My Inkscape and Gimp Workflow
I have been working with Inkscape and Gimp on Linux and MacOS X for several years now and have developed a basic work flow that works well for me and creates images suitable for submission to DT. There may be other ways to achieve the same results but this is what works for me. I hope this helps anyone trying to get into use Inkscape and Gimp for creating vector illustrations for DT submission. While I do both photography and vector illustrations I find that I prefer to spend most of my time creating illustrations vice taking pictures. My acceptance ratio on illustrations is much higher than with my photographs.
1. I start Inkscape and open a new file desktop_1600x1200. This was recommended to me a couple of years ago as a good size for DT submission. Once I open the document I can change it to 1200x1600 in the document properties if I want a different orientation. In the document properties I also turn on Border on Top to make it easier to see what I am working with.
2. I make my masterpiece. More to follow in subsequent blogs on this process and some tricks I have learned on the way.
3. I always make sure to put a white background that covers the page behind my image if there are areas with no color. By default Inkscape makes areas with no color transparent and will cause issues later in the process.
4. I save my working files as Inkscape SVG files.
5. Since Inkscape will not save files as a native JPG file I use the Export Bitmap function in the File menu to save the file as a PNG file. Be sure to select the page as the Export Area or you will get all of the parts of your illustration hanging off the edges. Set the DPI to 300.
6. I also Save As an EPS file at this point so that I can upload the Additional Format to DT. Most of the time the EPS file created by Inkscape looks great but every once in a while there will be some issues. Be sure to check the file before you upload it. Also sometimes DT rejects my EPS file and I am not sure why. One of these days when I am not so busy I mean in investigate. When saving as an EPS make sure that Rasterize Filter Effects is checked, set the DPI to 300, and make sure that Export area is Page is checked.
7. I take the PNG file I made previously and open it in GIMP. After checking the image for any issues I save as a JPG and upload to DT.
8. Once the image is submitted to DT I edit the submission and add the EPS file as an additional format.
I hope this helps.
I plan on making some more blog posts in the near future on some of the tricks that I have learned.
Photo credits: Mvogel.
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