I’ve been playing around with Inkscape, a graphical editing program. That’s a clunky description, I realize, but there are about five hundred and twenty-three different applications that “manipulate images,” and it seems each does something slightly different than the rest. None can be described in three words.

Anyway, Inkscape lets you draw vector-based graphics, which means when you draw a line, the program remembers the beginning and endpoint of the line, and what you did with it, so after drawing twenty other lines, you can go back to the first one and make just that one a different color. Or shift its position slightly. Or whatever.

It’s also free and open-source. This attracted me, since I have a paranoid suspicion that the maker of any closed-source application I use will die out sooner rather than later, and open-source applications at least have a better chance of survival and continued support, improvements, bug fixes, etc.

Anyway, so I’ve been playing around with it. I have no pretty self-made graphics to share, sadly, as I appear to be a slow, detail-oriented artist. I like building up complex scenes rather than dashing off a quick logo. I’m working on an SF scene with mecha and futuristic buildings, which will probably look terrible but will at least teach me Inkscape.

I do have a before-and-after graphic to show, though, since one of the reasons I downloaded Inkscape was to try my hand at “vectoring” an image into a wallpaper. What does “vectoring” mean? Well, a lot of images would make lovely desktop wallpapers, but are grainy or otherwise low in quality. One cleaning method involves tracing vector lines on top of the grainy lines, using a program like Inkscape.

I have an image like that, from Bokura ga Ita (Akitaroh Daichi‘s latest, a high school romantic comedy). I may never finish it, since it is quite a bit of work, but in any event I wanted to show you an example of the process, before and after.




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