Episode 015

Episode 015 – Perspective

by Richard Querin

A screencast demonstrating how to use the perspective effect in Inkscape.

[UPDATE: Kudos to Don Waters for pointing out the fact that in Inkscape 0.46, you have to choose the shape to be transformed first and then the perspective path shape – the opposite of 0.45 it seems.]

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24 Responses to “Episode 015”

  1. Don W. Says:

    To use this in release 0.46 on Vista, select the OBJECT first then the perspective shape. Just the reverse of release 0.45.

  2. BobSongs Says:

    Yeah. The same goes for Ubuntu Linux (currently using Hardy Heron, release 8.04) with Inkscape 0.46 – released April 7, 2008):

    Select the text that has been converted to a path (Shift + Ctrl + C) first then the perspective shape.

  3. NaWer Says:

    (first, I really appreciate all of your screencasts 😉
    A little thing on Ubuntu (8.04), python-lxml and python-numpy must be installed for using perspective tool. (and mirror tool next the effect)

  4. heathenx Says:


    Yes, that is true. Usually, when I install Inkscape for the first time I pay close attention to the recommended and suggested packages that apt provides in the terminal. I don’t think you see any of that if you use Synaptic instead. 😉

  5. NaWer Says:

    inkscape is preinstalled on Ubuntu, so can’t pay close attention 😉
    Anyway, thanks for the tip. I’m going to uninstall and reinstall inkscape to see suggested deb because a lot of effects use python libs. I don’t want to install it one per one…

  6. heathenx Says:

    Inkscape isn’t pre-installed by default on Ubuntu. I don’t think it ever has been. Maybe I’m confused but I just installed Ubuntu 8.04.1 in a VM yesterday and it wasn’t there. I had to install it manually like I always do. Same goes for all of 4 of my other Ubuntu computers. Am I missing something, NaWer?

  7. NaWer Says:

    no, I’m wrong sorry, I use the DVD iso…

  8. BobSongs Says:

    The standard Ubuntu installation: Inkscape is not pre-installed. GIMP does come pre-installed. But there are many different Ubuntu distros by now. If you’re using Ubuntu Ultimate (ultimatedition.info) it’s probably installed. That edition comes on a 1.4 Gb setup disc.

    I’m anxious to try the new 2.6 GIMP. Apparently they worked out a number of bugs. Editing with GIMP isn’t destructive any more. I’ll be compiling it under Ubuntu later this evening. (It does require some obscure, non-Ubuntu parts.

  9. Richard Querin Says:

    @BobSongs – If you want to skip the building part of that, there are debs already available for it (i’ve got it installed here and it works just great btw). You can find some good info and a link to an archive of the required debs over at: http://meetthegimp.org/gimp-26-as-promised-released-on-september-31/

  10. BobSongs Says:

    Thank you, Richard!

    I am a humble Linux user. Well, rather: a humbled Linux user. It seems like it doesn’t take much to become a Windows guru. But facing the mountain of knowledge that encompasses Linux has truly made me realize how little one needs to know to master Windows.

    I thank you for the .debs reference. I’ll be downloading momentarily. But I just wanted to say you probably spared me 4 hours of getting gegl and babl properly installed. I tend to fear “dependency hell”, as it’s so quaintly called.


  11. heathenx Says:


    I think you hit the nail on the head regarding mastering Windows. Maybe that is what makes Windows appealing to some people. Unfortunately, Microsoft pays a price for that “ease of use” in terms of security. I would say security is one of the many selling points that Linux has over any thing that comes out of Redmond.

    As far as Meet the Gimp/Richard’s link to getdeb, they have an apt repo that you can add if you are interested in keeping up with some of the latest and greatest packages that might not find there way into the Ubuntu repos. I have 2.6 installed on several machines now and I love the improvements.

  12. BobSongs Says:

    I am very interested. I have all 3 OSes: Windows XP, Ubuntu Ultimate GNU/Linux & Mac OS X 10.4. Ubuntu and Mac OS X vie for first place. Windows XP with Google Desktop and a Vista theme makes XP much more enjoyable to look at.

    You’re right about Microsoft. I’ve been using Ubuntu as a primary OS since Breezy Badger.

    I’d like say a big “Thanks” for your video tutorials. Seeing that Vista is going to over-run XP and I refuse to support it (I do PC repair), I’m using InkScape to do graphic work. GIMP 2.6 is something I’ve been waiting for. :^)

    I’ll take the Ubuntu repository reference links. You may PM me via my e-mail address.

  13. James Keirstead Says:

    What’s the little trick you used in the opening credits to get the box semi-filled before using the perspective on it? I see you freehanding, then selecting the hand-drawn box, but can’t see the function used to get the nice semi-fill effect.

  14. Richard Querin Says:


    After doing the freehand lines, I just selected them all and did a union. This just connects the ends of each line together. With the fill set to black you get the effect you saw there. It really depends on how you draw the freehand line. It was really more of a fortunate mistake at the time, but I liked the effect so I used it in the screencast.

    Hope that helps and thanks for watching.

  15. coatit Says:

    Very cool effect. In 0.47 it seems you have to select the object first and then the path to get the transformation to work properly. If you select the path first then in create a completely un-wanted effect. 0.47 is a bit different as I am learning.
    Also if you are using text you may have to select text, do object to path and then ungroup the text, select all the letter then do a path-combine. Then you will get the desired effect. Unless you un-group the text does not become a path then combine to make a single path.

    Thanks for the cool demonstration and the intro was great

  16. The Tricky One Says:

    Hey, heathenx! 😀
    I have a little problem:
    When you are supposed to make the text into a path in order to do the perspective effect, the text becomes a group with paths, and if I ungroup it, the perspective effect doesn’t work. How do you do to make the text into a single path?

  17. heathenx Says:

    @The Tricky One

    Make your text, convert to path, and then combine to make it all one path again.

  18. The Tricky One Says:

    Haha, thanks! 🙂 Your screencasts are incredibly helpful! You really are a pro! 😉

  19. Xbody Says:

    Doesn’t work on Windows…

  20. Don W Says:


    Works as 045,046, and 047. Also works an XP, Vista, and Win 7. Also Ubuntu 7.x, 8.x and 9.x., with some additions. (see above notes)

    Please provide more information.

  21. Xbody Says:

    Strange I started the programm again today and it works, but thank you…

  22. juhoh Says:

    In Inkscape 0.48 the effect is under:

    Extensions > Modify Path > Perspective

    Note that Richard is saying that you have to select the guadrilateral first and then the path to transform,
    that is not the case with 0.48 though:

    Distorts a path (or a Group of paths) so that the path’s original bounding box is mapped to the edges of a quadrilateral and a perspective extension is applied to the path. To use the extension, select the path to transform first, then select the quadrilateral. Regular shapes and text must be converted to a path before transformation. This extension requires the Numpy (Numerical Python) package.


  23. xbody Says:

    Cool thank you.^^ I’m still using Inkscape. (But I did this comment two years ago)

  24. Rafael Says: