About Us

We are the Screencasters at heathenx.org.

The creators of the Screencasters honed their skills through the frequent use of cassette recorders from the late 70’s as little kids. Yes, we’re that old. With these recorders we pretended to be journalists and sportscasters, and better yet, we were able to capture the voices of our big sister’s hottie friends without them knowing it. We had to wait until the 80’s before we could get our grubby little hands on a computer. If any of you have seen the movie War Games then you’ll know that we didn’t have much for computers back then…other than being able to hack into NORAD’s mainframe, which EVERYBODY with a computer did back then. It was fun for 5 minutes…then we’d get bored and head outdoors to play wiffleball.

Fast forward a few decades to present day. Here we are again, abandoning the cassette recorder for a brand new medium…screencasting. But at least we’re still using our same computers from the 80’s…a Tandy TRS-80 and a Commodore Vic-20. Just kidding. Are you still reading this? Seriously though, our computers nowadays are fairly fast. Recording our desktop is a great way for us to make tutorials for online learning.

The goal of Screencasters.heathenx.org is to provide a means, through a simple website, of allowing new users in the Inkscape community to watch some basic and intermediate tutorials by the authors of this website. We feel that through a screencast we can better convey the steps required to recreate our graphics or perhaps just provide a little inspiration.

The wonderful developers of Inkscape have allowed for its users to install the application on all three of the major operating systems: Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. This allows us the flexibility to use Inkscape where it is needed. We will not show bias toward any one operating system (even though we are both Linux enthusiasts). Each of them have their pros and cons. Our emphasis, rather, will be on Inkscape itself.

We hope that you enjoy our tutorials. The creators of this website are not in the graphics arts field nor are we professionals in audio and video. We are hobbyists. We love using free and open source software to produce our screencasts. In the future we hope to produce better videos as we gain experience. That might take years though. Until then you’ll have to put up with the odd audio crackle, the occasional video glitch, and now and again one of our kids jumping up and down in the background while daddy is recording.

Screencast Licensing

Our screencast videos are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This means we encourage you to share and/or remix the work as long as you give us credit for the original work, use it for non-commercial purposes, and attach a similar license to any remixed or altered work you may derive from it. Pretty simple.

Screencast Formats

Our screencasts are provided in two formats: OGV and FLV. We have switched our primary format from H.264/MP3 (AVI) to Theora/Vorbis (OGV) in July of 2009. This was done to coincide with the release of Firefox 3.5, which allowed for online playback of Theora videos using the newly implemented HTML5 video tag. We understood that not all browsers would have the capability of playing Theora files so we had to rely on a Flash fallback. In other words, the viewer will either get Theora or Flash as the streaming video type depending on your browser. Obviously, you will need a Flash plug-in installed for your browser if you are not using Firefox 3.5 in order to view videos in this format. If you are able to watch videos on YouTube then you will most likely be able to watch our videos. The viewer also has the choice of downloading our OGV videos for offline viewing.

There are many media players available that allow Theora/Vorbis playback. We recommend using VLC which is a cross-platform media player. As far as we know all of our videos, no matter the format, play well on all of our computers (Linux and Windows) using VLC. Since Richard and I are not Mac users we can only hope that everything works accordingly on that platform.

Inkscape

A little about the free and open source software that we use.

Here is a snippet from the Inkscape website:

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

Inkscape’s main goal is to create a powerful and convenient drawing tool fully compliant with XML, SVG, and CSS standards. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development