Episode 060 – Live Envelope Effect

May 21st, 2008 by heathenx

Episode 060 is up. I demonstrate how to achieve a dirty live envelope effect by manipulating the nodes of two combined objects. It works pretty well with text and is supposed to be similar to Xara’s Mold Tool, although not as flexible.

I had been a little lax getting a new screencast out for the last couple of weeks due to studying a YouTube link that Don Waters sent us. Don, Richard, and I tried to figure out what edgarbasto19 was doing in the video but the quality was so terrible that we had a difficult time. I also tried contacting edgarbasto19 but since he’s from Columbia maybe there was a language barrier between us (or something). As far as I know he never did reply to me. Anyway, I think Don came to the rescue in the end. He figured out that magicical last step. Richard added his input as well. In the end I think I captured the best of what we came up with and I think that we simulated the effect correctly.

Are there other ways to do this? Is there a proper way? I tried using the new Live Path Effect in 0.46 to try and make the same thing. I can get close but still cannot achieve the same results. We had a discussion about this on the Inkscape forum (English) last year. Maybe now we can put this to good use. 🙂

Thanks for letting me screencast this guys.

10 Responses to “Episode 060 – Live Envelope Effect”

  1. eclipse Says:

    Yeap, a new time, you made a great tutorial.
    Can i suggest you to “write” shortcuts ? Sometimes i didn’t ear them correctly and i suppose many people feel this. Thanks 🙂

  2. Richard Querin Says:

    @eclipse – what do you mean by ‘writing’ shortcuts? Do you mean in text form in the blog post? Or during the screencast?

    When I do my screencasts (not often enough btw) I sometimes try to force myself to use the menus. I say ‘force’ because I normally use keyboard shortcuts whenever I can. I don’t always remember, but I think doing something the first time via the menus and subsequent times using the shortcut (if something is done several times during a screencast) then it gets people into the habit of doing it. I think it’s faster and a good skill to have.

    Of course your comment could mean something entirely different, and if so, disregard everything I just wrote. 🙂

  3. heathenx Says:


    I saw on an episode of Meet The Gimp where Rolf had some keys displayed at the bottom of the screen so that you could see his key combinations. I would love to have something like that if it worked well. I’ll contact Rolf and see what that package is called. Maybe it’s something Ubuntu already has.

  4. eclipse Says:

    The package is “gromit” but it’s difficult to use correctly.

    Just an advise
    You can, during the screencast, write on botton left, for example, the shortcut.
    You have another possibility. You can use Kino and then add or modify what you want (an image, a text, etc).

  5. eric Says:

    Hey HeathenX, just got around to #060 and if you want the video off youtube, here you go http://www.mybloop.com/heavensrevenge/Media/Vids/edgarbasto19_inkscape_video.mp4 It isn’t high quality by ANY means, but at least you may have a better overview of it in case you wanted to see the video much larger.

  6. heathenx Says:

    Thanks eric. I did the same thing. I downloaded the flv and ran it through a mencoder script to sharpen it a bit. Still, it was pretty lousy when I was finished. There’s not much one can do to make a bad video better. I downloaded your mp4 and it wasn’t much better but thanks for the effort. I appreciate it when people like yourself help me out a little. 🙂

  7. heathenx Says:


    I checked out gromit but unfortunately it’s not what I had in mind. Actually, I already have this functionality in compiz fusion.

    Anyway, you might be happy to know that I think I have found something that might help people like you. It’s a package called Key Status Monitor (http://programmer-art.org/projects/keystatus). I saw Rolf from Meet the Gimp use once in a screencast. I contacted Rolf and he helped me configure mine. I’m going to use if on my next screencast. If people like it, I’ll leave it. If not then I’ll dump it. With it you’ll be able to see which mouse keys and keyboard buttons that I’m using.

  8. HeavensRevenge Says:

    Awesome, I’d say knowing what keystrokes are used visually instead of assuming we know, will make some of the newby listeners, and YOUR effort basically eliminated in that area of keystroke iteration. Hope it works out fine (in a podcast sooner than last) 😉

  9. John Says:

    After literally banging my head on my keyboard trying to learn BASIC inkscape to design a logo for my business, I was happy to find your episode 60. This was exactly what |I was trying to do with my logo. Got to the combine step and the rectangle turns jet black, cant see any nodes. Fiddling around only makes it worse. What am I doing wrong? Why is inkscape SOOOOOOOOOOOOO user UNfriendly?

  10. heathenx Says:

    Well, I wouldn’t say Inkscape is user un-friendly as much as I would say it isn’t as feature rich as some others. Why don’t you head over to the contacts page and send us an email of what you are trying to do? I’m sure we can help. Most of these tutorials are showing their age. Perhaps things don’t quite work the same anymore. Besides, maybe there are other ways to do what you want. Send us some png’s or svg’s so we can see what you are trying to do.