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wyvern
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 3:59 pm    Post subject: Vector Illustration Tools Reply with quote

Does anybody know of any good (preferably open source) vector illustration tools for Linux? I've been trying to find worthy replacements for Macromedia Fireworks and Xara X and found little that measures up. Gimp may be Linux's Photoshop, but it doesn't look like anybody's stepped up to the plate as far as vector illustration goes. :x

I've tried...
Sodipodi - Looking good, but too unfinished. Lacks too many features at this point.
Xfig - Showing its age, though still very powerful. Feels more like a CAD than a drawing tool.

There's also Coreldraw, but I've never been a fan of the Corel packages and 200$+ is too rich for my blood. If only I could get Xara X to work properly in Wine I'd be a very happy man. :?
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d3c3it
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ditto im looking for an illustrator replacement but cant find anything.
anyone?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Vector Illustration Tools Reply with quote

wyvern wrote:
Sodipodi - Looking good, but too unfinished. Lacks too many features at this point.

I think it's very good but quite unstable. What features are you missing?

There is also Sketch which is more mature and seems to be have been inspired by Corel Draw. But I think sodipodi is more fun.

KOffice is working on Karbon14, I dont know what happened to KIllustrator/Kontour
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wyvern
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, let me give you an example.

I created this (very) minimalist wallpaper in less than 5 minutes using Xara X, a program that I'm only now starting to get familiar with.

I then tried to make the same wallpaper using Sodipodi, and encountered the following obstacles:
  • No Grid or snap to grid
  • No union/crop/intersect of objects
  • No drop shadow
These are common operations. :x Both Fireworks and Xara X have them, and I wouldn't be surprised if Illustrator and others had them too.

I don't like Sketch, it's even less full-featured than Sodipodi (but at least has snap to grid, though it doesn't show the grid which makes things confusing).

If I knew more about programming I would pitch in and try and make Sodipodi everything it could be. But for now I'm going to continue dual-booting and hope that the future will either bring SodiPodi to its full potential or bring fast, full-featured and intuitive tools like Xara X to Linux. :?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I then tried to make the same wallpaper using Sodipodi, and encountered the following obstacles:
  • No Grid or snap to grid
  • No union/crop/intersect of objects
  • No drop shadow

  • It does have grid / snap to grid. It is found under Dialogs->Editing Window
  • No, although you can combine paths and get hollow objects
  • A proper drop shadow needs to be fuzzy, how would a vector drawing program accomplish that? Better to use Gimp.

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wyvern
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

[li]
[*] It does have grid / snap to grid. It is found under Dialogs->Editing Window
[*] No, although you can combine paths and get hollow objects
[*] A proper drop shadow needs to be fuzzy, how would a vector drawing program accomplish that? Better to use Gimp.[/li]


My apologies, I missed that. Though I wonder why I can specify a snap distance in pixels but can't specify a grid spacing in pixels.

I would really like the ability to crop/intersect/union. It allows you to do operations like cut the points off a square with a circle, for example.

As for drop shadows, well, Illustrator/Fireworks/Xara X are vector drawing programs and they do it. It's true that it's not strictly a vector operation, but neither are operations like glow, bevel, emboss, etc... but most modern illustration tools do it.

My main point is there are no tools out there (yet) that can do what most Windows illustration tools can do. This is in marked contrast to Gimp, which does an excellent job of providing the same level of functionality that Photoshop does.



[/quote]
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wyvern wrote:
As for drop shadows, well, Illustrator/Fireworks/Xara X are vector drawing programs and they do it. It's true that it's not strictly a vector operation, but neither are operations like glow, bevel, emboss, etc... but most modern illustration tools do it.

I think that's mostly bloat. If you go down that road you will end up with something that does 3D, animation, morphing, mimics oil-painting and makes coffee. Sodipodi is based on SVG which ensures that I can use the drawings I make today in ten years time. Can you say that for Xara X?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wyvern wrote:

Though I wonder why I can specify a snap distance in pixels but can't specify a grid spacing in pixels.

It wouldn't make sense. Pixel distances depend on the zoom level. You don't want the grid size to change when you zoom.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey thanks man Sodipodi looks like what i exactly want take alook at this screenshot
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/d3c3it/isconnected/gfx/content/screenshots/lg_13_06_2003_gentoo.png
see the background stylised trace thing, well thats a pic of my girlfriend, but thats all i want from a vector program to be able to draw paths and color and sodipodi looks the trick so thanks again:)
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wyvern
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I think that's mostly bloat. If you go down that road you will end up with something that does 3D, animation, morphing, mimics oil-painting and makes coffee. Sodipodi is based on SVG which ensures that I can use the drawings I make today in ten years time. Can you say that for Xara X?


Not really. But it can export to TIFF, PNG, EPS and a variety of other formats. Once I'm done making an image or illustration, I usually don't plan on going back in 10 years to change it. In any case I'm not going to shape my artistic impulse to fit a file format.

Xara X is not 'bloatware', it's lightning fast compared to other programs like Adobe Illustrator. I was made aware of this program by the creator of Gentoo Linux (Daniel Robbins) who wrote this about it:

Quote:
an excellent vector drawing package for Windows. With virtually no bloat and blazing speed, it has my personal recommendation.


I agree with his assessment. It is the best drawing program I have ever come across and I sincerely hope it either gets ported or someone figures out how to run it in WINE. It doesn't do coffee, though. Pity.

I'm not trying to bash Sodipodi. It's like with programming. I could program with a full-fledged IDE like KDevelop, use a simpler tool like Bluefish or just use gvim or emacs. The point is, I have a choice as to the complexity of my programming environment. I want that same choice with my illustration tools.

Quote:
It wouldn't make sense. Pixel distances depend on the zoom level. You don't want the grid size to change when you zoom.


Actually I do. Every drawing tool I use has this ability. I find it useful to guage the depth of 'zoom'. With web images it's particularly important to know the dimensions of things in pixels.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care about special effects, but what I think Sodipodi lacks the most is a simple way to make lines with variable thickness. But there is probably no good way to represent that in the SVG format.

I also found Gestalter. It seems very simple, but from the screenshots it looks like it has the set operations (union, intersection ...) that wyvern wanted.
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wyvern
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks far for the link! Gestalter does indeed look more promising, I will download it and give it a whirl. I :)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an ebuild for Sodipodi 0.32 now.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My biggest problem is that I can't edit EPS files. Generally I only need to do very simple things like add text annotations or arrows. Does anyone know of a linux package that can import and export EPS without 'unvectorising' them?

Cheers,

Alex
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

media-gfx/pstoedit can (if you are lucky) convert your eps to a several different formats
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could also try running Illustrator under Wine to see if it works. I run Painter Classic, OpenCanvas, Photoshop and EasyToon this way. But Sodipodi has fulfilled all my vector needs so far.

There are also a couple of vector packges that come with KDE's KOffice but I can't say if they're any good or not.

Edit: I guess there aren't a couple. They've just renamed Kontour to Karbon14.
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