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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£27.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 19 July 2011
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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on 13 May 2011
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. Another chapter actually goes deeper into SVG methods. Here, there are more steps, and each tends to be more involved. Some readers might wish that the book had colour plates, to better illustrate some of the example images. But cost considerations made this unrealistic.
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on 23 May 2011
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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on 23 April 2016
Yes. I am a fan of Inkscape and any tips I can get and any instructions that I can get and use - well, I get enthusiastic.
Some of the Inkscape features would make you crawl up a wall backwards, tap dance on the ceiling, and somersault into a bowl of chilies because the features are so unfriendly. Try doing hatching in a rectangle and you'll experience the pain of childbirth.
Why 0.48 though? Can I get an upgrade?
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