Cat Deco (and Inkscape Triumph!)

sarah cat transparency

I put up the pencil sketch of this a few months ago – it’s the tattoo design I made for my friend Sarah.

I’ve now had a chance to tidy it up on GIMP and convert it to a vector in Inkscape. I finally figured out how! It takes much longer than drawing the initial image but I guess you could write a script to do it? Is it easier in Photoshop/Illustrator or are all graphic artists just masochists?

Inkscape and GIMP are free to use though, thanks to their energetic developer communities, so I’m not complaining. I enjoy the bracing intellectual challenge of figuring out how to get them to work.

I’ll list it here in case I forget, or it helps anyone else.

  1. Scan sketch into GIMP as .jpeg or .png.
  2. Go to “mode” and select “Greyscale”
  3. Adjust the “brightness/contrast “so that the imperfections in the paper are not so visible and the lines are as dark as possible
  4. Use “threshold” to adjust the image so it becomes just black and white with no grey.
  5. “Select by colour” and click on a bit of black
  6. Copy
  7. Open new image, “advanced options”, select “transparent background”
  8. Paste into new image
  9. You should have a block outline of your sketch on an transparency.
  10. “Export to”  from GIMP as a .PNG with a transparent background (and uncheck the “background” box). Make sure you change the extension as well as the file type.
  11. Start Inkscape
  12. Open your .png image into Inkscape. Check the “embed” box.
  13. “Select all layers”
  14. Go to “Path” then “Bitmap trace”
  15. The right hand panel should show a thumbnail of your picture. If not then you’ve done something wrong with the transparency.
  16. click “2” for “Colours” (you’ve only got black and white)
  17. click “OK”
  18. Wait for a while, depending on how complex your image is and how slow your computer is.
  19. Then you have to save it back as a .PNG again (it wants to be an .SVG) before WordPress will upload it.

But anyhow, this is now a resizeable image. So theoretically I could make a giant stencil and spraypaint it on the wall of my house. Yippee!

birch transparency vector

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s