawing on Microsoft Word. You can also move items like WORDS to lay at an angle so that they look like they are on an object. Like below:

(I'm going to be signing ebooks LIVE on May 19th in a promotion with They have many promotional spots still open for only $10. My ad with them will run May 16th, and I can't wait!)

See how the words look like they are on the bill board, not flat to the bottom edge of the image? That's something Inkscape does very easily. You can also treat a word as individual letters, of hold down shift, click them and treat them as a word! 

Here's a quick little graphic I made of hearts. There is no heart shape per se, I had to make two circles and a square, rotate the square to the diamond orientation (or 90 degrees) laid them on top then click Union, which morphs the shapes lying on top of one another into one! Great for a person like me who can see the geometry of things, but I can't "sketch" or draw very well.

All I've learned was from Inkscape's tutorials which are SVG vector files themselves, so it's an interactive tutorial! And I've only been at this about 24 hours. One day... I'll be able to make something like this:

This is a free vector available on http://vector4free.com

So go play with Inkscape. It's free and fun to learn about vector graphics. While I won't be firing my cover artist anytime soon (actually NEVER) it IS nice to learn the capabilities because even if I can't execute it, I can at least know what can be done by a professional. And, I do feel like if I do decide to write some short stories, I can make inexpensive covers on my own for lower priced novels, etc. Not to mention ads and graphics to go with my blog posts! :)

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble 

WIP: STONE. Never up Mom's expectations, a clothing designer kicks "Mr. Right" to the curb.

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