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Getting Started with Inkscape

Apr 08, 2010, 11:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joshua Price)

"Most images on the web such as JPG, PNG, and GIF are raster images – grids of pixels that each hold a color value. Raster images are great for photos of real people and events, but they have drawbacks. When you scale a raster image up or down in size, you’re losing data and/or clarity in the image. Color intensity can also be lost in conversions and compression, leaving you with a mangled version of what you once wanted. A great alternative for many situations is to use vector graphics. Inkscape is a powerful free vector drawing program for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and this guide will get you started with using it to create your own smooth, colorful, scalable graphics.

"Advantages of Vector Graphics

"With vector graphics, you don’t have a grid of pixels, you have a bunch of independent shapes. Each shape can be moved, squeezed or colored at will. Since it relies on shapes instead of individual pixels, vector graphics look more “cartoony” than their raster counterparts. Because of this, vector is generally inappropriate for photorealism, but extremely well suited to things like icons, web comics, and wallpapers. Compared to raster graphics, many find that you get far more speed and flexibility when creating and editing vector graphics, and individual elements can be much more easily managed. The following images are the type of things you could expect to accomplish when drawing with vector graphics."

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