knotwork

Post unfinished work here for feedback and advise.
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brynn
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knotwork

Postby brynn » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:14 pm

EDIT
This topic has been split out from another. This is the message within that topic, which started the discussion which is the subject of this "knotwork" topic. But I couldn't split it out, because it's mostly about the other topic. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9400#p37591. And then my response below starts the new topic.


knotwork: You might want to have a look at the path effect knot (Path menu > Path Effects Editor > Knot). The reviews I've heard are mixed. But I like that it automatically breaks the path where the "rope" crosses over itself.

My avatar, which is a celtic knot, made in Inkscape, consists of 9 objects/closed paths. (made before the LPE was added to Inkscape) I'd be glad to share the SVG, if you'd like to "take it apart" to see how it's made.

Inkscape does have another way to put things in front/behind, besides layers. It's called the z order, and buttons are on the Selection tool control bar, or Object menu (Raise, Lower, Raise to top, Lower to bottom). It applies to objects, rather than whole layers. But you are right about knots. You can put the various pieces behind and in front, but to depict a closed knot, eventually you need one part to be above on one side and below on the other, and it just can't be done! That's why I ended up making mine with closed path objects, rather than a single "string". It doesn't really matter which one is in front of or behind another, the way I drew it.

BetaTestingPro
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Re: Draw your favourite cartoon figures.

Postby BetaTestingPro » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:10 am

brynn wrote:knotwork: You might want to have a look at the path effect knot (Path menu > Path Effects Editor > Knot). The reviews I've heard are mixed. But I like that it automatically breaks the path where the "rope" crosses over itself.


Doh! I forgot all about the knot path effect, thanks for the reminder. However, I had already managed to get my knotwork done before I came back here and checked your post. My method was mostly madness, but it seems to have worked. I did have problems with resizing it screwing everything up because of the way I did it but in the end, it turned out pretty good and after Grouping everything, then resizing it is no longer a problem.

Here's a screenshot of the madness method:

Image

Here's a textual representation of my workflow mahem:

  • Trace Bitmap of drawing with Bezier tool (which was done months ago):

I found a mistake in the original. WHOOPS!!!
So I grouped it, combined it and turned it
into a Solid color.

  • Made Solid Color for inner color
  • Made Dynamic Offset for the stroke
  • Put them together (send dynamic offset back)
  • Duplicate the solid color, leave on top
  • Made two solid pieces to cover overlapping lines
  • Made Pencil paths for the over, under knotwork effect. I'll explain this further in a moment.
  • Grouped everything together so resizing is possible without screwing everything up.

Now the hard part was making the paths and keeping the right rythym going. I made paths/lines for the over, under part using the pencil tool :tool_pencil: (at first I was using the bezier tool :tool_pen: , but found the pencil tool :tool_pencil: to be quicker to get the flow of the knotwork going) either way, I knew I would have to go back and plum everything up, so straight lines using the pencil tool were fine to get the flow going quickly.

The first time I did this, I had it zoomed in :tool_zoom: significantly (like 700%), so as to be able to line my paths up with the stroke (dynamic offest). But when I zoomed back out to 100%, the stroke wasn't thick enough (so neither were the paths/lines I had spent a couple of hours lining up). So, after discovering my folly, I fixed the dynamic offset to give the appearance of the stroke I was after at the 100% level and then had to fix each and every pencil path as well. Fortunately, it went MUCH, MUCH faster the second time around.

Obviously, I did all of this on the drawing itself and not beside it as pictured. After I got everything the way I wanted it, I grouped all the pencil paths together and duplcated them so I could pull them out to show the workflow (more for myself than anything else).

I was trying to keep the entire drawing layered and organized so as to make each section easily editable (for changing the colors of the fill and possibly even the stroke of each piece). Remember, I'm fairly new to Inkscape and haven't had a chance to really explore all of its features, so I'm sure I'm making things much harder on myself than need be, but I'm learning as I go.

For example, I learned I could use the paint bucket :tool_paintbucket: to change the colors of everything pretty easily. But I'm still not exactly sure how that thing works because it doesn't seem to behave the same in other drawings (of the same thing even).

brynn wrote:My avatar, which is a celtic knot, made in Inkscape, consists of 9 objects/closed paths. (made before the LPE was added to Inkscape) I'd be glad to share the SVG, if you'd like to "take it apart" to see how it's made.


Yes, that would be great! I'd love to take a peak at your SVG file so I can see what method you are using, I'm sure it's far better than my madness. :P

brynn wrote:Inkscape does have another way to put things in front/behind, besides layers. It's called the z order, and buttons are on the Selection tool control bar, or Object menu (Raise, Lower, Raise to top, Lower to bottom). It applies to objects, rather than whole layers. But you are right about knots. You can put the various pieces behind and in front, but to depict a closed knot, eventually you need one part to be above on one side and below on the other, and it just can't be done! That's why I ended up making mine with closed path objects, rather than a single "string". It doesn't really matter which one is in front of or behind another, the way I drew it.


Yeah, I have read about it and have learned a bit about the z-index order of things. Mainly with Public Domain files because it seems that the vast majority of people use z-order and ignore actual layers. I'm guessing it's because of how Inkscape destroys the layer integrity as soon as you group them together. Ungrouping them does NOT put them back on any layers you may have created for your objects. That's been a bit difficult for me to come to terms with in a way; since with RealDraw Grouping layers is also possible but they are called "Packages" and the "Package" keeps the layer integrity (all layers become part of the package) and can be "Un-Packaged" at any time for further editing, all the while maintaining layer integrity.

Personally, I like using layers and even sublayers to keep track of all the bits and pieces of my drawings and so I can hide/unhide things to make it easier to edit objects under other layers. Unfortunately, sometimes I simply need to Group stuff in order to do what I want so I've been learning the hard way of how Grouping works. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to group things, I just wish it would Group all the Layers together instead of bring everything to whatever layer you happen to have selected at the time of grouping. I'm glad for the UNDO feature, that's for sure. :D

Another reason I like to have layers that I can hide is because my PC has a very hard time dealing with blurs (even little ones), patterns and some gradients especially as the artwork becomes more complex. In fact, I haven't really been able to use Inkscape to it's fullest because my computer simply cannot handle some of the filters and extensions available. I can use them, but the rendering is really slow.

For example, here's the image I'm working on for this knotwork (it's an Altar Table I drew up a decade or so ago):

Image

Rendering that cloth pattern (which I got the idea from your "Inkscape Dictionary" book cover"), took a good little while, it was like slow motion and made me have flashbacks of using PhotoShop. Adding the Blur (which is only a .5 blur) to the edge made it horrendously slow, the combination of the two was just too much for my PC to handle so I had to put them in their own layers so I could hide them while working on the rest of the image (which is still a work in progress).

Anyway, I'm glad I finally took the time to sign up here and start participating, I've been reading for awhile but just recently took the plunge and signed up for an account so I can start actively participating around here. I've already learned a great deal just by hanging around and browsing the forums but I figure with active participation, I may learn more and do it much faster. :geek:

Ok, I think I've probably took up more than enough of your time already. Sorry, I know I can be long winded at times and in fact, I have much more I could say now but I'm aware that this post is getting a bit on the extreme side. However, I have seen your (Brynn) posts and they can tend to be on the lengthy side as well, so I'm hopeful you won't mind my long winded posts. :mrgreen:

P.S. BTW, I've learned a good deal of what I know about Inkscape from http://screencasters.heathenx.org and have found it to be a wealth of information!
Thanks for sharing!

BetaTestingPro
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:27 am

Draw your favourite cartoon figures.

Postby BetaTestingPro » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:15 am

brynn wrote:knotwork: You might want to have a look at the path effect knot (Path menu > Path Effects Editor > Knot). The reviews I've heard are mixed. But I like that it automatically breaks the path where the "rope" crosses over itself.


I've since tried the path effect knot, but wasn't very successful with it. Maybe with a bit of patience and practice I'll learn how use it effectively. But so far nothing seems to line up right with the paths I tried to use it on. Trial and Error, Trial and Error, lots of error and lots of tries. :mrgreen:

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brynn
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Re: Draw your favourite cartoon figures.

Postby brynn » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:38 am

Wow, you are very creative with Inkscape features! My knot is not nearly so elegant as you may think. Honestly, you can look at my av and see the 9 objects. I did initially draw it like a rope. But I couldn't get the over/under thing to work. So I took my initial rope and did Stroke to path. Then I broke the path into the 9 pieces. ....or it might have been Path Union that I used, I can't remember. Here's the file below.

Also, I'm going to split out a new topic for this, because I don't want to hijack spaventapasseri's topic. I'll title it "knotwork".

Btw, I love that image that you're working on for the knots!

Edit
Hhhmmmm, it seems that file attachment is not allowed in this forum. I was thinking of putting the new topic in Work in Progress forum, but I don't think file attachments are allowed there either. So I'll put the new topic in the Help forum. After you've grabbed the file, let me know, and then I'll move the topic to WIP.

Edit #2
And here we are in our new topic, and here is the file.

knot42.svg
(7.94 KiB) Downloaded 22 times

BetaTestingPro
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Re: Draw your favourite cartoon figures.

Postby BetaTestingPro » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:12 pm

brynn wrote:Wow, you are very creative with Inkscape features!


Thanks! I've been trying really hard to learn this awesome Vector Editor, I find that I like it much better than Adobe PhotoShop and only wish that I had found Inkscape long ago. The only thing I miss about PS are the action scripts and the ease of making your own action scripts (by simply recording your actions). I wish Inkscape had the feature to record actions to be used in later projects. Although, from what I've read it seems that filters and/or extensions could be written for Inkscape to do some pretty amazing things and I'm fairly confident that given the knowledge, one could create similar scripts for Inkscape to take the place of PS actions. Unfortunately, I don't yet have the extensive knowledge required to create such things.

But I see I'm straying from the topic at hand here and will refrain from that this time.

My knot is not nearly so elegant as you may think. Honestly, you can look at my av and see the 9 objects. I did initially draw it like a rope. But I couldn't get the over/under thing to work. So I took my initial rope and did Stroke to path. Then I broke the path into the 9 pieces. ....or it might have been Path Union that I used, I can't remember.


Ah, yes. I see now that your knot is actually quite simple now that I've seen the SVG. The fact that it's all straight lines makes it much easier to construct and keep in alignment compared to the curved knotwork I've been struggling with. I think I have the structure right now, I just have to decide on the colors to use (if any). I was thinking of going with Purple and Yellow intertwined "ropes" but I haven't decided for sure yet. In the end, I may even end up putting scales on the dragons body (ropes) but I'm not quite ready to tackle that task yet.

BTW, I tried my hand at making the knotwork like yours and was able to reproduce it in about 10 - 15 minutes (maybe less) The quality isn't as nice as yours, but it's the same basic design. Here's what I did, I simply made the design with the bezier tool :tool_pen: and then used the Path Menu >> Stroke to Path (it's the first time I've used it for anything other than goofing around to see what it does), then I used the Break Apart option and removed all the junk that wasn't needed, rearranging the lines for the over - under design. Then I used the :tool_paintbucket: to get a colored fill inside the knotwork. Then I removed the white fill from everything that had one and the final result worked out pretty good for the small amount of time spent on it. Here's a look at my attempt:

Image

As for using the Path menu, I really struggle with all the options in there and frequently have problems getting the various options to work. Most likely, I'm doing something wrong but I have a hard time getting things to come out the way I want using the Path Menu options. In many cases, most of the options don't seem to do anything at all aside from the combining & union options. Well, and the first 3 options those always seem to work fine for me too. But as for the rest of them, even when following video tutorials I have a hard time getting them to do what the tutorials do.

Also, I'm going to split out a new topic for this, because I don't want to hijack spaventapasseri's topic. I'll title it "knotwork".


Thanks for that, I actually meant to mention it myself but it slipped my mind by the time I sent the post.

Btw, I love that image that you're working on for the knots!


Thanks, it's a work in progress on the PC but it's something I drew about a decade ago with the help of my significant other (she threw lots of the ideas at me and between the two of us that's what we came up with) and I put them down on an Altar. Shortly afterwards, we had a ceremony, went outside and danced with literally 100s of bats which just so happened to stay specifically on our property and spiraled down and around us so close that we could feel the vibrations of their wings and could have literally reached out and touched them. It was a very exciting experience having 100s of bats flying all around us, up and down in a spiraling motion for probably a good 15 minutes or so. It very exhilarating and something I'm not likely to ever forget. :)

Edit
Hhhmmmm, it seems that file attachment is not allowed in this forum. I was thinking of putting the new topic in Work in Progress forum, but I don't think file attachments are allowed there either. So I'll put the new topic in the Help forum. After you've grabbed the file, let me know, and then I'll move the topic to WIP.


Hmmmm, ok. I've got the graphic. :)


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