Episode 052


Episode 052 – A Simple Keypad

by Richard Querin

In this screencast I demonstrate a pretty quick and simple way of creating a keypad for use in illustrating a piece of equipment. I used Inkscape 0.45 for this tutorial.

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15 Responses to “Episode 052”

  1. screencasters.heathenx.org/blog » Blog Archive » Episode 052 - A Simple Keypad Says:

    […] hell has frozen over. I finally managed to post another screencast. Episode 052 shows one simple method of creating a simple keypad. It’s one of my shorter screencasts at a […]

  2. Alpha13 Says:

    Hey Richard,
    We’re glad it froze! Thanks for the “grid arrange” demo. I’ve been doing that by hand.

  3. Richard Querin Says:

    @Alpha13 – I’ve always had a tough time trying to use the tiled clones thingy, and was surprised to see the grid arrange tool there. I had never used it before this! Coming up with these screencasts teaches me stuff about Inkscape too. 😉

    Thanks for watching. 🙂

  4. Don Waters Says:

    Hello Richard,
    Nice cast (BUT—- there is always one of these) when I downloaded it (save link as), it downloads and the audio is ok but the video (AVI) stops and starts and the mouse pointer jumps. I DL it 3 times at different times today, all the same. When I DL with Realplayer (flv) it works fine. Just thought you might want to know.
    Later Don

  5. heathenx Says:


    In what media player are you trying to view the avi? Do you have a codec that will play h.264 video properly? If not, have you tried viewing the avi in either SMplayer or VLC? Both are free.

    I’m no codec/player expert but using Real Player in this case (to view an flv) seems rather odd. I take it you are a Windows user? On the other hand, if Real PLayer works and it’s what you comfortable using then I say continue doing it.

    Also, the K-Lite codec pack (standard or full) is recommended if you do not like SMPlayer or VLC. With either one of those options you should be able to play just about anything you throw at it. Would you be willing to try one of those players?

    Back to the flv files. Those typically play in a web browser with the flash plug-in. We recommend that you start and stop the download so that you can buffer ahead 10% before playing again. That way you won’t get any skipping. If you wish to download and watch the flv instead of the avi then I recommend SMplayer or VLC to watch those as well.

  6. Serge Gielkens Says:

    Well, I just got wrapped up in some work here and in the mean time a series on product visualization has started! Good work, I thought for a moment that I was sitting in front of a touch screen 😉

  7. pyropingvin Says:

    Hello Richard,
    I have the same problem as Don Waters’s. You have recommended Don to use VLC player, but both in Windows and in Gnu/Linux the video played by VLC is not fluent (same situation as in Don’s case). With VLC the demo is played fluently, but the problem starts when tutorial begins. However, on Mplayer, XINE and Totem the complete video is normal.

  8. Richard Querin Says:

    Yep. I confirmed last night that playback does indeed get choppy using VLC on my linux box at home. I think I must have done my checks with Totem or Mplayer before I uploaded it. I’m currently going over my screencasting post production methods and seeing where it is that I differ with heathenx. Although of course he has his own problems with playback sometimes too.

    This encoding stuff is hard! 🙂 I’m going to write up some python scripts to make the process a little more consistent for myself. I may be able to play with the order of how I process (and join etc.) the videos and see if that helps.

    Right now, I take the original ogg videos that recordmydesktop produces, convert them to avi (h264 with b-frames) and join them up (screencasters intro + my sped-up intro + the main screencast) and fix all the sound and music. Then once that is all done, I convert it to a slightly different avi format (h264 without b-frames) so that I can make the .flv file. I think heathenx might be doing that conversion to remove b-frames earlier in the process. Maybe that will make a difference, maybe not.

    It’s also a bit hard to compare notes because he doesn’t do the sped-up intros with music, and he does all his stuff in mono sound, where I do mine in stereo. Of course only the musical bits really require stereo but it’s all or nothing once you use a single finished avi of course.

    Maybe we move the whole mess to mpeg-1 like I’ve been saying all along. The quality will be crap and the file sizes will be larger, but then everyone will be able to play it. 😉

    Either that or WMV!! – just kidding. 😉

  9. screencasters.heathenx.org/blog » Blog Archive » Episode 052 - Re-Encode Says:

    […] to several of you great readers and viewers out there for letting me know that the Episode 052 avi file stuttered and stammered when played in […]

  10. Bodinux Says:

    Two things :

    -sad news : the link to ryanler is almost dead

    – I would like to know if this (http://howto.nicubunu.ro/gfx/face_ooo.png) is possible with inkscape, or do you have to use the gimp ?

    Thanks to you two for these great tutorials (I remember much more this way than by reading).


  11. Richard Querin Says:

    As I’ve demonstrated in a few of my inkscape screencasts, it is possible to do some image manipulation in Inkscape. Mostly this involves importing images and converting them into fill patterns and manipulating the shape of them. But unless you convert the image to a path (using ‘Trace Bitmap’ you can’t do things like perspective transformations or things like that.

    The problem is that if you use the ‘trace bitmap’ function to turn your bitmap into a vector object you will lose quality if the image contains smooth gradients – as photos always do. You can see this in some of our screencast thumbnails where smooth gradients turn into dithered messes ;). So if you wanted to do the effect that you linked to, it would be better to do the perspective transformation of the photo in the GIMP first and import the revised bitmap into Inkscape after. Then you could transform the panel and do the shading and gradient stuff and just use the image as is. Does that make any sense?

    I still think Inkscape is so much better for certain tasks (not all). So I use the GIMP to do some of the stuff I need (like transforming or distorting images) and use Inkscape for reflections, gradients, dropshadows and stuff like that.

  12. Bodinux Says:

    Thanks for the answer. It does make sense.

    I have an idea for a possible tutorial (in case you are looking for inspiration) : a Julian Opie style portrait such as described here :http://www.family-portrait-artists.com/ . All the photos disappeared except for the result, but I think that the text gives a pretty clair idea of how to do.
    I can do a nice portrait in 4 hours. It would be a chalenge to do something good looking in 20 minutes but you have impressed me so much already !

  13. Richard Querin Says:


    Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of this type of stuff around lately. I’ve always thought it might be a good thing to do in Inkscape. I’ll look into it. Incidentally, I decided to use my old friend the Wayback Machine (http://waybackmachine.org) to find an archived version of the site, which indeed captured the images and other info missing from the current version:

  14. Richard Querin Says:

    Dang Bodinux! I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this earlier, but heathenx has actually already created one of himself which you can see if you check out any comments he’s left over on our blog. Check out the comments to this post and you’ll see it there

    He should tell us how he did it! Or better yet, screencast it! Let me go knock on the door to his cave and see if he can shed some light on this.

  15. Richard Querin Says:


    Heathenx has pointed out to me that he did it based on a good tutorial by Nicu on this very subject. You might want to check that out: