My Inkscape and Gimp Workflow

© Mvogel

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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March 22, 2015


Very helpful- thank you

July 07, 2014


Hello, you said "When saving as an EPS make sure that Rasterize Filter Effects is checked" - If I'm thinking correct, you shouldn't do that since any rasterized part in the EPS file will get it rejected.
Best wishes, Julie

May 12, 2012


just asking when I create something in INKSCAPE it is vectorize or the sides looks really smooth. but when I save it as PNG and open it with GIMP it become PIXELIZE. Is it really like that?

March 12, 2012


Just to tell you that GIMP opens svg file too. I usually create svg file with inkscape....after I open svg fine with GIMP and save it as png first and after as jpeg.

February 26, 2012


I also am learning to use gimp and inkscape, still need patience to get it over with
nice info :)

February 22, 2012


Great info, It is exactly as I do it, exept for the 1600x1200 part (I guess you are talking about mm(?). I usually make it A1 size and change orientation. Any image bigger will cause innability uploading it because of the size.
Didn't knew about the blanck page trick, maybe i'll try it on a file i'm struggling with.

February 21, 2012


Thank you for sharing and giving a insight into your work flow ( and way of working),I find illustration a very interesting area,but have little knowledge about vectors and all the technical side (little patient I guess). Also I think illustration can give much more freedom in your work.Keep your good work and thanks for your post.

February 21, 2012


Ooh nice!

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