This section covers information regarding how to assess and deal with your vector images prior to importing them into your book pages. The actual importation procedure is covered in Step 05 BOOK LAYOUT
WHAT TO DO:
Existing Vector Images you already have Saved
You may already have some PDF or SVG vector images saved to use for book pages. These will be ready to import straight in. The size does not matter as a vector file can be enlarged or reduced without incident, due to the format type. File all your vector images in the IMAGES folder, ready for importation.
How is a Vector Graphic created?
A vector drawing or graphic is created through a sequence of commands and mathematical statements that place lines and shapes into a two or three dimensional space. A graphic can have multiple layers, colours and effects if desired. Vectors are created from curved and straight lines which feature a series of editable nodes. As a vector graphic is not made up of pixels like a raster image, it can be resized larger without losing clarity.
Doing your Own Vector Graphics
If you are doing your own vector artwork whether for your cover or internal pages, it is recommended to start with your page size the same as your finished book size. That way, all line thicknesses and graphics will appear as they are created. Outlines DO need to be a minimum thickness so as not to disappear in the printing process. Printers usually specify the thinnest line they can print. For smaller publications work on around 3 pixels or 1mm wide. This setting can be changed or adjusted in the vector program. Also certain fonts can be challenging went printed extremely small so go carefully when selecting your font styles.
Drawing and Creating Graphics in Inkscape
Drawing by hand in Inkscape IS possible but is recommended only for simple vector graphics or illustrations. For drawings such as cartoons and simple reliefs it is more efficient to do as a hand drawn illustration and then edit in Inkscape where required. It just depends on the kind of finished product you want and how much time you have to invest. You need to be pretty familiar with Inkscape before you start drawing graphics freehand, but it’s a lot of fun and you can create some very professional looking artwork using method, skill and creativity.
For example, look at the vector graphic featured here of the pupil of an eye. This was created quite easily in Inkscape
You’ll notice that it looks very realistic and although you might think this effect is impossible for you to achieve as a beginner, look at the few simple shapes featured below that make up the whole complete graphic.
The shapes have been manipulated with certain effects and then overlaid on one another in a certain order to form the finished artwork. With hands on Inkscape experience and some simple tutorials you can be creating graphics and effects like this in no time.
There are Tutorials available here and on the Inkscape website. The latter WILL blow your mind.
Creating Vector Graphics is covered in Step 05 BOOK LAYOUT
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