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Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook Paperback – 26 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (26 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849512663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849512664
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mihaela Jurkovic is the owner of a small Croatian web development shop. Drupal, Inkscape and linux are the most common words in her open source dictionary. In addition to being a friendly ghost on the Inkscape forum she also enjoys photography, hiking, TED talks and lolcats.

Rigel discovered computer graphics on a Commodore VIC-20 as young child. Before going insane trying to render artistic landscapes using only the limited character set of his primitive 8-bit computer, he upgraded to a CBM Amiga 500 and started creating his first bitmaps with Dan Silva's Deluxe Paint II. During his college years he started working part-time as a Web developer and consultant for several institutions and companies, and later as a system administrator, journalist and editor in the computer games industry. Today he works as a web application developer for an IT company based in Milan. He promotes and uses open-source technology exclusively in his projects. Inkscape is his tool of choice for developing vector graphics. In his free time, he likes to freeclimb, skydive and read Reddit.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Carter on 19 July 2011
Format: Paperback
The writing style is accessible, with easy-to-follow 'recipes' with a specific goal at the end, and there's a lot of inspiration in the book. However, if you're totally new to Inkscape, this book is not for you (you might want to try Packt's other Inkscape book, Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers if this is the case). The author jumps over the very basics (there are plenty of online tutorials for the basics) of Inkscape in favour of more advanced recipes.

The book features some very cool artwork created solely in Inkscape, and covers a lot of material, and as a prolific Inkscape user of several years I found hints and tips I hadn't come across before. The only chapter I found disappointing was chapter 9, 'Web Graphics Presentation' - it was too brief to be of any use to beginners, and too basic to be of use to more advanced readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville on 13 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The mooted incentive for using Inkscape, according to the text, is the migration of Web pages to HTML5 and a concomitant presumed emphasis on using Scalable Vector Graphics. Amusingly, one other incentive is the ability to write Flash-free web pages. Though I suspect many of you will agree that this is laudable indeed.

The 109 recipes are basically a grab bag of methods (call them kludges if you will) that the authors suspect new Inkscape users will need. The substructure within these 109 is the chapters. Each accomodates a topical grouping of recipes. Of the chapters, the first 2, on creating and editing objects and editing colours, are pretty basic. If you are indeed a newcomer, it is probably a good idea to understand these early methods fluently. These are mundane manipulations. Nothing really snazzy to see.

The fancy graphics effects start coming up later in the text. But aside from these, chapter 6 offers what are use cases, where others have programmed useful little extensions to Inkscape. Consider one, for the rendering of barcodes - one and two dimensional. The example is trivial to do. What is useful is that 10 barcode types are supported. So, for example, you could turn a URL into a QR code. Which may indeed have been how some of the QR posters that are starting to appear in various locations in American cities were made. Conceptually, there's nothing hard to understand. Just a lot of low level grubby algorithm details of how each barcode is defined. Just the sort of thing that a computer graphics program should do well.

Another example from chapter 6 draws cartesian and polar coordinate graphs. Engineering and science students can readily see how hardcopies are useful.

Both the above examples aren't really fancy graphics.
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Format: Paperback
First a warning: this is not a good book for learning Inkscape. Nor will it teach you the basics of vector illustration if you've never used vector drawing software before.

It is, as the title says, a cookbook with over one hundred recipes that cover all facets of vector illustration. This book, and those recipes, are targeted at the occasional Inkscape user and will help elevate you to a _master_ vector illustrator. If you're a pixel guy that just dabbles in vector, then this book is for you.

The first three chapters cover a lot of basic vector stuff like drawing shapes, fill and stroke, path editing, et cetera. They go fast and if you've never done any vector drawing before I expect you'll quickly become lost.

Then comes the meat. Ch 4 (clone) and Ch 5 (path effects) are by far the most useful and powerful recipes in the book. Clone and path effects are two critical building blocks to vector illustration mastery. I also found Ch 10 (graphics for the web) and Ch 11 (svg for the web) to be excellent. They present a number of practical recipes to bring vector illustrations to the web. Very practical stuff.

Lastly, as in any cookbook, the recipes themselves are fairly mechanical, and not at all creative. But I felt the authors did an amazing job of injecting some creative ideas for the reader wherever possible. They chose interesting examples, frequently presented multiple options, and always tried to open the reader's imagination in the "There's more..." section that typically conclude each recipe.

I'm giving it 5 stars for making me a better illustrator.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Web developer's delight 9 Jun. 2011
By jack96161 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been following, using, and supporting Inkscape for some years now as a web developer with an extreme interest in Open Source, standards, and have become active in the development and promotion of SVG. The Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook is a welcome addition to documentation of the newest Inkscape release.

Who is it for? Probably not the totally uninitiated with no basic background in SVG vs. bitmap graphics and no previous experience with computer graphics software in general... That said, the introductory chapters do provide the basics of Inkscape - enough to get most people started. It is, after all, a cookbook, not entirely geared to the rank amateur chef. For graphics designers, and especially web developers, it is a treasure trove of clear examples to be tried, which give a multitude of good ideas for using Inkscape in your daily work.

The authors use a technique I haven't seen before but applaud -- every example is given first as "How to do it" - a series of mechanical, step by step operations that demonstrate the desired example. If they had stopped there, the information would have been useful in its own right, but they go on to explain "How it works", explaining just how and why these sometimes difficult to fathom steps achieve the desired result. Too often, "how to" books leave out this step, leaving the reader with a specific solution to a specific task, but no understanding of how it works, and more to the point -- no understanding of how to use this technique in other similar but different cases. Furthermore, this is then extended with a "There's More" explanation expanding on the technique and example, suggesting other ways to use the same methods. Every example uses these three steps, and some add "See Also" references to other chapters of the book and sometimes external links to more information on the topic.

Although useful to graphics design in general, the chapters 10, 11, and 12 will be of extreme interest to web developers, especially chapter 11 on "SVG in websites". The information here is current, accurate, and valuable.

This is a book you wish had been made available in a spiral-bound notebook form so you could open it flat to an example and lay it beside your keyboard to follow along. It's definitely going into my most frequently referred to reference book shelf.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
i didn't know that all this is possible with Inscape 3 Aug. 2011
By Vela3 - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an experienced user of Inkscape I was amazed about the incredible depth of possibilities that still has been hidden for me so far. It's very pleasant that comparable steps are performed differently in other recipes. The reader gets to know all the 'roads to Rome'.

The recipes start from the very beginning of how to create objects and which object types are available. Followed by in depth color editing exploring the interesting results that can be obtained by gradient coloring methods. Instantly both the experienced and beginning reader will be able to create things they've never done before.
The third chapter is about speeding up your workflow, but they'd better called it: working with layers and guidelines. Nevertheless, very worthwhile to read.
From chapter four to chapter nine the reader learns everything about cloning, working with paths, extensions, filters, raster images and combining it all. The book ends with elaborate web image recipes and even coding your own extensions.

All good, but a book for graphical design needs more pictures. Also a good layout would make the book a better read. Unfortunately either the author or the publisher hid the good contents in an unappealing lay out, covered with a unhappy looking flower. When you buy the printed version you even have to be satisfied with grayscale images.

After all it's not the looks that count. The brave reader will dive into it and create the images him or herself. The variety of all the 109 recipes is incredible and touches all the interesting corners of this magnificent software.

The book does not leave anything of Inkscape veiled that I know of. The only thing I missed is some background of the Inkscape project. Who is writing this software and why is it for free? It's open source software, so there's always people and a story behind it.

Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook is a practical hands-on way to quickly learn Inkscape, even if you think you already know a lot about Inkscape. It's a good book, but it's difficult to fall in love with.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Seems good, but parts are missing (UPDATE: not anymore) 19 April 2012
By jimirings - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle version of this book a little while back. Several steps in many, if not all of, the "recipes" were missing when I downloaded it. For example:

How to use the text tool.
2. Select your favorite font family from the drop-down list in the Text toolbar. The example in this book uses is 'Doulos SIL.'
3. Increase the font size to 144 by selecting it from the Font Size (px) drop-down box.
5. Center the text using the center toolbar button.


After trying multiple ways to get it fixed with Amazon reps (who were very helpful), they eventually gave up. They allowed me to keep the book and refunded me in the form of a credit. Even so, the tell me that if the publisher sends them a corrected version that I'll get it. I hope that is the case because this appears to be a really useful little book.

I'm giving it three stars because I've still been able to glean some helpful information from it, but other parts are just completely useless. I'm sure it will be fantastic if I ever receive a corrected updated version. I'll also try to remember to update this review if that happens. No promises though...

UPDATE: The authors read this review and contacted me. They got me an updated version through Packt and assured me that Amazon had received the correct version. I contacted Amazon, they sent me the new version, and it is indeed correct. I'm really excited about diving back into this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Overall pleased, review from a simple user of this great program! 3 Jun. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
For the past few weeks, I have been trying out the "recipes" from the Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook. It guides you through using basic features of this open source drawing program as well as more complex applications for vector graphics. I've learned about many features that inspire creativity and ways to achieve more complex designs by combining what you learn regarding layers, editing colors, using the shape tools, manipulating text and cloning, to name a few. A number of illustrations are included to help you see what effects can be achieved for each graphic.

After stepping through the basics, they explain how each feature works and how you can expand your use of it. One of my favorite menus is the SVG Filters. There are many preset designs that allow you to create many fun, professional and unique design effects as well as customizing them for your projects.

My only critique- some directions aren't complete enough. For instance, on page 30 the directions for "text on a path" present simplified instructions which may get you through the upper text, however, people often ask how to reverse the direction of the text and the recipe is missing a few ingredients so it won't give the results illustrated without a few extra steps. Occasionally some directions didn't work for me like the Shift + R to reverse the path direction. Could be a bug or (gasp) user error.

Like any good cookbook, I've got some favorite recipes marked that I will use again and again. I would recommend this book for both the beginner and experienced user. There are many features that simplify the design process and help me share with others additional ways to work with this program through my blog.

I have been a long time fan of Inkscape and was delighted to review this book. I am in no way affiliated with the publishers or authors of this book, just a user of a great program available free to all!
Inkscape 0.48 Cookbook - Good book for intermediate/advanced users 13 Jun. 2011
By Mahesh K. Bhat - Published on
Format: Paperback
The subtitle of this book says '109 recipes to create scalable vector graphics with Inkscape'. I really did not count up the number of recipes in the book, but there seems to be that many spread across 12 chapters.

The book is very thorough and as can be seen from going over the table of contents, covers almost every nook and corner of Inskcape.

Though the book is intended for an audience of all levels of Inkscape expertise, in my opinion it is for intermediate to advanced level. Now there is nothing in the book that is actually hard for a beginner to understand. In fact, in some of the recipes, when it gets more complex, the book provides ample screenshots to help the reader. But in my opinion, just he amount of information provided in the book can be quite daunting. If an Inkscape beginner were to leaf through the book, they might be put off.

But for ones who have tested waters with Inkscape, or generally with vector illustration, this book is an invaluable reference for the current available version. Now, a person may not be needing everything mentioned in the book. In fact, for most of us who are using Inkscape at advanced level, we would only be using a sub-set of the features available with Inkscape. But this book would help us make sure that we know everything there is to know about the chosen subset of tools.

If you are a beginner to Inkscape or to vector graphics (or are thinking of suggesting this book to someone who is a beginner), then I would suggest you hold off on purchasing this book. Download Inkscape and install it, (it is not that hard), and doodle with it for a week or so. If you feel you are still interested in it, then go ahead and buy the book to see what Inkscape has to offer.

If you are an intermediate or advanced level of user, check the table of contents to see how much of the subset of tools it covers. The book is definitely worth buying and using it as your reference resource. The book will not make you more creative illustrator, but it will help you in applying your creative ideas.
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