Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook review

As the title might suggest, this book is a cookbook about Inkscape version 0.48 written for illustrators. This book is published by Packt Publishing and falls in the categories: open-source, graphics, illustration, SVG and is one of Packt’s cookbook series.

As a fellow Inkscape-newbie and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) enthusiast I will be reviewing this book.

What`s the book about?

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor with features comparable to expensive software like  Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and ColorDraw. Inkscape uses the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics file format. SVG can also be used on webpages and is fully incorporated into HTML 5 and is therefore a drawing technology of the near-future.

Inkscape can be downloaded from inkscape.org 

Who is this book written for?

This book is written for people without experience with vector graphics design software and can also be used for people new to vector graphics (while moving away from Photoshop) and people who want to learn Inkscape.

This book is also for the intermediate users who want to improve their toolkit and increase their workflow.

To use this book you have to have Inkscape 0.48 installed as well as a text editor with programming functions. An installed version of Python is also recommended but not necessary.

Windows users could also use PortableApps.com version of Inkscape.

Continue reading “Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook review”

Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor with an intuitive user interface that has enough depth to make quality graphic designs with an attractive layout comparable to what you would make using Illustrator or CorelDraw. But choosing the right tool and the best approach to creating the desired effect can be challenging. Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook makes it super-easy for you to make your own vector-based graphics with the powerful Inkscape editor.

Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook provides you with the latest recipes to quickly create scalable vector graphics. Recipes in this book teach you about some of the most useful time-saving features in Inkscape accompanied by a list of keyboard shortcuts that you can easily memorize. In addition to covering use of Inkscape tools and their advanced features, examples from the recipes uncover solutions to common graphics problems.

The book starts off with familiarizing you with the tools and techniques in Inkscape that you can use to draw 2D shapes, calligraphic shapes, and 3D boxes easily. It then guides you through the most common color-changing steps performed in Inkscape along with some convenient procedures that can save your time when dealing with colors. It explains drawing using linear and radial gradients, which are irreplaceable, usage of clones to create interesting effects in illustrations, and live-path effects that can help you speed up constructing a shape and make the process more natural. You will learn how to make those tweaks on some of the ready-made filters, and in the final recipe we will create a filter from scratch. This practical book also contains recipes showing how to use Inkscape as a raster editor and how to achieve photo-realistic effects in Inkscape. For each important technique and skill, you’ll see some simple recipes, then some more advanced recipes followed by an explanation of how Inkscape works to produce the desired effects in your illustrations.

By the end of this book you will be confident enough to create your own vector-based graphics with Inkscape.

Get solutions to common graphic problems to achieve photo-realistic effects with Inkscape

What you will learn from this book :

  • Introduce you to the fascinating world of two-dimensional, calligraphic, and three-dimensional objects, using the Inkscape’s powerful tools
  • Assist you in adjusting color using hue, brightness, saturation, and stroke width, until you find the perfect look and feel
  • Guide you in recreating iconic images from cult movies, with the help of gradient colors and complex vector shapes
  • Leverage Inkscape 0.48’s advanced path editing tools and techniques, producing great looking text and beautiful drawings
  • Help you produce professional looking posters, calendars, and wallpapers, packaging them so you can print or share them on the Internet
  • Illustrate the spectacular, and often surprising, effects of the many extensions and image filters found in version 0.48
  • Teach you to develop a standards-compliant and gorgeous looking Web 2.0 site layout, complete with widgets and buttons
  • Help you design and build your very own HTML5 and AJAX powered web games, presentations, and business applications, using JQuery powered SVG animation
  • Aid you in extending Inkscape by writing your own plugins in the Python programming language

For more information, visit www.packtpub.com/inkscape-048-illustrators-cookbook/book

The definitive guide to HTML5 book review

One of the new elements in HTML5 is the video element and it`s Javascript API.
With HTML5 video you can easily embed videos into your page, without the need for external plugins like Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight or Apple QuickTime. Another benefit is that it`s natively integrated into the web browser which allows Javascript to take full control of this element. This means video transformations and image analysis is also possible, along with creating your own start/stop controls.
Along the video element this book also explains the audio element and it`s Javascript API.

The book is targeted at web designers and programmers with basic experience in HTML (5)  and Javascript. SVG experience is useful but not required.

I have been offered the chance to review this book by Apress.

I’m Ramon van Belzen, a 22 year old webdesigner from Vlissingen, the Netherlands. I’m surfing the web since 1997 and I`ve been programming HTML since 1998. Today I use web technologies like HTML 4, HTML 5, XHTML 1.1, CSS2 / 3, JavaScript, AJAX, jQuery, PHP/MySQL, XML. I currently run over 10 websites, most of them as webmaster and webdesigner.

The book promises to explain what you can and cannot do with the HTML5 video element. By reading this book you will learn how to integrate video in all the major browsers, the different codecs, creating your own controls and using the Javascript video API. It also teaches you how to integrate video with  the canvas element, SVG, CSS and web workers.

This book fits in the same series as the following books:

The first three chapters of the book explain the basics of implementing video in your page.
The following four chapter explain how to integrate the media elements with other technologies like SVG, Canvas, Javascript and Web Workers.
The final four chapters  are more advanced and explain more experimental techniques like reading and manipulating audio, accessibility and the future.

The first chapter tells you about the history and origin of the video element. Later on the basics of codecs is explained. Finally a short sum-up of the major browsers current supported codecs and sites who use these codecs is described.
This chapter also contains a lot of footnotes to sites where you can find more information about statements and the discussion which led to the HTML5 specifications.

Chapter two starts with the basics of implementing video  and the basic attributes like autoplay. Further on the same is done for the audio element. Next up is a simple Javascript to test the browsers codec support. Paragraph 2.2 ends with how-to encode files to HTML5 video and audio codecs. Also HTTP streaming is explained and implementation examples are given. The last paragraph explains the user interface and finally a short summary of the chapter is given.

The third chapter explains how to style the video element with  CSS 3. What more can I say about it?

The next chapter (four) explains the use of Javascript in combination with the video element. It contains things like timing, stretching, error reports, events (like start, stop) and ends with creating your own start/stop buttons.

The fifth chapter is about integrating Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and video. The chapter starts with the basics of SVG and examples how to merge these two techniques. Next is using more advanced techniques like using a graphic to control the video, using gradients, patterns and effects like blur. Also SVG animations in combination with a video element is described. The chapter ends with reflections and video edge detection.

Following chapter explains how to use HTML5 media in combination with the canvas element. With the canvas API it`s possible to draw bitmaps of video frames within HTML5 and create video effects. It`s even possible to emulate green screen effects (to change the background). Together with CSS3 styling you can make strange effects like 3D  and add gradients and text with video as filling. The chapter  ends with creating simple animations.

Video editing is CPU-heavy. With HTML5`s web worker API it`s possible to split these Javascript codes into small workers which can use multi-threading and afterwards combine the work. How to do this and some benchmarks are explained in this chapter. Examples include converting to sepia colors, motion detection, region segmentation and face detection (actually skin color detection).

The HTML5 Audio API is chapter eights content. It starts with extraction of audio samples and basic information functions. Next is displaying waveforms using the canvas element. Also audio spectrum graphic rendering using FFT is explained. With the HTML5 Audio API it`s also possible to render tones with Javascript. Paragraph 3 explains how to use the filter graph API, which contains audio effects like gain, delay, filtering, panning, convolutions (impulse responses like reverbs), channel split/merge and a real-time analyzer.

Chapter nine is about accessibility and internationalization. The chapter starts with the theoretical part behind this. The second paragraph explains how to create interactive transcripts using HTML. The next paragraph demonstrates and explains how to use synchronized text using WebSRT.

The final chapter – number ten – explains the use of audio and video using the device element. This chapter also uses the Stream,WebSockets and ConnectionPeer APIs. The chapter ends with a simple two-user video conversation.

The book ends with a summary and outlook of what to expect, like the Metadata and Quality of Service API`s.

The book promises to teach you everything about HTML5 and it does. It’s so complete that I cannot think of anything I want to do with HTML5 video which is not mentioned. It teaches you how to make your own players, synchronize multiple videos and implement video effects.
There is no other book out there (at this moment) which goes so into detail when it comes to HTML5 video.

After reading this book I didn`t have any questions.

Everything demonstrated in the book is shown with multiple browsers (five) and mentions if it works or not – and if not how to create a workaround.

What I liked very much about the book is that it contains loads of screenshots, one for every function, which demonstrates how the function looks in different browsers.
What I also liked is the amount of footnotes. Whenever you want to learn more about a certain code or information, just visit the link in the footnote.

What I disliked about the book is that the Javascript programming sometimes goes a bit too fast and to deep, but this might be user depended. I have to admit that I’m not a Javascript programming wonder.

The book covers everything I wanted to know about HTML5 video and more.

If I had the chance to improve  the book I would explain the Javascript code more.

I can recommend this book to everybody who wants to dive into the world of HTML5 video or who wants to replace other third party video systems like Flash and who wants to make the switch to HTML5.

More information about this book can be found at www.apress.com/book/view/1430230908
The product page also contain links to a sample and a link to buy the book – either as printed version or eBook.

Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers review

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor just like Adobe Illustrator and contains features comparable to Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and ColorDraw. Inkscape uses the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics file format. SVG can also be used on webpages and is fully incorporated into HTML 5 and is therefore a drawing technology of the near-future.
Inkscape can be downloaded from inkscape.org

Continue reading “Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers review”

Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers

As I told you in SVG drawings I started to make SVG drawings in Inkscape.
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor application, which has capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features such as markers, clones, alpha blending etc, and enables users to edit nodes, perform complex path operations and trace bitmaps easily.

This month I will be reviewing the book Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers by Packt Open Source.

More information in the press release below;

Packt is pleased to announce Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers, a new book that will assist readers to use the fascinating Inkscape graphics editor to create attractive layout designs, images and icons for their website. Written by Bethany Hiitola, this book will teach readers to create their own Inkscape templates in addition to using the built-in ones.

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor application, which has capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features such as markers, clones, alpha blending etc, and enables users to edit nodes, perform complex path operations and trace bitmaps easily.

Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers book starts off with an introduction to the basics of Inkscape and then walks readers through the implementation of each of these features in their websites.  Additionally, this book will teach users to create web page and desktop wallpapers with swirling designs, incorporate icons and interactive maps on their website, style and graphically manipulate text, and enhance their web pages using flowcharts, diagrams and site maps.

Using this book, web designers will learn to add illustrative and web-ready diagrams, maps and designs to their website, import and manipulate images for their web page, tips and tricks for “tracing” bitmap images to convert them into full vector graphics for both photographs and logos, and to create simple and effective animated GIFs for their web page with GIMP.

Written in a clear conversational style, and packed with illustrations and easy-to-follow examples, this book is ideal for web designers, who wish to add attractive visual elements to their website. The book is out now and available from Packt. To read more about it, please visit:
www.packtpub.com/inkscape-0-48-essentials-for-web-designers/book